Auburn – Peggy Hayes, 59, of Auburn, passed away quietly in her sleep at home on Sunday, March 23, 2014

Peggy was the daughter of the late James D, and Margaret M. (McKie) Hayes and the niece of the late Edward J. Jr., and Catherine S. Dickinson all of Auburn. She is survived by her brother, James D. Hayes, II of Auburn.

Peggy was born in Marlboro and moved with her family to Auburn. In September of 1961 Peggy was a member of the first class of eleven students to attend the newly opened Our Lady of Mercy School for Exceptional Children in Worcester. This began what was to become an uninterrupted involvement between Peggy and the institution, now known as Mercy Centre, which lasted for over 50 years.

In June of 2011 Peggy was recognized at the 50 Year Anniversary Celebration of Mercy Centre with the Certificate of Excellence for her 50 years of “Service and Dedication'” to Mercy Centre. In March of 2003 Peggy was honored by the Emerald Club of Worcester County at their annual St. Patrick’s Day Dinner when she was named the recipient of the Special Service Award for her work ethic and dedication. In addition, on March 31, 2003 Peggy was given the Key to the City of Worcester by then Mayor Timothy Murray, for her commitment to Mercy Centre and for exemplifying “the heart and spirit of Worcester”.

Peggy was well known amongst her friends and co-workers for her strong desire to work and be productive. She often did not want days off preferring to work instead. Active in the off-site job program at Mercy Centre Peggy could be seen working at such local businesses as: Wrightline, Anna Maria College, The Food Pantry of Worcester and Sposato’s Florists to name a few.

Peggy was a familiar face within the disabled community of Greater Worcester through her involvement in activities such as the Special Olympics, bowling and basketball leagues, square dances, and her participation and attendance at numerous social events and activities.

The family would like to thank those individuals who enriched her life through the kindness and support that they showed Peggy. She will be laid to rest beside her beloved parents in a private service at Hillside Cemetery in Auburn.

The Britton-Wallace Funeral Home in Auburn is assisting the family.