Haywood Blakely, 72, died September 24, 2019, peacefully at his home in Manahawkin, NJ.
Haywood was born December 5, 1946 in Charlotte, North Carolina to Parnell and Cleo Blakely (nee Bidgood), who are both deceased.
Haywood worked for the City of Hoboken’s Fire Department for 20 years, retiring as a Captain. Always recognized by his peers as a credit to the firefighting profession, and a great man to have by your side, Haywood is best remembered for the dramatic rescue of a young child who was trapped on a fire escape balcony several stories above ground. For his bravery, he was awarded the City of Hoboken Fire Department’s highest award, the Medal of Honor, granted to only five recipients in the last fifty years. Haywood has also received the NJ State Professional Firefighters Assn. Highest Valor Award for his bravery above and beyond the call of duty. He belonged to the International Association of Firefighters Locals 1078 & 1076, the NJ State Professional Firefighters Association, the NJ Fireman’s Mutual Benefit Association Local 3, and the Hoboken Fire Department’s Relief Association.
Haywood was a loving husband and father. He was an excellent cook, an avid sports fan and enjoyed small challenges working around the house. His positive outlook on life as he battled cancer in his later years reminded those closest to him to enjoy life and appreciate the little things, we tend to take for granted. He lived a life of simple pleasures, enjoyed small talk among friends, and graced those with his infectious smile and selflessness. He will be deeply missed by his friends and family.
Haywood is survived by his wife Michele; his son Leonard; sister and brother-in-law Andrea and Angelo Papa; nephew and niece Michael and Michele Lynch; and great nephew Derek Lynch. He is pre-deceased by his brothers Joseph and Parnell, and his sister Blanche Reid. Haywood will be re-united in heaven with his beloved dog Hunter.
A Memorial Mass will be held in his honor on Wednesday, October 9, 2019 at St. Francis Church in Hoboken, NJ at 10:00 AM. Arrangements by: Failla-McKnight Memorial Home, Hoboken.