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BERNARD QUINTEN HAYTON
July 8, 1942 ~ December 27, 2023 (age 81) 81 Years Old
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Bernard Quinten Hayton, Jr., 81, of Neoga, Illinois, passed away Wednesday, December 27, 2023, at Heartland Senior Living Home. He was born July 8, 1942, in Effingham in Effingham County, Illinois, to Bernard Q. Hayton, Sr. and Sara E. Mann. After the passing of his mother, Bernard was later adopted and raised by Rosalie B. Braasch. He married Susan Kay Harmeson on August 19, 1967, in Hoopeston, Illinois. Mr. Hayton was a retired teacher for Morris Community High School in Morris, Illinois. He served in the U.S. Army. He was a member of the First Presbyterian Church in Neoga, Illinois. Bernard is survived by his wife, Susan K. Hayton of Neoga, Illinois; children, Ray Hayton of Midlothian, Illinois and Katharine Mayer (Mark) of Frankfort, Illinois; grandson, Quentin Mayer of Frankfort, Illinois. He was preceded in death by his parents.
Funeral services will be held at 11:00 AM Friday January 5, 2024, at the Swengel - O’Dell Funeral Home in Neoga, Illinois. Visitation will be held Friday January 5, 2024, from 10:00 AM until service time, also at the funeral home. Burial will be in the Neoga Memorial Cemetery in Neoga, Illinois.
online condolences may be expressed at www.swengel-odell.com.
Bernard was active in the Boy Scouts of America, achieving the rank of Eagle in 1958. Among his greatest achievements in Scouting he was proudest of his participation in the Chicago Gang Show, 1959; working at Owasippe Scout Reservation; initiation into Alpha Phi Omega (National Scouting Fraternity); attending several Jamborees; working with South Korean scouts while in the U.S. Army; coordinating ‘Camp Hayton’ while in South Korea. Mr. Hayton also worked for Boy’s Life magazine on a summer internship.
Bernard was active in student politics at Illinois State University and on the Student Senate from 1965-1967. In the spring of 1966, he organized a statewide Leadership Conference.
Bernard earned his undergraduate degree from Illinois State University and later his Masters degree from Indiana University.
Bernard and Susan traveled the country extensively over the years both before and after the births of their children, Raymond and Katharine. They spent the year 1976 living on the Northern Cheyenne Indian reservation teaching in Busby, Montana, before returning to Illinois. Once settled in Morris, Mr. Hayton worked as a Library Media Specialist at Morris Community High School until his retirement in 2001. Not long after, the couple moved to Neoga and to the family home on Lake Mattoon.
Bernard lived a life of a traveler and wanderer. He loved to just go for drives to get out of the house and look for his beloved Bittersweet to take cuttings. The lines below from one of his favorite Robert Frost poems sum up his life:
“I shall be telling this with a sigh,
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I –
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.”