Marian Barnes Hayes

Marian Barnes Hayes

Staff Reports's picture

Marian Barnes Hayes, 70, of Taylors, passed away January 19, 2020, while under the compassionate care of the staff at McCall Hospice House/Open Arms Hospice in Simpsonville, SC. McCall’s cared for her and her caretakers, Mary Gene, Bill, Ida and Bambi as her life with cancer came to an end. And what a life she had!

A Greenville County native, Marian was a daughter of the late Gene Wylie Hayes and Mary Louisa Barnes Hayes. A graduate of Greer High School and Winthrop College, she was a Special Education Teacher and Administrator in the Greenville County public school system.

She is survived by two sisters, Mary Gene Hayes of Greer and Susan Hayes of San Jose, California; brother Thomas Hayes of Niigata, Japan; devoted companion and partner, Bill Sharpton of Greenville; relatives and friends. 

A number of years ago Marian penned her own obituary. She wrote: “Marian was born in Sumter, South Carolina, which was always a sore point with her.  In her adult years, she liked to tell people “I was born when my family was living in Charleston,” and let her listeners draw their own conclusions.  Marian grew up in Greer, and her memories of her childhood were pleasant. When she was 9 years old, she had what would prove to be a life-changing experience. She read the book “Angel Unaware” written in 1953 by Dale Evans about her child who had been born with Down Syndrome, a little girl who lived less than 3 years, but whose life as told by her mother changed the way that America viewed children with mental retardation. Marian’s vision of herself became that of a teacher of handicapped children. She attended Winthrop College, earned a degree in special education, and began teaching an elementary special education class at Berea Elementary, in the Berea community. She missed her college graduation in order to observe the class that she would be teaching at the end of the Christmas break. Marian loved her teaching and loved the Berea community. She taught there for nine years. Though Marian held several jobs in the field of special education, she used to say that the only years that were nostalgic for her were those happy years at Berea. After retirement Marian occupied her time with the League of Women Voters, the Alpha Delta Kappa, and exercise class at the Greer Athletic Club. When her mother, due to ill health, went to a care facility, Marian became an even more patient care-giver and guardian of her mother's peace of mind. She was a member of Memorial United Methodist Church, her childhood church, which she rejoined in her adult years. Marian enjoyed traveling, and especially enjoyed cruising. However, her happiest vacation memories are those of her childhood when her family would take a week-long trip to one of the South Carolina beaches. In her young adulthood, Marian became a cat lover and remained so throughout the rest of her life. She used to laugh and call herself an old maid lady with a cat. Marian was a good friend and had good friends. Though she never married, she was privileged to have had several deep, and years-long relationships which enriched her life enormously and for which she was extremely grateful. With love, Marian bids you all goodbye.”

Plans for a memorial service are forthcoming. 

Memorial gifts to Memorial United Methodist Church, 201 N. Main St., Greer, SC 29650 or Miracle Hill Ministries, 490 S. Pleasantburg Dr., Greenville, SC 29602.

Online condolences may be made at

The Greer Citizen

317 Trade Street Greer, SC 29651

P.O. Box 70 Greer, SC 29652

Phone: 1-864-877-2076

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