‘Gracious honor’: Dunkirk schools dedicate room to Haynes

OBSERVER Photo by M.J. Stafford LaPearl Haynes poses with the plaque dedicating a room at Dunkirk’s secondary school to her husband, Roosevelt.

The Rev. Roosevelt Haynes is warmly remembered in the Dunkirk community. Tuesday, that remembrance was formalized with a plaque.

The Dunkirk school district renamed its Large Group Instruction Room in the junior-senior high school after Haynes. He was a longtime member of the Board of Education, and the school board normally meets in the room. In fact, they met after the ceremony.

The room was filled with friends and family of Haynes, who passed in 2018, with some people forced to stand.

His widow, LaPearl, was the center of attention at the ceremony, posing for photos with his plaque afterwards. She offered brief remarks, as did district Superintendent Mike Mansfield.

Mansfield spoke of Haynes’ “steadfast work and commitment” and described a bit of his life.

Haynes was the youngest of seven children and attended a one-room schoolhouse in Tennessee, going on to graduate from college in Alabama. “He married his high school sweetheart, LaPearl, who is with us this evening,” Mansfield mentioned, drawing a round of applause.

“The couple moved to Dunkirk in 1968 and Roosevelt dutifully served his community for the next 50 years,” Mansfield continued.

The superintendent offered a partial list of Haynes’ many committees and groups. He was on city of Dunkirk committees for charter revision and codes and was on the boards of directors for the city youth bureau and its housing authority, for example.

He also was president, vice president, and clerk of the Dunkirk Board of Education during 18 years of service with that group.

LaPearl Haynes said she and her family were “deeply honored” and “very appreciative of this gracious honor.” She later added that she appreciated the large turnout and Roosevelt would be “deeply humbled and grateful.”

As a father himself, Roosevelt Haynes wanted all children to have a strong education, she continued. He wanted the Dunkirk schools to produce “positive contributors to the community. He felt that all children deserved this type of education.”

He believed the school board “could move in positive ways for what’s best for the students, in spite of differences of opinion.”

LaPearl Haynes continued that her husband often discussed education issues and concerns with people during visits to the laundromat and walks around the community.

“He was a servant of his God and lived out the saying, ‘He lives most who serves humanity best’,” she concluded.


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