IN MEMORIAM: Hanna Hayman

On July 15, 2013, our beloved volunteer, Hanna Hayman passed away.

For nearly 10 years, Hanna volunteered weekly at Audubon House in Plummer Park, the headquarters and bookstore of Los Angeles Audubon Society. Hanna assisted the staff and other volunteers by greeting visitors to Audubon House, proofreading submissions to the WESTERN TANAGER and helping with mailings to our membership.

She cried when we left Audubon House, saying how much she would miss the staff and all the members who visited; she would miss being surrounded by all the books she so loved. Since we left, Hanna continued to correspond and telephone, but it was not the same as seeing her sweet face and vibrant smile. We appreciated and admired Hanna for how much she gave of her time, talents and intellect. We will remember her often.

For those of you who never had the opportunity to meet Hanna, please read the following brief biography kindly submitted by her daughter Ann. —Susan Castor

Hanna Reich Hayman

Hanna R. Hayman was born on August 4, 1924 in Breslau, Germany, from a family with many physicians. Her father, Joseph Reich, MD was a family physician and her mother, Anneliese Kohnstamm Reich, was a homemaker and social worker. Hanna had a happy and comfortable childhood in Germany until Adolf Hitler became German Chancellor in 1933 and the Nazi persecution of Jews began. With the passage of the Nazi anti-Semitic “Nuremberg Laws” in 1935 that stripped Jews of their citizenship, Dr. Reich (a decorated WWI hero) was no longer able to practice medicine in Germany. Despite many obstacles, Anneliese arranged for him to come to the U.S. in early 1936 to complete his American medical residency at Michael Reese Hospital in Chicago, Illinois. Anneliese and Hanna followed him to Chicago in May 1937.

After graduating from Hyde Park High School, Hanna attended the University of Chicago and received her B.A. degree from Bennington College in Vermont in 1946. Anneliese and Hanna moved to Los Angeles in 1946 and Hanna met her future husband, Gerald O. Hayman, on a blind date in 1947. They were married in Beverly Hills, CA on November 23, 1948. Their twins, Ann and Franklin, followed shortly thereafter, and were born in Los Angeles on October 21, 1949.

Hanna and Gerald lived in Los Angeles and were happily married for 62 years. In the 1970’s and 1980’s, they enjoyed taking annual trips to Europe or Hawaii. Gerald worked for 35 years as an electronic/systems engineer in the aerospace industry in the Los Angeles area. In addition to raising two children, Hanna was very involved in the PTA, the League of Women Voters, and various environmental and political organizations. She was also a very active volunteer in adult literacy programs. Later, she worked for over 10 years in the Immunization Project at the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. In 1981, she was recognized by GLAD (Greater Los Angeles Council on Deafness, Inc.) for developing a creative Sign Language poster on RTD buses in Los Angeles that brought awareness of the health care needs of the hearing impaired. She enjoyed her volunteer position with the Los Angeles Audubon Society for many years, where she developed an appreciation for birding. Hanna was a passionate reader and gardener, and also loved to walk, exercise, and swim. She listened to classical music and opera. Hanna made every effort to prevent her severe hearing impairment from interfering with her life.

Hanna was predeceased by her beloved husband in 2010. She passed away suddenly at her home in Los Angeles on July 15, 2013. She would have celebrated her 89th birthday on August 4, 2013. Hanna is survived by her two children, three grandchildren and one great grandchild.

Originally Published in the Western Tanager | Vol. 80 No. 1 Sept/Oct 2013 (on Aug. 31, 2013.)