County's first black surgeon dies at 73
By Dennis Hill
Published in News on April 12, 2006 1:51 PM
A Wayne County medical pioneer died this week.
Dr. Lonnie M. Hayes was the first black surgeon in the county and the first to obtain operating privileges at the county hospital.
He was 73.
Hayes was a native of Bertie County who earned a degree from Central State University in Dayton, Ohio, and his medical degree from Howard University in Washington, D.C.
Dr. Lonnie M. Hayes
Hayes was remembered as a doctor who put his patients' welfare ahead of his own advancement. He charged little for an office visit and seldom charged more for an operation than what the patient's insurance would pay.
Members of the medical community were saddened to hear of Hayes' death Monday.
Dr. James Stackhouse said he worked with Hayes the last three or four years before he retired from his surgical practice. He called Hayes a colorful man with a big heart.
"Lonnie was a great, well-trained surgeon. He did excellent surgery with good judgment of his patients and took excellent care of them," Stackhouse said.
After giving up surgery and entering private family practice, Stackhouse said Hayes probably did even more for the community.
"I am sure there are a lot more people in Goldsboro and Wayne County that would not have gotten care if he had not been practicing," Stackhouse said.
Dr. Dave Tayloe said he knew Hayes' family well and considered him a good friend.
"He was a caring physician for the community and even though he was trained to be a surgeon, he brought a tremendous amount of primary care for the citizens of the community who really did not have access to primary care.
"I think that would be his legacy. It didn't matter if you could afford to pay for the care or not, he offered care to you. He was just a wonderful citizen and a marvelous example of a caring physician," Tayloe said.
Hayes came to Goldsboro in 1963 and only fully retired from practice a few years ago.
He was chief of surgery at Wayne Memorial Hospital for years and later managed to handle a large private practice, often working late into the evening to make sure that anyone who made it to his office by 5 p.m. saw the doctor.
Hayes also was a supporter of many local causes, including Antioch Missionary Baptist Church, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, the Continental Society, the NAACP and many educational programs.
He is survived by his wife, Deloris; two daughters, Carolyn Hayes Artis of Goldsboro and Judith Hayes of Maryland; a son, Jeffrey Hayes of New Bern; a sister, Myra Hayes Edwards of Cary; and five grandchildren.
Funeral services will be Thursday at 10 a.m. at Antioch Missionary Baptist Church.
A viewing will be held today from 1 to 6 p.m. today at McIntyre Funeral Home. The family also will receive friends there from 6 until 8 this evening.
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