John R. Haywood
Haywood County native John Randolph Haywood, loving husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, uncle, and friend, passed away peacefully, surrounded by loved ones, on June 22, 2022.
Born to the late Robert W. and Hazel F. Haywood on January 26, 1934, “Jack” was one of four children and grew up in Brownsville. He attended Anderson Grammar School and graduated from Haywood High School in 1952 where he played varsity basketball and earned an academic scholarship for college. He then studied engineering at Vanderbilt University and was a member of Delta Kappa Epsilon Fraternity and the American Institute of Electrical Engineers. Jack also served nine years in the Army National Guard of Tennessee with occupational specialties as a
radio mechanic and rifleman between 1952 to 1961. In 1955, he began his career at Southern Bell Telephone and Telegraph Company where he met the love of his life, Peggy Parr Haywood, from Covington, who also worked for Southern Bell. They married on April 23, 1960 at St.
Alphonsus Catholic Church in Covington, TN and made their home in Brownsville, TN.
Work took them to Memphis for seven years and then to Jackson, TN where they focused on
creating a loving and supportive home for their four children. Fiercely loyal to friends and
family, they raised their children surrounded by grandparents, aunts, uncles and a loving church
community. They were blessed by a close group of friends with whom they traveled
throughout the United States, with a bevy of children in tow, on many memorable camping adventures. Visiting Italy, Hawaii and the Caribbean Islands, Jack and Peggy, also traveled overseas with friends on several special occasions.
Jack spent his working life as part of the “telephone company” from 1955 to retirement in 1989 and then several years afterward as Project Engineer with RK Weir & Associates. While in the Jackson, TN office of South Central Bell, he served as a Manager in Engineering where he created long-time friends and cherished memories. Jack was an active member of the Telephone Pioneers of America, a non-profit charitable and fraternal organization. He volunteered on many projects, served as chapter president, progressed to state council level and served as council president. Once retired, he remained active in the Pioneers Life Members
Club and continued to serve his community. He actively supported Camp Bluebird, a camp for cancer patients. Jack and Peggy also traveled and spent many happy, week-long trips to Gatlinburg, TN, Florida beachfront locations, and river destinations with an engaging group of Pioneer friends they dearly loved.
Music was a large part of Jack’s life. He studied classical guitar while living in Memphis. As a member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church, in Jackson, TN, he joined the choir and then served as a church musician, particularly for Saturday night Mass, playing guitar and leading music as cantor/song leader. For many years, Jack was asked and lovingly shared his talent to play and sing in numerous weddings, first communions, funerals, feast days and special events. Jack playing his guitar and singing in his clear, tenor voice was welcomed and remembered.
When Jack retired, the couple returned to Covington, TN in 2002 where they enjoyed golfing, gardening, and spending time with extended family and friends. Jack and Peggy were members of The Links Homeowners’ Association in Covington where he continued to share his leadership abilities as a member of the board from 2009-2016 and as President from 2010-2012. Jack was also known for sporting one of the greenest and well-kept lawns at both his Jackson and Covington, TN homes. He enjoyed his golf-course quality yard and spent many happy hours tending to his hobby. When they moved back to Covington, Jack and Peggy returned to the
church where they were married and were active parishioners of St. Alphonsus Catholic Church. Jack worked with Peggy as a dedicated member of the church’s “Friends of the Poor” food pantry. He was a member of the Knights of Columbus, a Catholic fraternal service order, and he served for numerous years as both a server and Sacristan at daily Mass and on Knights’ Sundays.
Jack was preceded in death by his wife of 62 years, Peggy Parr Haywood, his brother, “Bobby” Robert W. Haywood, his brother, “Seymour” James S. Haywood, his sister, “Betty” Elizabeth Haywood Owen, and a grandson, Luke Paschall. He is survived by three daughters: Leslie Haywood-Moore (Tim) of Paducah, KY, Tracy Williams (Steve) of Pinson, TN; Beth McNeill (Bo) of Mt. Olive, NC; one son: John Haywood, Jr. of Pinson, TN; and two sisters-in-law: Clara Parr and Shirley Roe, both of Covington. He was proud of all eleven grandchildren and four greatgrandchildren along with his nieces and nephews who will treasure their memories of his love and devotion.
Visitation will be from 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Friday, July 15, 2022, with the rosary at 6:30 p.m. at St. Alphonsus Catholic Church. Visitation will also be at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, July 16, 2022 and a funeral mass to be celebrated at 11:00 a.m. A reception will follow from 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the church. The interment will be held at 3:00 p.m. at Oakwood Historic Cemetery in Brownsville, TN. Burial services are under the direction of Brownsville-Bells Funeral