The Rev. Joseph A. Hayworth died on May 20, 2023 at the age of 97.
Rev. Hayworth was born on January 1, 1926 in High Point, the son of Charles Emery Hayworth and Myrtle Crystell Furrh Hayworth. He was two years old when his father tragically died. The Great Depression hit the family hard and his mother needed to work, so she sent him to be raised by his beloved aunts, Mary Lou Hayworth, Minnie E. Hayworth, Betty Hayworth Rommel and his uncle, Daniel S. Hayworth at their home in Abbott’s Creek. It was at the age of fourteen while attending a revival service with his family at Abbott’s Creek Baptist Church, that he received the calling that would shape the rest of his life. He attended Ray Street School, High Point Junior High School, High Point High School, and later studied at Duke University. When duty called, he served his country honorably in the Pacific campaign under the 32nd Infantry division in the liberation of the Philippines. After the surrender, he served in the occupation of Japan. Following the war, he completed his studies at Duke University, earning a Bachelor of Science degree. He received his degree in Divinity from Virginia Theological Seminary and advanced theological training at Union Theological Seminary. He also earned a Master’s Degree in counseling from the Teachers College at Columbia University. After completing seminary, he was ordained an Episcopal priest. He served as Rector of Saint Thomas Episcopal Church in Sanford. He was an Associate Rector of Saint James Episcopal Church in Hyde Park, New York where he was the pastor to the Roosevelt family and became a close friend of Eleanor Roosevelt. He was honored to be invited to give the invocation for the visit of President John F. Kennedy to the Roosevelt estate in Hyde Park. He also was Associate Rector of Saint Barnabas Episcopal Church in Irvington, New York. He returned to his hometown of High Point where he worked as General Manager of Innerpack of Carolina. During this time, he continued to serve the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina as an interim Rector for three-year terms at numerous parishes in the Diocese until his retirement. Among the churches he served were ones in Mount Airy, Albemarle, Eden, King, Kernersville, Asheboro and Greensboro. He also on occasion temporarily filled in at his home church of Saint Mary’s Episcopal Church, Saint Christopher’s Episcopal Church and other parishes in the High Point area when the need arose. He served on numerous boards and committees including the High Point Arts Council, the Eastern Music Festival, the Chamber Music Society, the North Carolina Shakespeare Festival, the Drug Action Council, Youth Unlimited, the High Point Relations Commission, and the Cancer Society, where he served as Chairman. He was on the Board of Visitors for High Point University and was on the High Point United Way board where he served as a Chairman. He also was a member of the Tocqueville Society and was a President of the High Point Chamber of Commerce. He was a long time member of Rotary International and served as President of the High Point Rotary Club. He always lent a helping hand to those in need by driving cancer patients to their treatments, helping those who could not afford their medications, and taking meals to shut-ins with the Meals on Wheels program. He also was a mentor to young people in the Cities in Schools program and a mentor for numerous Postulants for ministry in the Episcopal Church. He enjoyed gourmet cooking and playing the piano and organ through his love for classical music. He was fluent in German, French and Japanese and enjoyed traveling with his wife after retirement. He especially loved being with his grandchildren and great grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his three brothers, Charles Emerson Hayworth, John Richard Hayworth and David Robert Hayworth; and his two sisters, Katherine Hayworth Daveler and Margaret Hayworth Dalton. He was married to the love of his life, Marianne Boyd Browne Hayworth who predeceased him. Surviving is his son, Joseph A. Hayworth; his loving daughter-in-law, Deborah; their three sons and his great grandchildren.
The family is grateful to the Sisters and staff at Pennybyrn at Maryfield, as well as the doctors, nurses and staff at Hospice of the Piedmont, for their devoted and tireless service in the care of Reverend Hayworth and the others in their care.
There will be a private family interment. Memorials may be directed to Saint Mary’s Episcopal Church, Pennybyrn at Maryfield, Hospice of the Piedmont or the charity of your choice. Cumby Family Funeral Service in High Point is assisting the family. Condolences may be made through www.cumbyfuneral.com.