George S Haynes

George S Haynes

Brattleboro VT

George S Haynes met his Lord and Savior on February 27, 2024, passing away following a brief illness and surrounded by his wife Rose and his children. Born in Brooklyn, New York on May 8, 1943, and raised in Bay Ridge, he forever carried fond memories of his childhood days growing up near Fort Hamilton and watching the ships sailing by the bay and soldiers marching in step. These memories were strong, despite his tender age. His family moved to North Bennington, Vermont in December of 1946 where they remained and where George and his brother Rick were raised.

In 1961, he began what would become a lifelong banking career, working in the bookkeeping department at Vermont Bank and Trust Company (now TD Bank). He quickly rose through the ranks, and by the age of 21 was named assistant manager. In 1967, at the age of 24, he became a branch manager and assistant treasurer, becoming the youngest to achieve an officer’s position in the bank’s history.

In 1977, George embarked on an endeavor that would define his style and compassion for the rest of his life, helping people financially by establishing an office of Consumer Credit Counseling, a nonprofit whose only concern was to help people manage debt without family or personal disaster. He initially served as Advisory Board Chairman and later was elected to serve on the board of directors. In 1985, he became President of the organization and remained in this position until 2008.

In 1982, George was asked to cover the retail credit department in Brattleboro. While this was intended to be a short term assignment, he remained for ten years, moving to Brattleboro and making it his forever home. During these ten years he rose through the ranks once again, eventually becoming Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Vermont Mortgage Group, and Senior Vice President of First Vermont Bank, both part of what is now TD Bank.

In 1991, George was approached by the search committee of The Brattleboro Savings and Loan and on January 27, 1992 he became President and Chief Executive Officer, serving until his retirement on December 31, 2007. Under his stewardship, the bank experienced unprecedented growth and received numerous awards and recognition, including two Community Bank Awards (in 2006 in recognition of its Community Person of the Month program, and in 2007 in recognition of Project Feed the Thousands). BS&L was voted the Best Bank in Brattleboro in the Brattleboro Reformer Readers Choice Awards in both 2006 and 2007 and was recognized by Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility as the 2007 recipient of its socially responsible Small Business of the Year.

George was very proud of the programs that he instituted during his tenure at BS&L, including Community Appreciation Day, the Community People Award, the establishment of a living wage policy for all employees, the commitment to donate 10% of net profits to local organizations, and first and foremost the establishment of Project Feed the Thousands in 1994. A stalwart of the Brattleboro community, George served on numerous boards and donated his time to a number of community organizations and services.

George’s retirement was predicated by a trip to China in April 2007, sponsored by the UVM Asian Studies Outreach Program. George was invited to join educators and students to learn more about education in China and to share his insights based on his commitment and experience with the bank branch at BUHS and Windham Regional Career Center. He suddenly gained new perspective and realized that there was a whole world out there waiting to be explored and he wanted to be a part of it.

A lifelong baseball and sports fan, George played semi-pro ball as a teenager and then became the power-hitter for local softball team BS&L where he helped the team win two championships. One of the main joys of his life was traveling around the country and Canada visiting ball fields with his son George, Jr. Although they did not make it to all 32 parks, they shared some special memories in the quest. He was, of course, thrilled to see his beloved Red Sox win the World Championship in 2004, and several more times thereafter.

On March 9, 2010, in St Augustine FL, George married Rose (Robertson) Cavanagh, the love of his life and forever soul mate. Together, they traveled the world and shared many wonderful adventures. His 70th birthday was spent in Bora Bora in an overwater bungalow in the lagoon. In addition to their international travels, George and Rose were proud to say that they had visited every state, taking two extended cross-country road trips in 2012 and 2015. Rose was his companion and partner and they built a beautiful life together. They made a point to spend time with family, including with his daughter Tiffany Finck-Haynes in Washington, DC and his son George and family in Cambridge, NY. He embraced Rose’s entire family, becoming a father to Rose’s four children, and was a beloved Pop-Pop and Grampa George to his many grandchildren and step-grandchildren.

George is survived by his wife Rose; his children Robin Haynes Gardner, George Spencer Haynes, Jr., (Eileen), Tiffany Finck-Haynes (Jorge Aguilar) and Spencer Haynes; and Melissa Cavanagh, Stephanie Cavanagh, Jessica Doleszny (John) and Gregory Cavanagh (Starr Bruce), along with many, many grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He is also survived by his brother Rick Haynes (Sue); and by George, Jr., and Robin’s mother, Leona Center. A man that truly embraced his extended family, he is also survived by his mother-in-law, Irma Robertson, along with many, many members of both the Robertson and Cavanagh families. He was predeceased by his father Spencer Haynes and his treasured mother Roberta Stultz Haynes.

George was confident, courageous, intelligent, generous, and funny. He had nicknames for everyone. He could be very firm in his opinions and he loved a good debate. Even until his death, he lived his life on his own terms. Like the Chairman of the Board, he did things his way. His family, his dear friends, and the entire Brattleboro Community mourn his loss but will cherish many fond memories forever.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that anyone wishing to honor George’s legacy consider making a donation to Project Feed the Thousands, a not-for-profit organization whose sole goal is to provide food for local families. Along with his wife Rose, George remained active in Project Feed the Thousands from its inception in 1994 until 2024. He was very proud that, through his efforts and the efforts of the board and staff, they were able to serve (and continue to serve) thousands upon thousands of families, too many to put a number on. Checks can be mailed to Project Feed the Thousands, c/o 802 Credit Union, PO Box 8366, Brattleboro, VT 05304.

A celebration of George’s life will be held at the VFW on Black Mountain Rd., in Brattleboro, Vermont on Saturday, March 23rd, beginning at 2PM. His family invites everyone who knew and loved George to join them for light refreshments, fellowship, and the sharing of stories and memories – ‘For All The Right Reasons’.