Douglas Hayden (1953-2023)

DOUGLAS HAYDEN of Cambridge, MA died on June 2, 2023 at the age of 69.  Born in Vermont and raised in New Hampshire, Doug was a resident of the Cambridgeport neighborhood of Cambridge for over four decades.  He possessed many talents. A self-taught carpenter, he earned a living for over fifteen years renovating and building houses.  He also earned a BA (UMASS/Boston), an MA (Boston University), and, in his 50’s, a PhD (Boston University), all in mathematics, and worked for over twenty-five years as a biostatistician at Massachusetts General Hospital.  Doug’s passionate commitment to social justice, as well as his love of folk music, reflected his upbringing at an alternative Quaker boarding school in rural New Hampshire.  For many years Doug worked with local peace groups, volunteered at Food For Free, and helped immigrants learn basic math skills at the Cambridge Community Learning Center. Doug also took up songwriting in his 40’s, and continued to dedicate many of his songs to loved ones. Doug was a deep thinker and generous soul who was warm, gentle, charming, and witty. One of his favorite pastimes was sharing lively conversation (sprinkled throughout with puns) over a delicious meal–often cooked by him.  He was never too busy to greet someone on the street with a kind word—be it a good friend, an acquaintance, or a person in need. He was a steadfast and loving partner to his wife Joan and a nurturing and devoted father to his daughter Kailah.

Doug is predeceased by his parents, Ruth and Joel Hayden. He leaves behind his wife, Joan Karp, of Cambridge; his daughter and daughter-in-law, Kailah & Kerrie Carden of Baltimore, MD; his two grandchildren; his brother, David, of Brattleboro, VT; his sister, Rebecca, and brother-in-law Scott Ruescher of Cambridge; and his stepmother, Patricia Hayden of Farmington, ME. 

Donations may be made in his name to the Cambridge Community Learning Center or Food For Free. A memorial service in Doug’s memory will be held in September.


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8 Condolences

  1. Whit Hendon on June 8, 2023 at 9:52 am

    Doug was a fantastic volunteer at the Community Learning Center for years. I can’t count the number of students he worked with. He was one of our most valued volunteers.

  2. George and Sally Thurston on June 10, 2023 at 2:40 pm

    We have been friends with Doug since we were in college together. Over the years we’ve shared many dinners with our families, sung rounds, and made jokes. The world has lost a loving and caring person. Doug, you will be greatly missed!

  3. DeLoresjean Britt on June 11, 2023 at 10:12 am

    I extend my heartfelt condolences to Doug’s surviving family. As a long time Cambridge resident, Doug and I were involved in many of the same community projects.
    DeLoresjean Britt

  4. Kassy Wilson on June 11, 2023 at 6:10 pm

    Doug was always interested in others – small or large, he wanted to know and was encouraging. He will be missed by many.

  5. Chriscinda Park on June 21, 2023 at 4:57 pm

    So very sorry for your loss.

  6. Judy Hikes on June 26, 2023 at 2:30 pm

    Dear Joan,
    I always enjoyed so much seeing both of you at Janet’s house. Please accept my sympathy.

  7. Judy Visscher on August 8, 2023 at 2:35 pm

    Doug’s grin still comes so easily to my mind. We went to high school and part of college together, ran a few Montana rivers, sang a lot of songs. It’s hard to imagine a world without him, as I’m sure it is for his family. Go well, dear soul

  8. Eric Tustison on March 8, 2024 at 5:37 pm

    I just learned of Doug’s passing. I had worked with him on my first major study, but also was a neighbor before I moved. He indeed was never too busy to stop and catch up, and it was always a joy to me to run into him. I had great admiration for not just his wit but how he treated all around him. Thank you for all you gave us, Doug!

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