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Elizabeth Haynes

Published: Saturday, November 24, 2012 at 5:30 p.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, November 24, 2012 at 5:30 p.m.

Elizabeth “Libby” Haynes, a longtime volunteer with the Sonoma County Library and an early contributor to a community crisis hotline, died Nov. 16 after a long illness. She was 85.


Elizabeth 'Libby' Haynes.

Born May 26, 1927, in Topeka, KS., Libby was one of two girls born to Hulda and Paul Bell.

An honors student at Highland Park High School in Topeka, Haynes enrolled in the nursing program at the University of Missouri after graduation.

After becoming a registered nurse, Haynes took a job at Winter General Hospital in Topeka where she worked with soldiers returned from World War II who were dealing with battle fatigue — what is now referred to as post traumatic stress, according to her daughter, Carola Young of Santa Rosa.

The young nurse attended a church picnic in 1948 and there she met William “Ed” Haynes, who was in the U.S. Air Force and stationed at Forbes Air Force Base in Topeka. They were married a year later.

Libby Haynes moved with her young family all over the United States — Arkansas, Texas, Virginia, Arizona and California — with every Air Force transfer.

“She got very good at it,” Young said. “I don't ever remember it being very stressful. My mom loved to travel so it was sort of a new adventure for her.”

After Ed Haynes retired from the military, he took a job at Optical Coating Laboratory Inc., in Santa Rosa.

The couple never moved from the home they purchased in 1968.

“After we left home, she started volunteering,” Young said.

Haynes gave her time to 544-HELP, an early suicide hotline in Santa Rosa. Later, she began volunteering with the Sonoma County Library.

“She was a computer oriented person,” Young said. “She would do things like checking in books.”

She also lent her math expertise through an AARP assistance program to seniors who struggled with their tax preparation.

She was an avid reader who often researched and followed passions that grabbed her interest, Young said.

Interest in genealogy inspired trips across the United States to see distant cousins and understand family roots. Libby and Ed Haynes took a trip to Germany to trace Libby's maternal family, Young said.

“She was a private person so she did a lot of reading,” Young said. “She was always quiet but she always had a smile for anybody.”

In addition to Young, Haynes is survived by her husband of 63 years, William “Ed” Haynes of Santa Rosa; her son, Randall Haynes of Santa Rosa; her sister, Catherine “Katy” Bell Pomeroy of Ridgecrest, CA.; and three grandchildren.

A graveside service will be held at 11 a.m. Nov. 28 at Santa Rosa Memorial Park, 1900 Franklin Ave.

Donations may be made to a charity of choice.

— Kerry Benefield

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