Thomas Haynes was all about creating things.
When he wasn’t putting together award-winning campaigns during his job as an advertising executive, the East Northport was making wooden models or paintings — some of which also won prizes. And when he wasn’t building artwork with his hands, he was making special memories with his family or at his local church.
Born Jan. 17, 1930, in the Park Slope neighborhood in Brooklyn, Haynes died June 25 of complications from progressive neurodegenerative disease at the Hospice House in East Northport. He was 86.
Michael Haynes, 56, of Rockville Centre, the second of Haynes’ four children, said his father was “a person who had a thriving career while still maintaining a strong family life as a committed father and husband.”
Thomas Haynes, the oldest of four children, grew up during the Depression and graduated from what is now known as the John Jay Educational Campus in Park Slope. He enlisted in the Army in 1950, where he served three years and attained the rank of sergeant. Yet Haynes’ passion lay in his creative side.
“He was always drawing or rendering,” said Haynes’ son while recalling his early years watching his father work. “It was just a great expression for him. He loved carvings. He would get the wood, carve it, stain it, and in a few hours, it would look like something that had existed for years.”
A talented artist, Haynes enrolled in Pratt Institute in Brooklyn. Upon graduating with a certificate of completion, he entered advertising at leading agencies such as Richard K. Manoff Inc. and the Manhattan-based BBDO before going to industry giant Ted Bates & Co. During his years in the ad industry, Haynes worked with major brands such as Campbell Soup, Milton Bradley Toys, DuPont and Schaefer Beer.
Later, Haynes once more pursued his love of painting, creating landscapes featured in art shows in Smithtown and Huntington. One of his most well-known paintings, “Silent Witness,” paid tribute to 9/11 victims and was featured in a community art exhibit on the terrorist attacks in the Northport-East Northport Public Library.
However, Michael Haynes said his father was also a very spiritual person who loved to spend time with his family. Haynes would draw comic book characters for his children when they were young and travel to Europe and Treasure Cay in the Bahamas with his late wife, Joan Haynes. Haynes and his wife were very active at St. Anthony of Padua Parish in East Northport. Haynes taught religious education on weekday mornings, and met some of his best friends through the parish.
“The church was definitely a big part of his life and our life,” Michael Haynes said. “There was a satisfaction that he got from it.”
In the days after his father’s death, Michael Haynes said he was surprised to meet people who told him how his father helped them, by mentoring them in advertising, giving them job leads or sometimes lending them money.
“There was always more layers to him than one first saw,” he said. “There was always something to learn from him.”
Haynes also is survived by sons Thomas Haynes, 57, and Christopher Haynes, 50, both of Manhattan; daughter Maureen Starr, 53, of Huntington Bay; and eight grandchildren. Services were held at Nolan Taylor-Howe Funeral Home in Northport. Haynes was buried at St. Anthony of Padua Parish.