As a proud member of the Blackthorn Club, George V. Hayhurst was seen in his younger years sporting a top hat and carrying a walking stick along the St. Patrick's Day Parade route in downtown Buffalo. He served as the parade's grand marshal in the 1960s.
Mr. Hayhurst, a prominent businessman and founder of the Miss Buffalo cruise operations, died Friday -- St. Patrick's Day -- in Mercy Hospital after a brief illness. A resident of Orchard Park, he was 91.
"Nothing could have suited Georgie better than to pass away on St. Patrick's Day," said Glen Diemer, his son-in-law.
Born in Buffalo, Mr. Hayhurst attended Buffalo schools. He was founder and president of Sen-Wel Industries, a former local steel fabricator that at one time employed more than 100 people. He launched the first Miss Buffalo boat in the 1970s.
Mr. Hayhurst served on Memorial Auditorium's board of directors for 27 years. He belonged to the American Motor Coach Association and the East Aurora Country Club.
His wife, the former Helen Gleason, died in 2003.
He is survived by four daughters, Mary Diemer of East Aurora, Joyce Kalinowski of Orchard Park, and Anne and Arlene, both of Jamestown; four sons, Richard and Michael, both of Colden, John of Orchard Park and Patrick of East Aurora; and two sisters, Elizabeth Weber of Buffalo and Margaret Krull of Seattle.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 9:30 a.m. Monday in St. George's Catholic Church, Old Glenwood Road, West Falls. Burial will be in Holy Cross Cemetery, Lackawanna.