Remember that wild and crazy, tall, big grinning guy who used to randomly show up at the Oneonta Southside Mall near Christmas time, wearing a holiday sweater he had decorated himself, complete with blinking lights, and wearing his red, "Santa" shorts and a Santa hat? He's one of ours at Townsquare Media Oneonta and his name is John Hayen. He sometimes would hand out candy canes to many a stranger and heartily wish them a very "Merry Christmas!". And that doesn't even include how he decorated his house on Tilley Ave. in Oneonta with the most lights and decorations you could possibly cram on a piece of property. His display was renowned and every year he would somehow manage to add to the number of lights, already in the upper thousands in numbers! He literally spent all of Autumn putting it all up to be ready in time for the holiday season. That's how into Christmas John was. Christmas in Oneonta will never be the same without this larger than life personality who has sadly passed away after battling several illnesses starting earlier this year.

Along with John's extreme enthusiasm for the Christmas holiday season, he had a matching passion for sports and boisterously reported sports alongside Leslie Ann on WZOZ 103.1fm during the morning show for several years, with an unrivaled passion for soccer and basketball. He was also known to broadcast many an Oneonta sports game on the air. It was all too obvious that he was an avid Yellow Jackets fan through and through with his colorful radio "play-by-play".

And did we mention all the wacky chatter that he used to generate on all of our Radio Auction events on WZOZ? We never knew what was going to come out of John's mouth at any given moment as he was a guy with a continuous mischievous twinkle in his eye, with a love of surprising people. John was an original and never shied away from sharing his opinions. May he rest in peace. He will be missed by all of us at Townsquare Media and all those who knew him.

John's family has announced that calling hours will take place on October 14 from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at Lewis, Hurley & Pietrobono Funeral Home in Oneonta. Guests are asked to wear their best Christmas attire or ugly Christmas sweater in John's honor. Please wear a mask and social distance. Please be prepared to wait to enter the building.

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Listen in Monday morning for an on-air tribute to John Hayen during the morning show.

2015 John Hayen in his Christmas finery (TSM Oneonta)
John Hayen's Christmas light display on his Tilly Ave. home 2017