A sad day in the Caballero organization and a sad day for the entire drum corps community.
On October, 12th, of 2016, George Hayek passed away. He was a veteran of World War II and was regarded as being part of, as Tom Brokaw so rightfully said, the “Greatest Generation” that ever lived. After his time in the military and conclusion of World War II, he became one of the founding members of the Hawthorne Caballeros.
George Hayek was a Caballero through and through. The outpouring of support and condolences on social media only scratches the surface of what he meant to members and alumni of this organization:
“Such a sad day we have lost a Legend today. The last founding member of our beloved Caballero family has been called to the great starting line in sky. May our friend and mentor George Hayek RIP you will be sorely missed.”
“George was my first drill instructor when I was 13 years old, with OLOL Cadets — he has been a friend since then, no one will ever replace him. We just had his 90th birthday party two weeks ago, a great Caballero, a friend to all, and one hell of a man. RIP love ya and will miss you. Rump.”
“A true legend. Every practice you would tell me another story about my dad from back in the day. Then we would talk about the Giants. I will truly miss our talks.”
“After the 1999 season, I bumped into George at the Garden State Plaza, first time I had ever met him. I remember it like it was yesterday — I had just received my corps jacket and was wearing it in the Garden State Plaza… I was mall ratting with friends and he stopped me, asking where I got the jacket from. After some small talk, he introduced himself to me. All the way through our September practice, of this year, he would bring up that moment and ask me how far I’ve gotten in life since then; what have I done to be better? After 18 or so years, I never got tired of that conversation and I will miss it.”
“…the living legend of the Hawthorne Caballeros organization has passed away. I am absolutely stunned here. I thought he might live forever. I was privileged to know him and to call him friend. George, may you rest in peace. There will never be another like you. I know it’s a cliche’… but this, folks, truly is the end of an era. A great era.”
George, you will be forever remembered for your contributions to the Caballeros organization and the drum corps activity as whole, but more importantly, as the caring person you were to all those around you.
Donations can be made to:
The Hawthorne Caballeros Scholarship Fund, P.O. Box 2148, Wayne, NJ 07474-2148 OR The Hawthorne Caballeros Alumni Corps, 49 Sand Hill Road, Vernon, NJ 07462-3141