Hayward L. Putnam, a recreational-vehicles salesman who wrote a popular weekly Harford County outdoors column, died of pulmonary fibrosis Jan. 16 at Stella Maris Hospice. He was 75 and lived in Jarrettsville.
Born in Bel Air, he grew up on his grandparents' Jarrettsville farm, where his grandfather was a blacksmith.
"He sang Gene Autry and Roy Rogers songs while milking the cows," said his daughter, Elizabeth "Beth" Holt of Red Lion, Pa. "He grew up tending livestock."
Mr. Putnam was a 1955 North Harford High School graduate. He enlisted in the Maryland National Guard and served for six years.
"As a young man he hunted and fished with his father," his daughter said. "This started his passion for the outdoors and soon it expanded. He did early settler re-enactments, fly fished, tied his own flies and taught adults and children the beauty of nature."
As a young man he did drafting for Harford County. He then changed careers and sold recreational vehicles for Mellott Brothers in Willow Street, Pa.
Family members said in the early 1970s Mr. Putnam began writing a weekly column, "Outdoors in Harford County" for The Aegis. He continued his observations about the outdoors until mid-December. He also wrote poetry and published verses about outdoor life, "Putt's Poems," whose title incorporated his family name.
"He was always in a good mood and had a story to tell," said a friend, Todd Holden. "He could listen as well. He knew where the bass were biting and where there was a beaver lodge. He knew that maybe there were more squirrels this season than last. He was a prolific writer and was a good man."
His daughter, Elizabeth Holt, said her father was a student of the Civil War and loved to relate the strategies of its generals. He would go into his home's basement and pull out a sewing kit. He worked on leather skins which he fashioned into early settlers' clothing. He also did beadwork.
"In his heart he was a conservationist," his daughter said. "He promoted hunting safety and following the law about hunting and fishing. He did not believe in overkill or killing to the legal limit. He said that if he had one deer in his freezer, that was enough."
Allen "Mac" Lloyd, retired Aegis sports editor and a Churchville resident, said "Hayward was very generous with his knowledge. I enjoyed listening to him regale me with his stories. He just had a vast knowledge of nature. He was plain and unpretentious and was an all-around nice fellow. He could enjoy the simplest things, a sunset or a starry sky."
He described his column as short, "but very well read."
Mr. Hayward played the guitar and did square dance calls. In the 1960s and 1970s he performed with the Harford County Ramblers and appeared at Veteran of Foreign Wars and American Legion posts.
As a North Harford High alumni, he was a founder of its End Zone Club that brought football to the school. He was a former member of the Jarrettsville Fire Department and past board member of the Delta Peach Bottom Fish and Game Club.
A Mason, he was a past master of the Masonic Esdraelon Lodge in Cardiff.
Services will be at 11 a.m. Monday at Bethel Presbyterian Church, Norrisville Road in White Hall. He was a 50-year member of the congregation.
In addition to his wife of 50 years, the former Marianna Streett, he is survived by three grandchildren and a great-granddaughter. A son, Eddie Hayward, died in 2001. Another son, Timothy, died as an infant in the 1970s.Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times