Burnett (Bud) Haylor’s 92 years in Syracuse contributed to a life well lived. The successful businessman, caring husband and father and consistent advocate and supporter of local causes never hesitated to lend a helping hand, along with his knowledge and wit, while forever remaining humble. Now, thanks to a gift left through his will, Bud’s generosity will be living on through continued support to local charities for many years to come.
Bud began living generously at an early age and he credited his parents’ influence for his giving.
“I was brought up to learn that we were fortunate and should therefore share with others when we can,” he said in a 2017 interview.
Nancy, Bud’s wife of 65 years, says that this theme carried on throughout Bud’s life: “He always felt that the reason he did well in business was because of the people in our community who helped him. He felt a calling to repay the community for what he was able to receive.”
After serving in the U.S. Army during World War II and graduating from Cornell University in 1948, Bud began working for his father’s insurance company, which would eventually be known as Haylor, Freyer & Coon. He slowly worked his way up from the role of desk clerk to co-owner and president of the company before retiring after 42 years. His hard work led to significant growth in the business, which is now 200 employees strong and extended across six offices. But even after working long hours each day at the office, he often went out again many nights of the week to volunteer his services on multiple charitable boards and committees.
Bud spared his time for many organizations. Among them were Campfire Girls, Jr., the Chamber of Commerce, Citizens Foundation, Everson Museum of Art Trip Committee, Oakwood Cemetery and SCORE Association. He also served as chairman of the Red Cross County Disaster Response Committee for 25 years. One of Bud’s favorite causes was the YMCA of Greater Syracuse, where his father began taking him when he was seven years old. His wife even still jokes that “the Y came before Nancy.”
The Haylors are long-time friends of ours, as well. Bud and Nancy opened a donor-advised fund in 1981 to help make their giving more convenient. Bud once told us he enjoyed the flexibility of being able to give to his favorite charities year after year, regardless of how the business was doing at any given time. When the couple’s daughter, Tracy, a fiber artist and teacher, died tragically at age 49, they sought us out to help honor her memory. To follow in line with her passions, the Tracy L. Haylor Memorial Fund was established to honor artistic excellence and high levels of craftsmanship among young artists, especially students participating in the Central New York Scholastic Arts competition.