Cover photo for Regina Ann Johnson Hayes's Obituary
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1952 Regina 2022

Regina Ann Johnson Hayes

April 27, 1952 — January 9, 2022

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Regina Ann Johnson Hayes, affectionately known as Geo, was the eldest daughter of Sergeant Major Erastus Johnson Jr. and Margaret Vernett Murphy Johnson was born April 27, 1952, in Jacksonville, North Carolina on Camp Lejeune Marine Corps Base. Regina’s academic and athletic prowess was equally astounding. Along with her academic accolades, she proudly displayed an array of softball and track and field trophies she earned from middle school through college. She was a graduate of Havelock High and attended Elizabeth City State University, briefly, while holding her title as the first African American Miss Havelock. After passing on her crown, Regina transferred to Spellman College, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice.  

Regina was born military and married military. Her 10-year marriage to Major William “Bill” Randolph Hayes brought the birth of their only child, Gianina. Regina relocated to Durham, North Carolina where she coached North Carolina Central University’s women’s softball team. While there, her faith led her to join Ebenezer Baptist Church where she sang in the choir and helped to coordinate the youth ministry. Regina’s keen sense for discovering untapped potential and hidden talents could take the shyest child and transform them into a master orator. She also served as a substitute teacher, intermittently. Regina’s encouraging words and can-do spirit empowered students and made them feel capable of achieving their dreams. It was not uncommon for her former students and children from the church to approach her in adulthood to thank her for the profound effect she had on their lives. 

Though outside of her degreed field, Regina developed a knack for biotechnology and began working in Research Triangle Park as a Quality Assurance Auditor and Corporate Trainer. She was well known for her thorough audits and extensive knowledge of Good Laboratory Practices (GLPs). If anyone had a concern about a GLP regulation or regulatory compliance she could recite the sections and subparts with page numbers from memory faster than you could find it in your handbook. Regina conducted audits and training globally in Chile, Brazil, Germany, India, Belgium, France, Mexico, and several other locations. 

Despite her busy schedule, Regina always made time for family. She supported her daughter, Gianina, throughout her academic journey and encouraged her to further her education at all costs. Gianina now has a Ph.D. and is a professor at the University of Louisville. She eased into the role of matriarch after the passing of her father and mother in 2002 and 2007, respectfully, hosting Thanksgiving dinners and family gatherings to fortify family bonds.  

Regina received her wings on Sunday, January 9, 2022, at the age of 69 at UNC hospital due to complications with Interstitial Lung Disease. She was surrounded by family and transitioned peacefully. Regina is survived by her eight siblings Anthony, Timothy, and Lee Johnson, her sister Monica Woods, brothers-in-law Kimothy Woods and Paul Jenne, sisters-in-law Alice Minor and Linda Beebe Jenne, and morther-in-law Clarice Lackey. She also leaves behind her daughter Gianina Fink, son-in-law Danny Fink; nieces Mitzi Parker, Janaya Johnson, Kyler Woods, Rhea Carrington, Gigi Jones, Savonn Hayes, and Serena Wills; nephews Anwan Reid, Kiani Henry, and Kyndall Woods.  

Regina will be memorialized during a private funeral procession on Friday, January 14, 2022, where she will be eulogized by Willis Baird, Ph.D. She was loved by many and will be sorely missed. For those who wish to pay tribute or view the live stream, please visit, select obits. This link can be found under the tribute wall and will be available Friday, Jan 14 at 2:00 PM.

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