A funeral for a Utah dentist who died of cancer has drawn an outpouring of grief and outrage.
On Thursday, the family of Jeffrey Hayward posted on its Facebook page that they were “devastated” by his death and are “deeply saddened by the news of his untimely death.”
The family wrote that they are “devout Christian people” and that Hayward was “a deeply religious man” and “an outstanding dentist and family man.”
Hayward, who was married to a fellow dental hygienist, was known to his patients as “the good doctor.”
He served as an associate dental hygerist at the University of Utah.
His daughter-in-law, Mary Hayward, told ABC affiliate KSL-TV that her father-in, Jeffrey, was a dedicated, caring, and loving person who always treated his patients with dignity and respect.
The family’s statement was the first public comment from the Hayward family following the news.
A Facebook post by his wife, Kimberly, said the family is praying for “all of his family.”
Hayes funeral was attended by more than 400 people, and he was remembered as “a man of great faith and a generous spirit.”
His wife told KSL that Jeffrey Hayse had recently lost his wife and son to cancer, but that he had always loved his patients and was a devoted father and husband.
Hayward had been a licensed dentist for about seven years, and his family said that he “always gave back to his community and the community as a whole.”
“He was a loving father and grandfather, and a wonderful friend and partner in his profession,” the statement read.
“We were deeply saddened to hear that he passed away in our family.
We are praying for all of his loved ones and family members.”
This story has been updated to include the funeral and the response from the family.