Dennis Hayden
Dennis Wesley Hayden

September 18, 1943October 6, 2015 (72 years old)
Hometown: Rochester, MN
September 18, 1943October 6, 2015
(72 years old) | Rochester, MN

Life Story

Dennis Wesley Hayden was born on September 18, 1943 to Wesley Donald Hayden and Marie Irene nee Gathje Hayden in Douglas, Minnesota.  His mother said his bed was in a dresser drawer.  We really didn't believe her. His wonderful mother spoiled him rotten! His father farmed and delivered coal, his mother taught rural school.  They moved to Stewartville, Minnesota, Marie a long time employee at the local drug store, and his father was the school maintenance man.  Going fishing at the river, walking to the local movie theater with his little sister Sherry and scaring her; and lots of any kind of sports were his growing up years. His mother was from a family of 16 kids, his father, 8 or so, so there were lots of relatives around, lots of fun times, singing and playing boogie woogie piano, card games, and picnics.  A wonderful way to grow up. Dennis was the Star basketball and football hero, being on the sports pages through his school years.  Immediately after graduation he signed up to join the Navy, and was bused to Long Beach California. Because he was 17, he enlisted for just 3 years.  He sailed the seas, Hawaii,the outskirts of Vietnam, the Phillippines, Hong Kong and crossed the Equator. I, Sheri, his wife of 50 years, met Dennis when he was home on leave, December 23rd, 1963, my 18th birthday, at my apartment in Rochester.  He was with a friend of my roommate, Carol and they stopped in to see her. I got an embarrassing birthday spanking from him. Hmm. I think we both fell in love at first sight, as they say.Handsome dude! He sent me beautiful orchids from Hawaii, beautiful letters, and when he was discharged in September 1964, we got engaged in December and married June 12, 1965. On March 8, 1966 we were blessed with a most beautiful daughter, Kimberly Marie.  14 months later we were again blessed with our beautiful daughter Kathryn May born May 19, 1966.  Our beautiful Katie passed away June 29th, 2003, cause unknown.  She died early on a Sunday morning in her bed with her 2 daughters in the next room.  She lived just down the street from us. Our baby. We weathered the storm together with strength from God. A part of your heart is gone. Dennis and I were extra lucky with our 4 amazing grandkids. Our first little granddaughter from Kim and her husband Jerry was miss Courtney Marie, couldn't have been any cuter, smarter, lovable and she knows she is our favorite! Gpa Denny loved scaring her with worms and/or spiders.They had a very special connection. Our 2nd was such a handsome, talented, lovable grandson, sportsman, Jordan Andrew, our favorite, of course. Loved watching him at baseball and football! Our 3rd, miss Madeleine Rae, daughter of Kathryn and Greg was such a cutie, lovable, extra smart and she and Gpa Denny played Barbies a lot, and she was definitely our favorite! We had Maddie a lot when she was a little one. Loved her to pieces! And then came Kathy and Jack's, baby Grace Kathryn. She and Gpa liked to cuddle in his recliner. hunt for little toads, climb up in the apple tree..She interviewed him on his Navy days and he loved it!  Most assuredly our favorite!, all of them such a blessing. Well, Denny's life story ended too soon.  He loved life, wanted to go fishing again, go deer hunting, go elk hunting in Colorado., head to the casino, flip another house..  He was so strong. All man. When he had surgery for prostate cancer, he did all the tube things that needed to be done all by himself, when he had all that fluid on his lung that needed draining, he never complained, when he was younger he had to have surgery on his gums and never complained, when we got the diagnosis from Mayo Clinic of cancer, he mumbled to himself in the parking ramp "I'm going to beat this", which he did for a long time, then he started having strokes, and that fluid on his lung, and spending months in rehab at Samaritan, and the doctors had to treat the cancer and the clogged artery, so the medicine for both, plus the chemotherapy was dragging him down. The last 2 years of his life were not fun. I hope he knew how loved he was, and how much he would be missed....:) He should have taken better care of himself. The chance of him dying from mesothelioma is so rare. We never realized, believed, he wouldn't get better. Through the years, he almost drowned after getting thrown out of a boat, he got his head run over by a runaway horse, he had a car almost fall on him, he fell off a ladder actually quite a few times,he fell down the stairs with a snowmobile on top of him, hit his head many many times. Slid down the bleachers head first. I think he tripped on his ice shack too.  Come back...There will never be another like him, the Love of my life. He loved the 50's music and was a great dancer!  We have a beautiful memorial for him at Jefferson school. As for me, my heart is missing another big piece. Grief as deep as the sand on the ocean bottom.  I thank God for my family, my best friend/daughter Kim and grandkids, and my soon to be Great grandson.  I miss you every day Dennis. I feel your love. Together. Forever in my heart. Not even til death do us part. This is only a short piece of Dennis' life story, but the most important is he loved and was loved. Popsicles, icicles.