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June 15, 1946 ~ January 23, 2024 (age 77) 77 Years Old
Richard John Hayden, age 77 of Belle Plaine passed away on January 23rd, 2024, surrounded by his family and friends at his home in Belle Plaine. Mass of Christian Burial will be at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, February 3rd at Our Lady of the Prairie Catholic Church in Belle Plaine. Fr. Michael Kaluza will officiate. Visitation will be from 8:30-10:30a.m. at church prior to the Mass. Interment will be in Sacred Heart Catholic Cemetery.
Dick was the middle child of 11 children, born June 15th, 1946, at St. Peter Hospital to Bernard and Marie (Callahan) Hayden. He grew up on the family farm in Tyrone Township in LeSueur County. Dick was known in his early years to have a heart of gold but was also known to be fearless in high school. He was always there for his friends in high school when they needed some protection or a helping hand. He was a gritty football player for the LeSueur Giants, known for his toughness and dedication to the sport. He graduated from LeSueur High School in 1964.
After graduation Dick entered the United States Air Force on November 1st, 1964 and was stationed at Ellsworth Air Force located in Rapid City, South Dakota. When Dick was home on leave, he attended is sister, Anne’s wedding, where he met the love of his life, Jeannie. Dick and Jeannie Michel were married on April 1st, 1967 at Our Lady of the Prairie Church in Belle Plaine. Together they had 3 children, Sean, Amy and Melissa.
Dick served his country in the Vietnam War from November 1st, 1967 to November 2nd, 1968. Upon discharge, Dick’s rank was a Sergeant in the United States Air Force. He came back home to Belle Plaine and made a life with Jeannie and their kids for the last 57 years. Dick worked at Thermo King for 40 years until he retired in 2009 and he never looked back.
Dick enjoyed many things in his life, but the most important things to Dick was his family and the Hayden Clan. Dick enjoyed many trips with his wife over his years; Ireland, Alaskan Cruise and many trips to Las Vegas to spend time with his son and daughter in law. Dick was an avid sports fan who loved watching the Vikings, but his most enjoyable sport moments were watching his 3 grandchildren play sports. Dick never missed a Belle Plaine volleyball game, where you could see him sitting on the top of the bleachers cheering on his granddaughters over the years. He enjoyed watching his grandson play football and basketball as well. He always told his grandkids “Giver Hell”.
Dick enjoyed fishing, trips to Morton, playing Keno, along with being the handy man in his children's homes. He could make anything with his hands and fix anything when he was asked. Dick was very proud of his Irish Heritage and as proud of being from a Catholic Irish Family. One of his very proud Irish Moment, was when he and his wife, were chosen to be the Grand Marshals for St, Patrick's Day in Belle Plaine in 2019. Dick rarely missed any Hayden traditions with his brother and sisters, including the annual Hayden 4th of July parties on the farm, Holiday gathering or just getting together with his siblings to have a “bump”. Dick was a member of the Ancient Order of Hibernians, Lifetime Member VFW Post 6202, American Legion Member and a member of the Last Man Club, Viet Nam War.
Dick will be sadly missed by his wife, Jeannie; children, Sean (Kim) Hayden of Las Vegas, Nevada, Amy (Justin) Johnston of Belle Plaine and Melissa (Mike) Adams of Prior Lake; grandchildren, Mariena, Alaina and Aaron. Siblings: Jeanne Mae Hayden (Lanny), Mike (Bonnie) Hayden, Anne (Dick) Savage, Bernadette (Scott) Osborn, Keenie Benzie, Trish (Dale) Larson, and many nieces and nephews.
He is preceded in death by his parents, Brothers Jim, Tom and Bill along with sister Mary Jo.