George E. Hayden, 92, passed away Thursday, Dec. 11 at the home of his daughter, Cynthia Schena.
Hayden was born July 28, 1922 to George and Lillian (Cameron) Hayden, the youngest of five children. When Hayden was only six, his father died. Although his mother struggled to keep the family together, it was decided that it would be in his best interest to live nearby with his aunt Maude (Hayden) Spanks and her husband, Mitch, who were unable to have children of their own. The Spanks provided Hayden with a wonderfully loving and caring home throughout his childhood. Hayden attended Bradford public schools and graduated from Haverhill High School in 1941. It was there that he met the love of his life and his future wife of 71 years, Janice Hancock. After Hayden enlisted in the army, he and Janice were married on May 1, 1943 in Athens, Georgia, where he was attending Signal Corps School. During World War II, Hayden proudly served his country in the 533rd Engineer and Boat Shore Regiment in New Guinea and the Philippines. Upon his safe return, he and Janice settled in Bradford and proceeded to raise their five daughters. Hayden’s first priority was always his family, and he did everything in his power to make them feel safe, special, happy, and loved. He was his daughters’ hero and his wife’s one true love.
Hayden was truly a Renaissance man, and there wasn’t much he couldn’t master. He had many hobbies and interests and never sat idle. He loved all types of music, from opera to jazz, and he had an amazing collection of the Big Band music of the 1940’s, all of which he carefully catalogued. He taught himself to play several instruments, including the tuba and bass fiddle. He was also fascinated by antique clocks, and enjoyed restoring them. Hayden had a lot of natural athletic ability, and he loved playing golf with his many friends. He also excelled at swimming, boating, and all types of water sports. Since his daughters shared his enthusiasm for the water, the Haydens bought a cottage at Newfound Lake in Bristol, New Hampshire. Hayden’s children and grandchildren have wonderful memories of fun-filled days at the lake, and Hayden’s amazing lobster bakes at night.
In 1982, after a 30-year-career at Western Electric (now Alcatel-Lucent) in North Andover, he and Janice began to spend the majority of their time at their condo in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.,where they enjoyed an active social life with a wide group of friends. In 2010, due to failing health, the Haydens moved back to their daughter, Cynthia Schena’s home in Bradford. The family thanks her, her husband Vincent and their son, Vincent Joseph, for welcoming them into their home, and giving them both such tender loving care. The family also thanks Joy Svenson for her assistance, support and friendship. The family appreciates the help and guidance they received from the staff at Life Choice Hospice.
Hayden was predeceased by his beloved wife, Janice in August; his brother, Grant Hayden in 1943, who died in service to his country during WWII; his sister, Miriam Hayden in 2001; and most recently, his brother, Charles Hayden in October. He is survived by his five daughters and sons-in law: Candis and Robert Buoniconti of Delray Beach, Fla.; Cynthia and Vincent Schena of Bradford; Barbara Hayden and Reid Robertson of Tequesta, Fla.; Bette and Richard Gorglione of Asheville, NC; and Lynne and Michael Fury of Pasadena, Md. He also leaves behind his sister, Ethel Kinsman of Haverhill; 10 grandchildren, three great-grandchildren and several nieces and nephews.
Per Hayden’s request, there will be no visiting hours. A private family memorial will be held at Newfound Lake at a later date. Arrangements are by the H.L. Farmer & Sons Funeral Homes and Cremation Service, Haverhill and Bradford. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Life Choice Hospice, 790 Turnpike Street, Suite 302, North Andover, MA 01845.