Former economic development director dies

Former economic development director dies


For immediate release                         Contact: Mark Wickersham

May 9, 2013                                         260-356-5688

NOTE: Our condolences go out to the family of Robert Hayden, who served as executive director of Huntington County Economic Development from 1999-2002. Here is his obituary from the May 9 issue of the Huntington Herald-Press.


Robert Lawrence “Bob” Hayden, 83, of Bluffton, passed away at 1:25 a.m. on Tuesday, May 7, 2013 at his home. 

Bob was born in Grand Rapids, Mich. on October 29, 1929 to Ray Archie and Evelyn Marie (Higley) Hayden. He married Cathy May (McAfee) on August 17, 1984 in Hawaii and she survives.

Bob graduated from Catholic Central High School in 1947 and attended Grand Rapids Michigan Junior College. He was a U.S. Navy Veteran serving from 1947 to 1950 with the rank of Midshipman.  He was in the U.S. Navy Flight Program and was an Engineering Major in the naval program.

Bob was a member and former trustee of the First Reformed Church of Bluffton, a member of Big Brothers Big Sisters, and a former Boy Scout Leader. He was one of the founders of the Bluffton Chapter of Ducks Unlimited.  He was also a long-time member of and donor to D.U.

Bob had an extensive and impressive professional career; see attachments for incorporation into the obituary.

In addition to his wife, Bob is survived by two daughters, Kristina L. Hayden of Laguna Nigel, Calif., and Jennifer M. (Jason) Knudson of Collingswood, N.J.; three sons, Robert L. (Patricia) Hayden, Jr., of Flower Mound, Texas, Michael E. (Diane) Hayden of Fallbrook, Calif., and John E. (Andrea Hofer) Hayden of Weed, Calif.; a step-son, John M. (Jennifer) Langley, of New Haven, Ind.; a sister, Nancy M. (Jeff Donnelly) Wolcott of Miami Beach, Fla.; a brother, James J. (Kathleen) Hayden of Grandville, Mich.; 13 grandchildren, Brian Carter, Michael Hayden, Maria Hayden, James Hayden, Melissa (Scott) D’Avanzo, Matthew Hayden, Adam Hayden, Ana (Daniel) Aquirre, John Hayden, Jr., Zachary Hayden, Riley Hayden, Jacob Hayden, Vienna Knudson; two step-grandchildren, Landon Langley, Libby Langley; seven great-grandchildren, Isabella, Ashton, Emma, Brayden, Ava, Daniel, and Nolan.

In addition to his parents he is preceded in death by two sisters, Marilynn L. Martin – 2009, Doloros R. Johnson – 1987 and by a grandson, Ryan Hayden – 2009.

Calling hours are 2-8 p.m. Friday, May 10, 2013 at Thoma/Rich, Chaney & Lemler Funeral Home. Funeral service is at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, May 11, 2013 at the funeral home with calling one hour prior to service. Dr. Bryson Bell will officiate. 

Burial will be in the St. Paul Cemetery, Rockcreek Twp., Wells County. 

Preferred memorials are to the First Reformed Church. 

Online condolences may be made at