Military Honors to be presented to the family by the American Legion Post 254 of North Port, FL.
Michael Francis Hayden, 79, of Port Charlotte, Florida passed away peacefully at his home on Thursday, August 31, 2023, at his home in Port Charlotte.
He was born as the eldest son to Searles and Alice (Mahoney) Hayden on April 14, 1944, in Waterloo, Iowa. He was the first baby to receive the “Miracle Drug-Penicillin” at three months for whooping cough and pneumonia. Mike attended Sacred Heart grade school then onto new combined Columbus High School where he graduated in 1962. Mike enlisted in the U.S. Navy and graduated boot camp from San Diego, CA and the spent three years on the USS Kearsarge carrier VS 29 with tours to Hawaii, China, Japan, Philippines and the Bay of Tonkin off Vietnam. John Wayne (the actor) came aboard the ship to do a film “In Harms Way” and ate in the mess hall with all the sailors as well as signing autographs consequently making Mike a diehard fan of John Wayne for life. In May of 1963 the USS Kearsarge made the formation with their men during the Olympics and the 1964 Summer Olympics during the games. In May of 1963 the USS Kearsarge picked up the Orbital Flight 8 astronaut, Gordon Cooper. In 1964, Mike received the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal for Vietnam. Three months before his honorable discharge, he was married to his high school sweetheart, Kay Von Gillern, where they were known as Fonz and the Cheerleader. Upon completion of his military service, they moved back to Waterloo, Iowa where Mike was employed in his father’s business which began in 1949; Searles Hayden & Son Sign Company. He attended the University of Northern Iowa, completing two years of college through the G.I. bill. September of 1968, they moved to Omaha, NE to work for Globe Neon Company as well as attending an Engineering school where he completed his degree in May of 1973. Mike worked for GE inside sales for 5 years and then became manager of Lakeland Engineering Equipment company for the next 28 years. The following 12 years, they traveled exclusively and had a time share on Kauai, Hawaii for many years. They traveled to Europe in 2008 and visited Italy, Germany, France and England. Highlight of that trip for him was visiting Eagles’s Nest in Germany which was the summer home of Adolph Hitler…the same GE big motor which is used till this day to run Hitler’s brass and gold elevator. Mike’s favorites besides his family were remodeling and being a project man (one always in progress). Every home they owned was remodeled from top to bottom the sold. Mike was also a coach of Prairie Lane Little League softball teams as well as playing on three softball teams till he was 56 years old. He wore a shirt that said, “Give it to Mikey-He can do it.” Mike and Kay moved to many places over the years. They had celebrated 59 years of marriage and renewed their 50th anniversary on Kauai, Hawaii.
To this union were born three children Son – Christopher ( Kim) Hayden – Jacksonville FL Seth , Justine, Mitchell, Joshua & Alec Seth (Melanie) Hayden- Valley NE – Sam, Jaxson, Macy Jane Justine- Jacksonville FL – Mavin Mitchell, Alec – Jacksonville FL Joshua – Omaha- Laekyn; Dau- Mary Ellen Hayden – Punta Gorda, FL Alicia, Madison, Emily Alicia( Chris) Wilson, North Port FL- Brayden, Braxton & Braelyn Madison Lipsys – Port Charlotte, FL-Colton, Olivia Rose Emily; Dau- Shelly Hayden-Fitzgerald ( Ken) Coppell, TX Ashley & MacKenzie Ashley ( Nathan) Berman – Lexi & Cayden MacKenzie at home. Preceded in death by his grandparents Merle & Lillian Hayden; his parents Searles & Alice ( Mahoney) Hayden, niece Susan Chapman, brother Patrick Hayden. Survived by sisters- Karen ( Joe) Parriott-Omaha NE Kathleen ( Paul) Christensen – Waterloo IA Brother Thomas Hayden – Waterloo, IA Many cousins, nieces & nephews.
A Memorial Service will be held 11:00AM, Saturday, September 23, 2023, at Roberson Funeral Home Port Charlotte Chapel. Pastor Rich Webb of Faith life Church in Port Charlotte will be officiating followed by military honors by the American Legion Post 254 of Port Charlotte. Inurnment will be held at a later date at Sarasota National Cemetery, Sarasota, Florida.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Faith Life Church, 21090 Iliade Ave. Port Charlotte, FL 33952; Step up to life, 3125 Oak View Drive Omaha, ME 68144; Hope Center for Kids, 2200 N. 20th Street, Omaha, NE 68110 or Fresh Start for all Nations, P.O. Box 540373 Omaha, NE 68154.
Arrangements are by Roberson Funeral Home & Crematory Port Charlotte Chapel.