FARMINGTON – On May 9, 2022, Vannie joined her beloved husband and oldest son in Heaven. Throughout her final months, she was continually surrounded by her devoted children.
She was born in Blaine, Maine, on February 11, 1933, the third of the seven children of Harold and Ella Kinney. She attended school in Presque Isle. During high school, she met the love of her life, R. Richard (“Dick”) Hayden. They married on April 5, 1950. They quickly moved south, to their forever home, in Dryden, Maine, to raise their own family of seven children.
They established themselves as active members of the Dryden Baptist Church. Vannie acted as the Treasurer and also played the organ for worship services, remaining a member of the church for over 65 years. She loved to sing and had performed on the radio with her sisters when they were children. She passed on her love of music through the generations. It gave her great joy that many of her children and grand-children play instruments and are worship leaders. Vannie and Dick performed at weddings, many family affairs, and performed special music at several area churches, where they sometimes included one of their children. Vannie continued to sing after Dick’s passing, but she mostly loved to sing with him. We are sure they are singing together again right now.
Family was always her primary focus. When her children were young, Sundays were always Family Day, which included church, a large meal, and a long car ride, usually to the family camp in Madrid. Afternoons were spent having coffee and playing cards with her friends, family, and ladies’ group. She was generous with her time and enjoyed a good cup of coffee while visiting with a friend or loved one. She was an excellent listener and gave wonderful hugs. She remained close with her siblings and was a favorite Aunt. She adored her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, preferring time with family over everything else.
Vannie was active in the community. She sat on the Board of Directors of an area business that serves those with special needs. She began working outside the home in the 70s, then became sole owner of Hayden Bros Shoe in the 90s.
Vannie loved to travel and made numerous road trips to Northern Maine & Canada, as well as Texas, Florida, Virginia, and Pennsylvania to visit family. She and Dick had sponsored an Exchange Student; Vannie stayed in touch with her and attended her wedding in Germany. She had a zest for life & adventure.
Vannie was a multi-talented artisan; she drew, designed and built items, and wove baskets. She redid the interior of her home, painting, wall-papering and also exposing hard-wood on the floors, cabinets, and stairs. It was a labor of love that she shared with some of her daughters. Being an excellent seamstress, Vannie designed her own and her childrens’ clothes. She loved to sew and would stay up through the night to complete her projects. She recreated fashion dresses for proms and weddings. She also designed and maintained her beautiful rock & flower garden for years. She passed on her artistic, sewing & gardening talents to her lineage and had two children follow her footsteps in art.
Remember Vannie as a beloved wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother (affectionately known as “Gi”), sister, aunt, and friend. Her lineage includes her seven children, fifteen grandchildren, and 24 great-grandchildren. She was preceded by her husband, Ralph Richard Hayden (“Dick”); son, Ralph Richard, Jr (“Rick”); grandson, Jonathan Eger; and great-granddaughter, Danielle Ranger. She is survived by her daughters Vicki Geis (Doug, deceased), Debbie Eger, and Becky Toothaker (Butch), all of Wilton; Michelle Hayden Curtis (Ren) of PA; daughter-in-law Caryn (wife of Rick); and sons Jim (Judy) of VA and Harold of TX.
Her family would like to thank the dedicated nurses and CNAs of Orchard Park and give a special thanks to her pastor, David Zamboni, for his dedication to Vannie and his support of the family. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made in her name to the Dryden Baptist Church.
Celebration of Life services will held Thursday, May 12 at 2 pm from the Dryden Baptist Church, Depot Street, Dryden. Relatives and friends are invited to call from 12 pm until the time of services. Interment will follow at Lakeview Cemetery, followed by light refreshments at Wilton Lions Community Building, 364 Main St., Wilton. Memories and a memorial video may be shared in her Book of Memories at www.wilesrc.com. Funeral services are being cared for and provided by the Wiles Remembrance Center of Farmington.