Leonard K. Hayden of Sandhollow, passed away at his home, with his family and old buddy Oly by his side on May 18, 2011.
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Memorial services will be held at 11 a.m., Tuesday, May 24, at Sand Hollow Baptist Church, 29627 Old Hwy. 30, Caldwell. Inurnment will follow at Park View Cemetery, New Plymouth.
Services and arrangements are under the direction of Shaffer Jensen Memory Chapel, New Plymouth. Condolences may be made to Leonard's family at www.shaffer-jensenchapel.com.
Leonard was born Aug. 19, 1934, to Ollie and James Hayden at St. Lukes Hospital, Boise. A 4-pound premie, Dad started life like he lived it…the hard way.
Dad attended elementary school in Middleton, then high school in Caldwell. He always had a cool set of wheels, his favorite being his baby blue customized 1940 Chevrolet. He would cruise the streets from Caldwell to Homedale, racing cars and chasing pretty girls. It was decided one night while hanging out at the In and Out Drive In, after a fight with their girlfriends, that Dad and his best friend Oly would join the US Navy the next morning, and they did.
After the service Dad and Oly worked for Boeing in Seattle, but Dad hated the rain so back to Idaho he came. He learned to fly airplanes, raced stock cars and lived life to the fullest.
While working for Van Gas in Nampa he met and married Judy Martin.
Dad went to work for Hershey Foods where he became one of the top salesmen in the Northwest, making the largest sale ever to Albertson's grocery and was awarded a trip to Hershey, Penn.
On Jan. 28, 1968, Leonard and Judy had a little girl and named her Lisa, but he called her Gump.
As their families grew Oly and Dad's friendship continued with Oly's annual trips to Idaho for our 4th of July celebrations.
Dad got into farming in the Sandhollow area with the encouragement of his father-in-law, Tom Martin. He became very successful in the Leaf Cutter Bee business, in Idaho and Washington.
Leonard and Judy divorced. After Judy's death in 1984 Dad found himself raising a teenage daughter on his own. Dad did the best he could and was always original; it was the two of them taking on the world.
Our small family grew to include a son-in-law, Darin, and three grandchildren, Kaitlyn, Maddie, and Kole. Dad loved hanging out with the kids … telling Navy stories with Kole, watching Kaitlyn ride the horses, and long talks about his adventures with Maddie. He said everyday how proud he was of them.
Leonard had two daughters. Tracy Lynn Howe, who also gave him two grandsons, Brady and Colby Warfield, and two great-granddaughters, Mikaila and McKinley, was born Sept. 6, 1962. Dad enjoyed telling people he was a great-grandpa.
Dad worked hard for his family and never met a stranger… but when he did he usually gave them a job. He was always wheeling and dealing and loved to help anyone down on their luck.
He was preceded in death by his mom, Ollie Grindstaff and his father, James Hayden, Sr.
Published in Idaho Press Tribune on May 22, 2011