ROCHESTER - Donald O. Hayden, longtime resident of Rochester, WWII Navy veteran, and retired Allstate Insurance agent, died on March 19 at his Rochester home. He was 90 years old.Donald was preceded in death by his parents, his wife Mildred, and his brothers Harlan and Byron.Donald was born to Edvard and Racine Hayden on July 14, 1919, in Crosby, Minnesota, and moved to Rochester with his parents and older brothers, Harlan and Byron, in 1926.Don was a graduate of Rochester High School and married Mildred Lehman in 1937. They lived in Kenosha and Milwaukee, Wisconsin, from 1938 until 1944, during which time Don worked for Spic and Span Cleaners. During these years, daughters Rochelle and Sandra were born. When he was drafted in 1944, the family returned to Rochester, and Don went to serve in the U.S. Navy on Guam until his discharge in 1946.The next 13 years were spent in St. Charles, where he and Mildred ran a successful dry cleaning business, Excel Cleaners. The business was sold in 1960, and the family returned to Rochester. From then until his retirement in 1984, he was an insurance agent for Allstate Insurance Company.Don's favorite pastimes were summer fishing trips to northern Minnesota with family and relatives, traveling to Hawaii, and tending to his yard and garden. He enjoyed playing cards and meeting and talking to friends, acquaintances, clients and even people he didn't know. In later years he greatly enjoyed his role as grandfather and great-grandfather.Donald is survived by his daughters, Rochelle Tudor of Minneapolis and Sandra Erickson of St. Paul; grandchildren, Jason (Amy) Tudor, Kirsten Simning, and Sara (Nick Vogenthaler) Erickson; great-grandchildren, Sam and Isabelle Tudor, Emme and Caroline Simning, and Natalie and Miles Vogenthaler; and nieces and nephews.A gathering to remember and celebrate Don's life will be on Friday, March 26, at Ranfranz and Vine Funeral Home, beginning at 11 a.m.Memorials preferred to the Rochester Senior Center, the American Legion, or the VFW.
There are no events scheduled.
My family always thought highly of Don and we had much fun over the years with Don sticking his head in the door of our office and putting his hands together (Allstate symbol) and saying nothing.
I got back at him by putting a magnetic State Farm sticker on his bumper when he was in Dels.
He helped raise wonderful children. Yes,,,I remember you Sandy.
My deepest sympathy goes to Don's family. Don was my insurance agent (and friend) for the 15 years I lived in Rochester (1964 to 1979).
We will always remember what good friends Don and Babe were to our parents; Lester and Alfrieda; always there to help out whenever and wherever needed. And whenever I would see Don, he would say "And there is my best friend's son"
Don has been a huge part of our family and neighbor through the years. He will be greatly missed.