Robert Lawrence "Bob" Hayden, 83, of Bluffton, IN, and having ties to Huntington, IN, died Tuesday, May 7, 2013, at 1:25 a.m. at his home.
Mr. Hayden retired in 2001 as the first director of the Huntington County Economic Development Corporation.
He graduated from Catholic Central High School in 1947, attended Grand Rapids (MI) Junior College and served in the United Sates Navy from 1947 to 1950. He worked in administrative positions for Kroger and Peyton's Northern from 1950 to 1984; was president, CEO and director of Fisher Foods from 1984 to 1987; and was CEO of Buckeye Pizza Group from 1987 to 1993. He helped develop the Wells County Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development corporations.
He was a member of the First Reformed Church of Bluffton, a mentor with Big Brothers/Big Sisters, a former Boy Scout leader and a founder of the Bluffton chapter of Ducks Unlimited.
He was born Oct. 29, 1929, in Grand Rapids, MI, to Ray Archie and Evelyn Marie Higley Hayden. He married Cathy May McAfee on Aug. 17, 1984 in Hawaii; she survives.
Additional survivors include two daughters, Kristina L. Hayden, of Laguna Niguel, CA, and Jennifer M. (Jason) Knudson, of Collingswood, NJ; three sons, Robert L. (Patricia) Hayden Jr., of Flower Mound, TX; Michael E. (Diane) Hayden, of Fallbrook, CA; and John E. Hayden, of Weed, CA; a stepson, John M. (Jennifer) Langley, of New Haven; a sister, Nancy M. Wolcott, of Miami Beach, FL; a brother, James J. (Kathleen) Hayden, of Grandville, MI; 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 Hayde, and Vienna Knudson; two step-grandchildren, Landon Langley, and Libby Langley; and seven great-grandchildren.
Calling is Friday, May 10, 2013, from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Thoma/Rich, Chaney & Lemler Funeral Home, 308 W. Washington St., Bluffton. A service will be held at the funeral home on Saturday, May 11, 2013, at 10:30 a.m., with Dr. Bryson Bell officiating. Burial will be at St. Paul Cemetery, Rockcreek Township, Wells County.
Memorial gifts may be made to the First Reformed Church of Bluffton.