Hayden C. Hayden, grandson of Tempe’s founder Charles Trumbull Hayden and longtime owner and manager of the Hayden Flour Mill in downtown Tempe, died Tuesday at his home. He was 83.
Hayden, nephew of the late Sen. Carl Hayden of Tempe, who spent 57 years in the United States Congress, served 1964-68 on the Tempe City Council.
Wounded three times as an Army serviceman in Okinawa in World War II, Hayden later was adjutant to the commanding officer of the Sugamo Prison in Japan where he was responsible for scheduling and witnessing the execution of Japanese war criminals, including its infamous chief of staff, Hedeki Tojo.
Known by his Tempe friends as "The General," Hayden grew up working around the family’s flour mill, once the state’s oldest continuously operated business until it permanently closed in March 1998. For decades, he traveled the state doing sales work for the mill and managed it until 1991, a decade after the mill was sold to Bay States Milling.
"He was a war hero," said John Moeur, former Tempe mayor and retired nursery owner, who noted, "When he ran Hayden Mill, I used to sell grain to him. That was back in the days when I raised barley."
Born May 26, 1922, into the pioneer family, Hayden was given the first name of his grandfather, but when his mother, Mary Mapes Hayden, sister of Carl Hayden, divorced her husband, he also took her last name, thus Hayden Hayden.
"He and Tempe go together," said Don Liem, a longtime friend who will deliver a eulogy at Hayden’s funeral on Friday. "He was a funloving, dedicated man. He was very communityminded. Everybody respected him, everybody looked up to him."
Hayden joined the Tempe Diablos civic organization about 1970, served as its president and ran what was called "Diablos School for New Members," replete in no-nonsense training and indoctrination.
"He was a funny, irascible guy who really represented the Old West spirit of Tempe that has been kind of drowned out by all the new people who have moved in," said Michael Monti, owner of Monti’s La Casa Vieja Restaurant, on the site of the birthplace of Carl Hayden. "He was the old time, the old way."
Peggy Burton, first director of the Tempe Historical Society Museum, said Hayden donated many valuable early Tempe artifacts.
"He would go out of his way for restoring and preserving the history," she said. Whenever a citizen would donate something large for the museum, Burton called the flour mill and "Hayden was the lifesaver. He would send the mill’s men and truck up to pick it up," she said.
Services are tentatively set for 9:30 a.m. Friday at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Church, 2121 S. Rural Road, Tempe. Visitation at Carr-Tenney Mortuary, 2621 S. Rural Road, is pending.
Hayden is survived by his wife of 54 years, Betty; three children, Catherine Hayden, Sallie Bianco and Carl Hayden; seven grandchildren; and a brother, Larry, of Tucson.