Alton F. “Sonny”, “Shorty” Hayden, 88, passed away surrounded by his family on Sept. 30 at the Sussman House in Rockport. Alton was born Nov. 17, 1928 in Randolph, Mass. to Alton F. and Georgianna Butler Hayden.
His adventures began at the age of 16 when he went to New Orleans with a friend who was discharged from the Army after WWII. He worked on a tug boat hauling oil from the gulf or goods up and down the Mississippi River. In a short time he became the captain. If not for being drafted during the Korean War, he probably would have stayed there because of his love for the job. He was a part of an elite Regimental Combat Team in the Army that trained for one year and spent one year in Korea. After his discharge from the Army he somehow made his way to Maine, cutting wood and eventually to Friendship where he worked local wharfs for several years. He was a jack of all trades.
He loved to tell his stories of his life adventures (there were many). If you knew him long enough, you would hear them several times. It gave him pleasure to share his stories.
He and his wife Barb were known to frequent several local restaurants for lunch, especially Reunion Station in Damariscotta.
Shorty had a strong work ethic, generally working more than one job at a time in order to provide for his family. He made sure his family was provided for, even if that meant only a couple of hours’ sleep before starting his day all over again.
Shorty’s favorite sport was stock car racing. He could be seen in the early 1970s racing every weekend at Wiscasset Speedway. He was a member of the VFW Post 3095.
He was predeceased by parents, Alton and Georgianna Hayden; granddaughters, Robynn Hayden and Tara Lynn Rahkonen; mother- and father-in-law, Ruby and Ralph Turner.
Alton is survived by his wife of 32 years, Barbara; children, Larry Hayden and wife Denise, Robert Hayden, Cindy Rahkonen and husband Donald, and Tammy Brooks and husband Quentin; the mother to his children, Lorraine Mank Hayden; grandchildren, Jesse Hayden, Janelle Appling, Preston Hayden, Hillary Bolton, Aimee Roderiques, Meaghan Hayden Thornton, Adam York, Heather Rahkonen, Rebekah Hilt, Keagan Hilt, and Kyle Simmons; 22 great-grandchildren; sisters, Roberta Hayden, and Sharon O’Neil; sisters-in-law, Linda Linscott, and Alice Turner; brother-in-laws, Ralph Turner Jr., and Richard Turner; longtime friends, Roger Mank; and the Wyman family.
Donations may be made in Alton’s name to the Word of Life Church, 41 Old Route 1, Waldoboro, ME 04572.
Friends are welcome to join the family for a time of visitation from 5-7 p.m., Wed., Oct. 4 at the Hall Funeral Home, 949 Main St., Waldoboro. The service to celebrate Shorty’s life will be held at 10 a.m., Thurs., Oct. 5 at the Maine Veteran’s Cemetery, 163 Mt. Vernon Rd., Augusta, with Pastor Tom Rawley officiating.
You can share condolences at www.hallfuneralhomes.com.
Arrangements are entrusted to the Hall Funeral Home and Cremation Service, 949 Main St., Waldoboro.