Funeral services for Dr. Ralph H. Hayden, 90, of Bowling Green were held on April 11, 2013 at the Mudd-Veach funeral home in Bowling Green with Glen Hickerson, of Louisiana, officiating. Internment will be at the Forest Grove Cemetery, in Canton, at a later date. It was Ralph’s wish to be cremated.
Ralph Hayden was born on June 27, 1922 in Chicago, Ill., the son of Mr. and Mrs. Earl Hayden. The family lived in Canton, where he spent his childhood and graduated from Canton High School. He attended college for two years at Missouri University, pursuing a degree in electrical engineering until World War II. During the war, Ralph gained a service record of 30 months as a bomber pilot in the European sector, and is credited with 35 heavy bomber missions over enemy territory, and was discharged with the rank of First Lieutenant. After the war, he continued his education at Culver Stockton College, where he received his B.A. degree in chemistry and his pre-medical education. Ralph graduated from the Osteopathic College at Kirksville, and spent his internship in the Carson City Hospital at Carson City, Mich.
Dr. Hayden chose the Bowling Green area to establish his practice because of the “friendly spirit of the people and the progressive atmosphere of the city”. Soon an office and residence were built at 519 West Main Street in Bowling Green, and a 27-year practice began. At this time, Dr. Hayden met and employed Marian Dewey as his medical assistant and she soon became his wife and business partner for 53 years. The couple provided loving health care for residents of Pike County and the surrounding area with a “pay what you can afford” attitude. House calls to patients’ homes were made when a person was too sick to come to the office, and were “just part of the job”. Ralph loved getting to know the people he treated and had fond memories of his patients.
In his spare time, Dr. Hayden loved to hunt, fish, and work on the family farm. He and Ted Shanks grew up together, and Ralph’s love of wildlife inspired Ted. Ralph restored old cemetery headstones in the area for a number of years.
Dr. Hayden held a life membership in the Atlas Club, a professional fraternal organization for Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons and was a member of the Phi Sigma Alpha, national honorary professional organization. He was also a member of Eastern Star and the Masons.
Dr. Hayden was preceded in death by his parents and sister, Isabel Inlow. He is survived by his wife, Marian, his aunt, Wanda Hedgecock , and several nieces and nephews.
Serving as honorary pallbears were Jim Malone, Joe Crane, Bill Unsell, Karl Dewey III, Tom Wallace, and Richard Walraven.
Memorials may be made to the donor’s choice.