August 24, 1926 – August 6, 2022
Earle passed away peacefully in his sleep in the early morning of August 6, 2022. He was just shy of his 96th birthday. His warmth and love will be deeply missed by his daughter Sandi Merriman, daughter Pat Burke & husband Dan Gresley-Jones, son Terry Hayden & wife Pat, eight grandchildren, nine great grandchildren, and numerous nieces and nephews. He adored them and they all thought the world of him.
He was predeceased by his wife Joyce, on March 7, 2009; they had just celebrated sixty years of marriage.
Earle was born in Nokomis, Saskatchewan on August 24, 1926, the sixth of seven children of Warren and Bertha Hayden, and was the last to pass away. He spent his early years in Nokomis until the family moved to the homestead north of Choiceland in 1934.
Earle met Joyce at a country dance and married her a year later, on February 11, 1949, in the midst of the year’s worst winter blizzard. They worked hard over the next few years trying to make a living in northern Saskatchewan and British Columbia.
In 1953, Joyce’s brother, Neil Johnston, convinced them to come to the Yukon where there was lots of work. The beauty of the North captivated both of them and, except for twelve years in the Okanagan and Haida Gwaii, they lived the rest of their lives in Whitehorse.
Earle had a love of driving and was first employed by John MacIsaac Construction, whom he often spoke of very highly. He spent 25 years with Keno Hill and Cassiar Asbestos, and made many lifelong friends on the road. When he “retired” from trucking he enjoyed work as a parts person, bus driver, and all-around handy man. His grandkids thought his garage was his “house”.
Earle was an avid outdoor person and in his early years he and Joyce spent many weekends at the family cabin on Marsh Lake and later exploring the Yukon, Alaska and BC via truck and camper and various holiday trailers.
Earle originally didn’t have much of an urge to travel but Joyce convinced him to try trips to Hawaii and Mexico, to get away from the cold and dark of the Yukon Decembers. After returning from one such trip he was asked by a friend if he missed the snow at Christmas, Earle replied, “Yes, and I hope I miss it again next year.” He had been bitten by the travel bug and after Joyce’s passing, spent many winter days in Arizona, visiting Sandi and Pat in the Okanagan, and even went on a big holiday to Italy with Terry, Pat, and family.
Summertime however was devoted to his huge passion of motorcycle riding. He was a Director in the Yukon Chapter of the Gold Wing Riders Association, where he met many of his close riding friends. He transformed his early love of cars (owned over 50 different ones) to motorcycles, owning and riding quite a variety of cruiser and touring models. His favourite was his 1982 Honda Goldwing, followed closely by his 2012 brilliant blue Spyder which proudly bore a licence plate of “Gramps”. The Spyder extended his riding time and by the time he had stopped riding in his early 90’s he had put well over 70,000 km on it on a variety of trips, including the Top of the World highway with son Terry.
When not riding, Earle enjoyed talking about riding with his coffee friends, especially his Friday coffee buddies, Frank Schwertner and Carl Maguire. In addition, he kept his mind sharp with daily cross word puzzles and rousing games of crib with who ever would play with him, including online.
Earle readily adopted new technology such as a smart phone, smart TV and laptop for games, social media, facetime and streaming movies, especially old westerns.
After living with Terry and Pat for 10 years in an in-law suite, Earle moved to Thomson Centre in July, 2021. He said “it exceeded his expectations” as the staff were so kind and helpful and the food so delicious. However, he did arrange for family to bring in a steady supply of cooked bacon to “enhance” his regular breakfast.
Always known to be eager to offer a helping hand, a big bowl of ice cream, a sympathetic ear or provide a dry humour quip, Earle /Dad /Pops /Papa /Gramps /Uncle /Friend will be sorely missed.
The Whitehorse United Church was always important to Earle (and Joyce), so it is fitting that is where his farewell service will be held.
PLEASE JOIN THE FAMILY IN CELEBRATING THE LIFE OF EARLE HAYDEN, 1:30 PM, AUGUST 23RD AT THE WHITEHORSE UNITED CHURCH.
A reception downstairs will follow the ceremony.
In lieu of flowers, a memorial donation may be made in Earle’s name to the United Church or a charity of your choice.
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