Den­ver so­cialite, fundraiser Adri­enne Hay­den dies at 102

The Denver Post - - DENVER & THE WEST - By John Wen­zel

Adri­enne Hay­den, a fa­mil­iar face on Den­ver’s so­ci­ety and char­ity-fundrais­ing scene who served in the Women’s Army Corps dur­ing World War II, died peace­fully Wed­nes­day. She was 102.

Born April 28, 1915 at St. Luke’s Hos­pi­tal in Den­ver, Hay­den grad­u­ated from Mount Saint Gertrude’s Acad­emy’s Catholic board­ing school in Boul­der in 1934, ac­cord­ing to an obit­u­ary sub­mit­ted to The Den­ver Post.

“Dur­ing the De­pres­sion when I lived at Mount Saint Gertrude’s in Boul­der, I would say it was Sis­ter Mur­phy who gave me the courage and con­fi­dence to stay strong,” she told Black­tie Colorado in 2015 be­fore her 100th birthday, in re­sponse to a ques­tion about her great­est at­tribute. “If it’s just one thing, my good sense of hu­mor for sure!”

Hay­den stud­ied for a year at Parks School of Busi­ness in Den­ver and, in 1941, was one of the first women in Den­ver ac­cepted into what be­came the Women’s Army Corps.

As a tech sergeant, Hay­den was sent to Shreve­port, La., to serve in the WAC re­cruit­ing of­fice. She then trans­ferred to the Eighth Ser­vice Com­mand Re­cruit­ing of­fice, where she worked from 1942-46. Dur­ing the war, Hay­den lived in an apart­ment in the French Quar­ter of New Or­leans serv­ing in the army’s pub­lic re­la­tions re­cruit­ing.

She was later awarded the Le­gion of Merit Medal for out­stand­ing ser­vice, ac­cord­ing to the obit­u­ary.

Dur­ing her early years, Hay­den also worked for the Colorado State In­dus­trial Com­mis­sion and had an un­canny abil­ity to mem­o­rize ev­ery­one’s name, she told Black­tie Colorado. Hay­den called it a “life­sav­ing skill” that she used through­out her ca­reer.

As part of her mid-1940s work in New York City as an in­ter­na­tional beauty ex­pert — which lasted at the Charles of the Ritz cos­met­ics com­pany un­til about 1960 — Hay­den was sent to ev­ery state in the U.S. and around the world train­ing sales­women and ar­rang­ing pub­lic­ity in places such as South Amer­ica and Eng­land.

“I lived on the road for over 22 years in ho­tels,” she told Black­tie. “(I) didn’t have a chance to have a fam­ily. Too much time went by. … Friends be­came my fam­ily.”

In 1961, she moved to Den­ver to marry John B. Hay­den, a busi­ness­man who owned and op­er­ated a food dis­tri­bu­tion and ware­hous­ing busi­ness with a part­ner.

The Hay­dens be­longed to Cherry Hills Coun­try Club, Den­ver Club, Gar­den of the Gods Club and Metropoli­tan Club, while Adri­enne was ac­tive in many char­i­ties and fundrais­ing func­tions, in­clud­ing the Sal­va­tion Army, Red Cross, Cen­tral City Opera and Se­wall Child De­vel­op­ment Cen­ter.

Hay­den wanted to be re­mem­bered “as some­one who tried not to be a selfish per­son and liked to make peo­ple happy,” she told Black­tie. “Also, that I en­joyed giv­ing ad­vice and lis­ten­ing to peo­ple’s trou­bles be­cause I cared.”

Pre­ced­ing her in death was her hus­band of 31 years, John (Luke) Bern Hay­den; brother Capt. Og­den Kirk­land Strat­ton; mother Kather­ine Knight Kirk­land Strat­ton; grand­mother Nancy F. Kirk­land; aunts He­len A. Dede, Mar­ion K. West and Dorothy K. Morey; and fa­ther Bruce E. Strat­ton. Me­mo­rial ser­vices will be held in the Lit­tle Ivy Chapel at Fair­mount Mor­tu­ary at 11 a.m. Thurs­day.

A re­cep­tion will fol­low in the Fair­mount Wel­come Cen­ter.

Adri­enne Hay­den served in the Women’s Army Corps dur­ing World War II.

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