Alice C. Hayden of Bridger passed away early Tuesday morning, May 27, 2014 at Cedar wood Villa in Red Lodge, of pancreatic cancer. Alice was 87 years old. Alice was born in Hardin, on Jan. 26, 1927. She was the youngest of four children of Neva A. and Gerald F. Corwin. Alice grew up on the family homestead near Hardin and the Bair sheep ranch in the Martinsdale area, where her father was a partner and manager.
Her family moved to Billings in 1936. Alice attended school at Garfield and Lincoln, graduating from Billings Senior High. She attended Cottey College in Nevada, Mo., and then returned to Montana to attend MSU. She graduated in 1950 with a degree in home economics. Later, she added library credentials from EMC. Alice married Willard Hayden on Dec. 30, 1951 in Billings. They began their marriage in Wibaux County, and then moved to the Clarks Fork Valley in 1954.
Alice raised her family of four children here, all of them graduating from Bridger High School. Mrs. Hayden was a home economics teacher in Baker, Bridger, Belfry, Fromberg, and Hinsdale. She worked in school libraries in Fromberg and Joliet. In addition, she spent 8 years as a librarian in the bush country of Alaska on the upper Yukon River. Alice also served as librarian for the Bridger Public Library and was instrumental in establishing interlibrary loans, county library budgets, and bookmobile service. Alice was active in community organizations including United Methodist Women and Eastern Star. Alice was Worthy Matron of Alice Chapter, O.E.S. in Fromberg. She also served as a 4-H leader and county 4-H judge. After her retirement from work in Alaska, “Grammie” moved to Wisconsin to be near her twin grand daughters. Here she was able to devote time to her many hobbies of reading, quilting, walking, gardening, and knitting. She was also active in several bridge clubs. Alice was instrumental in founding Chapter EK- P.E.O. in Sun Prairie, Wis.
Alice returned to Bridger in 2006 and spent her final years on the family farm south of Bridger. Alice was preceded in death by her parents, a brother Fred who died in infancy before Alice was born, a sister Kathryn who was struck by a car, her brother Gerald A. and her former husband, Willard Hayden. Alice is survived by her four children: Judy (Keith) Gardenier of Marshall, Wis.; Dean (Theresa) of Covington, Wash.; Alan (Sylvia) of Kennewick, Wash.; John of the family farm; 6 grand children: Audree, Josh, and Kaitlyn; Becky and Lindsay Gardenier; Eric; and 2 great grandchildren: Casen and Ryker. In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting donations be made to the Bridger Public Library.
Visitation will be held Saturday, July 12 at 9:30 a.m. at the Bridger United Methodist Church followed by a memorial service at 10:30. A lunch will be served at the Bridger Senior Center following the service.