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1940 Barbara 2024

Barbara J. Hayden

October 8, 1940 — March 7, 2024


 Please note: Visitation and service times have changed.

Barbara Jo Hayden, 83, of Sedalia, passed away Thursday, March 7, 2024 at her home.

Barbara Jo Hayden was born to parents  William Edward Dishman and Geraldyne Willina (Copenhaver ) Dishman in Warrensburg, MO. on October 8, 1940.

Barbara married the love of her life, Robert Dean Hayden (Bob), on November 19, 1960. Barbara’s father, Ed, wouldn’t grant permission for them to marry unless Bob had graduated.  Bob graduated from Finley Engineering College on November 18, and he and Barbara were married the next day at Northeast Presbyterian Church in Kansas City.  The two were married for 63 years, until Barbara’s passing last Thursday. 

Barbara and her sister Donnie spent parts of their childhood in Holden, MO. and Kansas City, MO. where Barbara and Bob first met as neighbors when they were 5 and 7.  After moving back to Holden for several years, Barbara and her family returned to Kansas City, again as neighbors to the Hayden family, where she attended Northeast High School as a baton twirling majorette when she was a junior.  After graduation, Barbara went to work for an Optometry office in downtown KC until she and Bob married. Bob began working at Lake City Ammunition and they soon bought a house in Raytown, MO.  Their first child, Cathy, was born in 1963 and then a son, Robert (Bobby) in 1966.  Barbara was pregnant with their third child when Bob got a job offer from Sierra Bullets in Santa Fe Springs, CA and they decided to move west.  In October 1969, they moved their growing family to Downey, CA. Their third child, Sally Ann, was born in early 1970.  

With 3 young children, Barbara became an active PTA mom, planning school events and fundraisers while cheering on the kids in various sports and gymnastics.  Barbara was a fantastic cook who baked sourdough bread weekly. Many neighborhood kids showed up at the Hayden home, following the enticing smell of the fresh baked bread.  Barbara wrote a wild game cookbook book called, “The Wild Gourmet” and was often asked to cook breakfast or dinner for high school service clubs, local fire and police department recognition days, and her kids athletic team parties.

Bob and Barbara founded Starline Brass in 1976 in West Covina, CA where Barbara ran the office and handled the accounting duties. In the late 80’s, Barbara became interested in local politics and decided to run for the Downey City Council at large seat which she won and then served as the Mayor of Downey as part of her term.  She also served on the Downey Planning Commission, The Cerritos College Board of Trustees and The Los Angeles Republican Central Committee, 54th District.  In 1992, Barbara decided not to run for re-election as the decision had been made to move Sierra Bullets and Starline Brass to Sedalia due to the increasingly difficult manufacturing climate in California.  

In Sedalia, the Hayden’s bought WoodDale Farm, built a new home and Barbara settled in as the CFO for Starline Brass, Inc. Barbara also served on the State Law Review Board and was thrilled to accept an appointment by the Governor as a Missouri State Fair Commissioner for nearly two decades. Barbara loved riding around on her golf cart at the fair greeting fair goers, judging competitions, and watching and learning from all the youngsters showing the animals they raised.  Barbara also loved supporting the fair foundation,  4-H and  FFA.  Barbara was an animal lover who contributed much to the local animal shelter, a horse rescue, and many other local charities.  Barbara was a friend to many and was always there to lend a helping hand.  Because of their servant’s hearts, the Hayden Freedom Foundation was created as a way to support the many charities Bob and Barbara were passionate about both now, and in the future. 

In 2015, Barbara received an Alzheimer’s diagnosis which she fought with passion, courage and grace until her earthly journey ended on the evening of March 7, 2024.  She will be lovingly remembered by her family, friends, and all who knew her.  

She is survived by her husband, Robert Hayden, sister, Donna Blair, daughter, Cathy van der Linden (Jim), son Robert Hayden(Kim), daughter Sally Hayden, 7 grandchildren, Sydney Johnson (Alex), Jack van der Linden (Makenzie),  Camren Hayden, Dylan Hayden, Madison Hayden, Hayden Altena, Samantha Altena, and 1 great granddaughter, Eleanor Johnson. 

In lieu of flowers, the Hayden family gratefully suggests contributions to the Hayden Freedom Foundation so that Barbara’s good works can endure.  Contributions can be mailed to the Hayden Freedom Foundation at 1300 W. Henry St., Sedalia, MO 65301 or made online at

The family will receive friends on Friday, March 15 from 4-6 pm at Broadway Presbyterian Church in the sanctuary.

A Memorial Service will be held on Saturday, March 16th at 2pm at Broadway Presbyterian Church, 209 W Broadway, Sedalia, MO 65301 with the Rev. Rob Hughes officiating.

The memorial service will be livestreamed on the Broadway Presbyterian Church Facebook page.

A private burial will be held.

Arrangements are in the care of Heckart Funeral Home.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Barbara J. Hayden, please visit our flower store.


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