Proud lifetime Kansan Alberta Hayden passed away peacefully in her lovely apartment on March 1, 2019.
Alberta Inman Rice was born June 30, 1917 in Russell County, Kansas to Arthur Rice and Hannah Inman Rice, the sixth of eight children. The Rice family moved to a sod house in Wallace County, KS on October 29, 1929, the day the Stock Market crashed. The family’s dream of a nice frame house was never to be realized, but Alberta was a proud member of “The Sons and Daughters of the Soddies.”
Alberta was an excellent student, but hard times in the Dirty Thirties limited her formal education to eight years. That education included spending the night of March 26, 1931 in her Wallace County school house due to a fierce and famous blizzard.
During her teenage years in The Dirty Thirties, Alberta suffered from dust pneumonia, a condition that left her weak the rest of her life. However, it probably contributed to her longevity due to her lifelong motto, “never give up.”
William B. (Bill) Hayden, Jr. and Alberta were married in Goodland, KS on April 22, 1942. They lived on the farmstead they built in Southwest Sherman County for 53 years. Alberta loved agriculture and the rural life. She was a meticulous housekeeper of her beautiful home, and loved sharing the beauty of her flower garden and the bounty of her vegetable garden with others. She delighted in serving meals from food that was 100% produced on their farm.
Alberta loved entertaining and socializing. Her home was the site of many large family gatherings. Alberta belonged to two local ladies clubs and a garden club. She & Bill hosted the first neighborhood Fourth of July picnic and fireworks, a tradition that rotated among the various neighborhood hosts for over thirty years. Alberta also helped organize a neighborhood card club. She was secretary of the Sherman County Century Families for 13 years.
Alberta was a member of the Goodland United Methodist Church, UMW Circle III, and the Methodist Quilters. She especially enjoyed the fact that five generations of women in the family worshipped in the Goodland Church: Hannah Rice, Alberta, Gaylene Shank, Tiffany Musil, and Hannah Jones.
Bill and Alberta pulled a travel trailer and spent eighteen winter vacations in southern states. They enjoyed their new friends and learning about each other’s home cultures.
In 1995, the Haydens moved from their farm in to Goodland, KS. Bill passed away in 1998, and Alberta continued living in what she fondly referred to as “her lovely apartment.”
Alberta was preceded in death by her husband, her parents, and her siblings, Chester Rice, Ellen Ahrens, Katherine Krause, Pansy Downtain, Dorothy Horton, Florence Rice, and Joseph (Jiggs) Rice.
She is survived by son Ben Hayden (Billy) of Norman, daughter Gaylene Shank (Dennis) of Goodland, granddaughter Tiffany Musil (Casey) of Louisburg, grandson Cade Shank of Wichita, great-grandchildren Megan Scott of Hays, Hannah Jones and Zachary Musil of Louisburg, sister-in-law Vida Rice of Middleton, ID, and many nieces and nephews, most of whom spent wonderful times on the farm.