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Former Vice President E.L. Hayden, 1926-2014

CLEVELAND, March 3 — E.L. (Billy) Hayden Jr., former International Vice President of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers, passed away on February 27, 2014. He was 87 years old. Brother Hayden was first elected Vice President at the Brotherhood’s 1986 convention and then reelected in 1991.

Brother Hayden began his railroad career — which spanned over 50 years — in 1944 as a fireman for the Illinois Central Railroad in Paducah, Ky. He left the railroad during World War II to serve in the U.S. Army in the South Pacific from 1944-1946. Following his tour of duty, he resumed his railroad career with the Illinois Central. He went firing in May of 1956 and earned promotion to locomotive engineer in January of 1959.

Brother Hayden joined BLET Division 762 (Memphis, Tenn.) in 1960 and immediately became actively involved in the union. In 1963, he was elected Local Chairman of his Division. In 1965, he was elected to also serve as First Vice Chairman of the Illinois Central General Committee of Adjustment. He held both offices until he was elected General Chairman in 1976. He was reelected to three terms as General Chairman.

In August of 1986, Brother Haden was elected International Vice President at the Brotherhood’s Fourth Quinquennial Convention, and was reelected at the Fifth Quinquennial Convention in 1991. Brother Hayden received a 20-year BLET membership pin in 1981, and was presented with a 25-year pin by President Robert E. Delaney in 1986. He retired effective July 17, 1996.

Brother Hayden is survived by: wife of 54 years, Margie; daughters Julie Hayden Meadows (Mark); Dr. Jane Hayden; Kate Hayden Marconi (Jim); son Bill Hayden (Laurel); and eight grandchildren (Madeline, Maria, Marc Anthony, Brooks, Madison, Hayden, Jack and Beau).

He was born in Paducah, Ky., on April 11, 1926 to Edgar (Linny) and Myrtle Hayden. Brother Hayden was a graduate of St. Mary''''s Academy in Paducah where he was captain of the basketball team. He was an excellent athlete and loved to play and watch all sports. Following his retirement, Brother Hayden was an avid reader and enjoyed spending time with his grandchildren. He was a lifelong University of Kentucky basketball fan and was a member of the Knights of Columbus.

Visitation will be held today from 5-7 p.m. at Collierville Funeral Home (http:// www.colliervillefuneral.com), Collierville, Tenn., with rosary starting at 7 p.m. A funeral Mass will be held on Tuesday, March 4, at 10 a.m. at Church of the Incarnation in Collierville. In lieu of flowers, the family request that a donation be made to Catholic Charities or a charity of your choice.

“Brother Hayden touched the lives of countless railroad families during his 52 years in the industry,” BLET National Dennis R. Pierce said. “He was a natural leader among the men and women of our Organization and will be remembered fondly for his dedication and willingness to help members in need. On behalf of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen, I extend deepest sympathies to Margie and the entire Hayden family.”

Monday, March 03, 2014
bentley@ble-t.org

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