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Lewis ‘Lew’ Harrison Hayden Jr.

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February 8, 2011 | 3,820 views | Offer condolences

Lewis Harrison Hayden Jr., 73, of Pleasanton, Texas, passed away on Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2011, in San Antonio. He was born on Oct. 16, 1937.

Born in Maine, Lew was driven at an early age by passion and an innate curiosity of how things worked. These two qualities, coupled with an intense work ethic, drove Lew to entrepreneurial successes in many fields of business. An avid reader and active mind equipped Lew with all he needed to achieve and excel in any endeavor. All that have known him would describe him as the original “one of a kind.” He absolutely had no fear of failure, and was one to lead, not follow. One of his adventures led him to Texas. Carrying years of factory experience with the likes of Pan American, Norwock, and Dexter shoe companies, Lew hit the Lone Star State. He started the San Antonio Shoe Co. (SAS) with his longtime friend and partner, Terry Armstrong. Terry’s creativity and Lew’s savvy business sense provided the perfect one-two punch that launched SAS into one of the most successful and enduring shoe companies in the United States. It was from this San Antonio-based shoe company that Lew would expand upon his many business enterprises. His success was linked to the same qualities that he approached in every endeavor. He believed in passion, quality, attention to detail, customer service, integrity, honesty, and above all, commitment to the task. The formula worked for him whether it was cattle, wood, restaurants, real estate, or his true love, standard-bred trotter and pacer horse racing. It also was the measure for his latest ventures at Pleasanton Country Club and River Bend Golf Club.

His many successful businesses never changed his humble and simple lifestyle. He knew that it took many people for one triumph and was quick to acknowledge others. He was a leader and a giver. Lew never lingered in the limelight nor would he take credit for the many successes under his stewardship. He chose discretion over popularity and anonymity over fame, both in his professional and personal life. Those who knew him best would liken him to a protective grizzly bear with a golden heart. Our world has suffered a tremendous loss with Lew’s departure. Heaven must be in need because God has taken back one of His greatest creations.

Lew is survived by his daughters, Jan Ricks and husband Lee Ricks III of Pleasanton and Susan Hayden of Appleton, Wis.; and his sons, Jon Hayden and wife Olivia of Pleasanton, Jay Hayden and wife Maria of Del Rio, and Brett Hayden of Pleasanton. He is also survived by his sister, Jackie Lyon of Deltona, Fla.; his brother, Roger Hayden of Jay, Maine; eight grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews.

A visitation was held on Sunday, Feb. 6, from 2-8 p.m. in the Hurley Funeral Home in Pleasanton. The family received friends from 2-5 p.m. The funeral service was held on Monday at 10 a.m. in the Cowboy Fellowship Church near Pleasanton.

Interment followed in the Hayden Family Cemetery in Pleasanton.

Serving as pallbearers for the service were Harvey Aaron, Tim Bartosh, Gaylan Bryan, Brady Kinsel, John Mayse, and Joel McDaniel. Serving as honorary pallbearers were Mike Yanity, Ted Pietraskiewicz, Marion Duzich, Edward Villarreal, Dennis Byrd, and Jerry Lawson.

Memorials may be made to the Little School Restoration Project, P.O. Box 274, Easton, Maine 04740, or the Cowboy Fellowship Church, P.O. Box 68, Pleasanton, TX 78064.

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