Dave Hayden, a nearly life-long resident of the Gardner area, was named grand marshall of the Johnson County Fair Parade.
Hayden was born in March of 1946 in Gardner, Kansas. He has lived most of his life on the farm homesteaded by his great grandfather, George C. Hayden in 1858. He attended the one-room school in Antioch through the eighth grade and then went to Gardner High School graduating in 1963.
He joined the U.S. Air Force in 1965and married in 1969. He and wife Lynda lived for a short time in Wichita and returned to Gardner in 1972. He worked for King Radio at the time and soon started his own avionics business, Kings Avionics, with a partner.
Dave lost his father in 1976 and along with his avionics business began farming with his mom to keep the farm alive. In 1980 Dave and Lynda built a new home on the homestead and expanded the farming operation. They raised their six children on the farm. All helped with the farming and chores.
Dave is a 32nd degree Mason and a member of Gardner Lodge No. 65 as was his father and great- grandfather. He currently serves as secretary having been the Master in 2001 and the District Deputy Grand Master in 2006-2007. He is also a member of the Shrine and when asked flies children to 3 different hospitals for treatment. The Gardner Lodge is very active in the community. Dave worked for many years with the “Catch A Ride” program to help people get to doctor appointments in the area. The lodge is currently involved in the Child Identification Program “CHIPS” to to aid the police when searching for abducted children. They have purchased several computers and equipment and volunteer their time at many community events including the Jo Co Free Fair. It is a free service. They also sponsor many students to band camp as well as an essay contest each year with the winner receiving a scholarship. They also donate to the Gardner Food Pantry and Mayor’s Christmas tree fund.
He is the president of the Gardner Airport Commission. He earned his pilot’s license there in 1964. He owns a Cessna 185 and Piper J3 Cub and is also Lear Jet rated. He and the volunteer board manage and maintain 98 hangars as well as maintenance on the runways, ramps, and grounds. They also installed a self-serve gas system. Gardner can be very proud to have one of the nicest “little” airports in the country. They host many aviation events yearly adding revenue to the city.
He is one of the founding members of the Gardner Rotary. He works with the foreign exchange student program. He helps choose the outgoing and placing the incoming students. He and Lynda hosted a Japanese student who has become very close to them and will always be part of their family.
He helps to promote agriculture in the area by serving with the Jo Co Farm Bureau. He also serves on the Miami County Planning Commission and has for the past 15 years.
He is still working full time a Kings Avionics and continues to farm.