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Pauline Hayden Celebration of Life


Pauline, Christmas baby born 1929, in St. Louis MO to Julius & Adline Turner. She was one of five children; Clara, Doris, Julius (Buddy), June and a half sister Juanita. Growing up, Pauline was known as the “Little Match Girl” nickname earned for her readiness to light the coal that warmed the home. She always had a nurturing, but, make no mistake, strong spirit. Education was very important to the Turner family. Pauline was educated through SLPS system, attending Riddick Elementary & Sumner High school. She especially liked math (checks, division, algebra etc…).

After high school she enrolled into St. Joseph School of Nursing in Alton IL, where her strength prevailed as a pioneer being the first & sole black in the RN program. Pauline committed to her training, beginning her professional career. Pauline started work in the 1950’s at City Hospital #1 in St. Louis, MO. She met various health challenges and thrived in her career. Through her life travels she met & married James W. Hayden Sr. They were a good match. Both raised in the Catholic Faith attending church regularly at the St. Louis Cathedral Basilica & St. Alphonsus Rock. Her husband (known as Speedy) would later nickname her: Turner, That Turner Woman, Boss Lady etc….. because of her strong character. Their loving union was blessed with two children: James W. Hayden Jr.(Ez) and Stephanie Hayden (Deeps). Pauline was a beautiful Mother keeping her Family in step. She made holidays, especially Christmases, a true wonderland for her children. She modeled education as a person and stressed it within the home regularly assigning; math problems, reading books, knowing current events etc… She’d say “the TV better stay off” (checking the surface temperature by hand). Family connections were top priority. She made sure her children knew who their relatives were seemingly from coast to coast. Pauline was a true giver and loved expressing her joy with others. She hand made delicious treats, such as: cakes, pies, gift bags (from 20 – 50 or more), care packages etc…. for those around her. Some were caught off guard by the genuine expression from her heart (especially today). She shot down any attempts of public recognition. She wore the Gold when it came to Family and displayed many acts of kindness to others including moral support.

Pauline acted like a trained defense attorney when it came to wrong doing and discrimination. She never waited for mainstream society to catch up with black rights. When grooming her kids she kept a container of brown paint available to shade dolls fitting with black families. She once wrote a letter to Mattel Toy CO asking why all their dolls were white when black families buy a great share of their products? Mattel CO responded to her concerns and later flew her to their Chicago headquarters for a round table meeting with the board. Pauline stood firm on her position representing the importance of cultural identity. Eventually Mattel’s production of black dolls began to trickle into the market. She saw and influenced social change.

Pauline continued her professional path gravitating back to school enrolling in Maryville University St. Louis, MO for her BSN. She found her niche working amongst the Seriously Mentally Ill (SMI) population. Afterwards, she gained employment with Metropolitan Psychiatrist Center (MPC) in St. Louis, MO where after years of service finally retired in 2008. Reflecting her long road of service, her Husband gifted her with a Life Time Membership from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). Perfect for a strong black woman who held the torch for the cause (again refusing public recognition). She was, and is, the embodiment of a gift. As sad as her passing has been, it has been the gift of her presence, which is still felt today, and will be felt throughout eternity, that has kept us going. Sure others feel the same. When we say that someone has “passed on,” it is usually meant in the sense of their transition between the realms of life. I think what we often miss is the exchange of passing on. With Pauline’s birth, God sent an angel to live among us, and when this angel passed, they passed on things that we will live with forever. It is not an absolute loss, because we have gained so much from her time here with us. Pauline expressed such love, faith, care, and warm welcoming embrace that it has filled multiple lives and provided the fuel for many joyous occasions. She was always doing things for others, giving to others, caring for others, thinking about others, in a way that others often could not believe. How could one person be so kind? How could an individual have so much to give, without any expectation of reciprocation? How could a woman who grew up on Evans in the rough city of St. Louis grow to show such compassion and love for people? Sometimes it is hard to believe in angels, because their light is so bright it blinds the sight. But the warmth of the light is clearly felt, and Pauline’s bright, brilliant life has touched so many, that anyone can attest she was the “Real Deal.” Pauline passed away by natural causes December 6, 2023 at the age of 93 years old. She leaves to celebrate her life: a son, James W. Hayden Jr.; daughter, Stephanie Hayden; sister, June Mc Cann; sister-in-law, Cozetta Huff; nieces, Cheryl Nappier, Angela McCann, Gina Smith, and Charlotte Lawton; grandkids, Shea P. Walker, Stephfon H. Hayden, and Tonya A. Hayden; a great-granddaughter, Maya Walker; and a host of other Family & Friends. She was preceded in death by her devoted husband of over 50 yrs Dr. James W. Hayden DDS; parents, Mr. & Mrs Julius & Adline Turner; sisters, Clara McCrary, Dr. Doris Turner; and brother, Julius Turner. Though she’ll be greatly missed, God had her boarding pass ready and called her up. This time we wave goodbye, forever cherishing the memories. Love You Always Mother!


21809 S. Ellsworth Rd

Queen Creek AZ 85142


7900 E. MAIN Street

MESA AZ 85207

“For God so loved the world…….” John 3:16