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Sixth Generation


142. John HADEN110 was born on 7 February 1921 in Ladonia, Fannin County, Texas.172 He served in the military in 1942 in World War II (Marines Air Corps).68 He served in the military in 1950 in Korean War (Marines Air Corps).68 John died on 12 October 2010 at the age of 89 in Texas.

John was a very special person. He was interested in family and shared much with me in my endeavors to trace the Haden family. The Hadens were not generally a "close" family and did not always stay in touch with each other. John's family with two sons and a daughter, and my own with two sons and a daughter, were alike in many ways, including the fact that we were close-knit and proud of our family relationships. Both John, and my husband Don, had married, and moved away from their respective families to raise their own children. They were both hard-working, gentle, kind men, who left a never-to-be-forgetten legacy to their children and grandchildren. John had a definite influence on his nephew Don - the love of airplanes and flying and the dedication to their families was a part of that influence.

John graduated from Ladonia High School in the Class of 1938; May 30, 1947 Ladonia News.

Ladonia News; Friday, Sep 15, 1939: John Haden is visiting his grandparents Mr. and Mrs. Joe Haden, for a few days before returning to Austin where he will continue his studies in the University.

Ladonia News; Friday, Jan 4, 1940: Ben Ed Fry and John Haden left Tuesday for Austin where they will resume their work at the State University.

Ladonia News; Friday, Dec 11, 1942.
Lorino-Haden Rites Performed At Houston
The marriage of Miss Classy Merle Lorino, daughter of Mr. & Mrs. A. B. Lorino, to Lt. John Haden, Marine Air Corps, was solemnized Sunday at 8:30 pm at the First Christian Church, with Dr. Harry G. Knowles officiating. The groom is the son of Mr. & Mrs. Robert C. Haden of Springdale, Ark. and Ladonia, Texas.
....Mrs. E. H. Weinberg, attended her sister as maid of honor ...and the bridesmaids [were] Mrs. John Kinser and Miss Betty Bayne White of San Antonio.
...Lt. John Norton served as best man.
...The bride received her college education at the University of Texas, where she was a junior, and the groom was graduated from the University of Texas in June. He was a pledge of Kappa Alpha fraternity, president of Prather Hall and vice president of both the CAA and Breckenridge Hall. They will live in Corpus Christi, where the groom received his commission Friday and is now stationed temporarily. ------Houston Chronicle.

Ladonia News: Friday Dec 11, 1942.
John Haden Wins Coveted Medal
John Haden, son of Mr. & Mrs. R. C. Haden, Ladonia, recently was awarded the coveted "Navy Wings of Gold" and commissioned 2nd Lieut. in the U.S. Marine Corps at the Naval Air Training Center, Corpus Christi.
Lieut. Haden received his wings with the designation of a Naval Aviator from Rear Admiral E. A. Montgomery, USN, Commandant of the training center, at an impressive class graduation ceremony.
Haden volunteered for flight training in March, 1942, and received preliminary instructions at the US Naval Aviation Base, Dallas. Upon successful completion of this training he was transferred to Corpus Christi for intermediate and advanced training at the "University of the Air" the world's largest naval aviation training center.
In addition to flight instruction, Haden completed a thorough ground school course, including navigation, radio code, gunnery, and bombing theory, communications, and other aeronautical subjects. He is a former student of the University of Texas.

World War II and Korean Was Veteran. Captain in U.S. M.C. Fighter Pilot. Was shot down and injured during WWII. Received Distinguished Flying Cross "For heroism and extraordinary achievement in aerial flight as Pilot of a Plane in Marine Fighter Squadron 214 during operations against enemy aggressor forces in Korea on 6 October 1951. Responding to an urgent call for close air support when friendly ground forces were subjected to concentrated fire from a hostile battalion command post and four heavily defended artillery emplacements, Captain Haden skillfully led his flight over hazardous terrain to the target area in reduced visibility and initiated a series of daring attacks against the enemy. Despite intense hostile automatic-weapons fire, he continued to press determined bombing, napalm and strafing assaults, inflicting many casualties on the enemy and destroying the command post together with the artillery pieces. By his courage, skilled airmanship and devotion to duty, Captain Haden struck a damaging blow to the enemy and upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service." For the President, C. S. Thomas, Sect of the Navy.

Listed in World War II Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard Casualties, 1941-45, on Ancestry.com.
Wounded. Texas. p.65
HADEN, John, Captain, USMCR. Wife, Mrs. Merle L. Haden, 1406 Hyde Park, Houston.

John's mother Audrey wrote several notes on pads identified as being from Wichita Falls in the early 1960's when John's parents were living with John and Merle there. One of the notepads has the heading:
The Steck Company
John Haden, Representative
Wichita Falls, Texas
Lithographing - Printing - Office Equipment


John Haden (1921 - 2010)
 John Haden, 89, passed away Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2010, at a local health care facility. Funeral: 11:30 a.m. Monday in Dallas-Fort Worth National Cemetery 2000 Mountain Creek Parkway, Dallas. Father Carl Schilken of St. John the Apostle Catholic Church will officiate. Attendees must be in the proper lane at the cemetery by 11:15 a.m. Visitation: 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday at Lucas Funeral Home, 1321 Precinct Line Road, Hurst. John's grandsons will serve as bearers of his casket. While attending the University of Texas, where he graduated with a BBA in 1942, he was introduced to his two loves, his wife, Merle Lorino, and the airplane. His intention of becoming an attorney was radically changed after attending his first air show. Upon graduation, he was commissioned in the Navy as a student naval aviation pilot. Two days after his commissioning he was married. John transferred into the Marine Corps where he flew a variety of aircraft ranging from the N2S Stearman to the F7F Tigercat. His favorite airplane, which he flew during World War II, was the F4U Corsair. John distinguished himself in combat while stationed in Okinawa and received the Air Medal as well as a Presidential Unit Citation for his service and airmanship during the war. Recalled into active duty during the Korean War, John was known as "Pappy Haden" and served in the famed Black Sheep Squadron (VMF-214). He was at home again in the cockpit and at the controls of an F4U Corsair. He was awarded the Gold Star in lieu of a second Air Medal and also received the Distinguished Flying Cross for his airmanship and heroism while assigned to the Black Sheep Squadron in Korea. After the Korean War John returned home to raise his family and pursue a career in the printing business. His love for flying never ended and in the mid '60s he returned to the air. This time he was piloting a Cessna 172 which enabled him to expand his sales territory while advancing his sales career. He continued to fly for many happy years with his co-pilot, his wife, Merle, who accompanied him on many of his flights. John and his wife of nearly 69 years attended St. John the Apostle Catholic church in North Richland Hills. He and his wife worked tireless hours at the Fort Worth Convention Center concession stands to help retire the church's construction fund debt. Throughout his life he served in numerous church-affiliated organizations providing a variety of services to the church. John was a wonderful father, husband and friend. He was very active in all aspects of his children's lives. He is especially remembered for his "do as I do" mentoring skills. He was an extraordinary role model to those who knew him. His legacy will live on through the lives of his children, grandchildren and great- grandchildren. John's battles did not end in Korea. During his later years he fought a long and arduous battle with esophageal cancer. John's wife and family extend our heartfelt eternal gratitude to the numerous physicians, nurses, technicians, therapists and allied staff members who were instrumental in extending John's life an additional six years. Particularly we offer our thanks to Dr. Haraish K. Dhingra and Pat, RN; Dr. Stephen S. Ferney and Louise, RN; Dr. Randall Davis; Dr. A.J. Dubey; Dr. J. Steven Burdick and Candice; Dr. Gary L. Jones and Wanda as well as Dr. Don Johnston. Special recognition also goes to the staff at Parkwood Healthcare Community in Bedford and lastly to Vitas Hospice. You have all been a gift to John and his family. John was preceded in death by a son, John Maurice Haden. Survivors: His wife of 68 years, Merle Haden; son, Tom Haden and wife, Beth; daughter, Mary Ann Steffek and husband, John Charles; grandchildren, Haden Anthony Steffeck and wife, Courtney, John Logan Steffeck, John Richard Haden and wife, Julie, Joseph Thomas Haden and wife, Gloria, Davis Anthony Haden and wife, Krisin, and Rita Jane Haden; great-grandchildren, Austin Matthew Steffeck, Jacqueline Elizabeth Steffeck, Kelsey Renee Haden, Nathalie Shey Haden, Grant Haden, Bret Haden, Megan Haden and Madison Haden; daughter-in-law, Linda Haden; sister-in-law, Jean Haden; and many nieces, nephews, cousins and extended family.
Published in Star-Telegram, Fort Worth, Texas, on October 15, 2010


The following was written by John's son Jack when John developed esophageal cancer, and the outlook appeared uncertain. However, Jack died four years before his father did. Jack's son, Tony, read the following at John's service:

A little over 50 years ago, my great grandfather, our great grandfather died in the little town of Ladonia.  A few months after his passing our grandfather was walking down the street and he overheard some of the men saying, “There goes Old Man Haden”. 
Instinctually, he turned to see if his Dad was shuffling down the street behind him, only to realize that he was now “Old Man Haden” 
Well, on ------------- I became “Old Man Haden”.  This is a great honor that I hope to wear well for a long, long time.  It’s an honor mainly because it was given to me by a real good guy; a man you have come today to honor and celebrate, a man who’s life was well lived and we thank you for joining us here today. 
Now, most of you knew my dad as John, but he was a man of many names and many lives and as we celebrate his live I want to remember him in a manner that many of you may have not known.  
By the way sit back and get comfortable, because I am not famous for short stories, and a life as well lived, as Dad’s deserves more than just a moment or two. 
To you, he was John, to me he was Dad, to Tom and Mary Ann, Daddy, to his grandkids he was and always will be Pappy, but he started and ended his life as Johnny.  Johnny was probably the first and last words he recognized on this earth.  The two most important women in his life, his mother and my mother, always called him Johnny. 
Very few people called him Johnny after he grew up.  There is a small special group of people here today who brought Mary Ann, Tom and I secret pleasure every time they called him “Uncle Johnny”, our cousins – thank you for coming – we knew you’d be here. 
After high school, Johnny went off to college at the university in Austin, a town 10 or 20 times larger than Ladonia.  It had everything: streetcars, skyscrapers, elevators, towers, and the state capitol, even a stadium with seats on both sides of the field.  Every where he looked and everything he saw cause him to say, “Mercy, look at that.”  And with that, Johnny became “Mercy” at the University of Texas. 
With the war, Mercy became Haden as in Cadet Haden, Lt. Haden, and finally Capt. Haden, until one Monday afternoon when at the ripe old age of 23 he became a father, my father and picked up a new nickname that would become his call sign, “Pappy”.  From that day forward his squadron mates, fellow pilots, even his commanders called him Pappy. 
When the war was won and the heroics history, Pappy came home and did the most heroic thing he ever did in his life, he put away the uniforms, the flight suits, the medals and memorabilia and he put on a suit, became John, the man most of you knew, and went to work raising a family. 
 Now, we all know that Dad loved being a fighter pilot, he loved flying, he loved the camaraderie of the Marine Corps, but he loved us more – so he did what most of you in his generation did – he went out, found a job and got to work. 
I personally think that John did a great job with his work and with us, well 2 out of 3 ain’t bad and I finally came around myself, didn’t I? 
About that time we began having kids of our own and Pappy was reborn with a brand new band of comrades a squadron of grandkids and now great grandkids.  To almost all them, he was Pappy, except for Tom’s kids, Joe and John to whom he was always, to his delight, “Pappy My Man”. 
So, to you and the rest of the world, he was mainly John, not a bad name, it’s mine and Logan’s, and John Richard’s.  As most of you know, Jack is a nickname for John, which Mom & Dad bestowed on me in an effort to avoid the Big John, Little John thing and as it turns out Jack was also the name of Dad’s boyhood dog, so I am doubly honored today to stand before you as both the namesake of my father and of his first real companion.  
By the way, we’ve dropped the tradition of naming our children after our dogs after we named our childhood dog, Mugsy; I’m sure much to the relief of Haden and Logan, John Richard and Joe, Tony and Rita; and more importantly to Kristin, Courtney, Gloria, and Julie, who I doubt would have probably ever even gone out with a boy named Mugsy. 
So, there you have it, a short story of your friend John, who –
I like to think – that at the moment I was becoming “Old Man Haden” was walking through the Pearly Gates of Heaven where God looked up from his God book and smiled and said, “Mercy, welcome home; let’s sit and chat a bit about a life well lived.”

John HADEN and Classy Merle LORINO were married on 6 December 1942 in Houston, Harris County, Texas.68,110 Classy Merle LORINO, daughter of Anthony Bernard "Tony" LORINO and Ivy DUNBAR, was born on 29 April 1921.68 She died on 25 April 2011 at the age of 89 in Texas.

Published in Star-Telegram [Fort Worth] on April 27, 2011
Merle Haden, 90, passed away Monday, April 25, 2011, at a local care facility. Funeral Mass: 10 a.m. Friday at St. John the Apostle Catholic Church, 7341 Glenview Drive, North Richland Hills. The Rev. Father Karl Schilken will officiate. Interment: 11:15 a.m. Monday in Dallas-Fort Worth National Cemetery. Visitation: The family will receive friends 6 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Lucas Funeral Home in Hurst, with recitation of the holy rosary at 7:45 p.m. Merle's grandsons will serve as bearers of her casket. Merle will celebrate her 91st birthday in heaven on April 29, with her husband, John, who passed away Oct. 12, 2010. Merle Lorino was born in Houston in 1920. She attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she met the love of her life, John Haden. They were married Dec. 6, 1942. She and John shared 68 wonderful years of marriage. They had three children, Jack, Tom and Mary Ann. Merle and John reared their children in a home filled with love and laughter. God blessed their family immensely and He was at the center of their lives. Merle and John were members of St. John the Apostle Catholic Church. Early on, she and John worked many tireless hours at the Fort Worth Convention Center concession stands to raise money to help retire the church's construction fund debt. Merle attended daily Mass faithfully for as many years as her health would permit. Merle worked as a real estate sales agent for more than 20 years in the Hurst-Euless-Bedford area. She enjoyed her work tremendously, and it showed. She earned numerous awards, recognitions and sales spiff trips. She and John were always ready to depart for a new destination. Merle also had a passion for duplicate bridge. She played bridge two to three times a week during her retirement years. She had many friends and partners at various bridge parties she attended. When her health began to fail, her friends told her they were always holding a place for her at the tables. Merle was a wonderful wife, mother, grandmother, friend and mentor. She has positively influenced the lives of those who knew her. She will be missed. Merle spent the past year at Parkwood Health Care Community Center in Bedford - the first six months as a daily visitor providing comfort to her husband, the past six months as a resident. Merle's family extends our heartfelt gratitude to the administration and staff of Parkwood for their extraordinary care, genuine concern and constant outpouring of love. Merle was preceded in death by her husband, John, and a son, Jack. Survivors: Her son, Tom Haden and wife, Beth; daughter, Mary Ann Steffek and husband, John; daughter-in-law, Linda Haden; grandchildren, John Haden and wife, Julie, Joseph Haden and wife, Gloria, Haden Steffek and wife, Courtney, Logan Steffek, Tony Haden and wife, Kristin, and Jane Haden; great-grandchildren, Kelsey Haden, Nathalie Haden, Austin Steffek, Jacqueline Steffek, Grant Haden, Bret Haden, Megan Haden and Madison Haden; brother, Bernard Lorino; sister-in-law, Jean Haden; and many nieces, nephews, cousins and extended family members.

John HADEN and Classy Merle LORINO had the following children:

+203

i.

John Maurice "Jack" HADEN.

+204

ii.

Thomas Allen "Tommy" HADEN.

+205

iii.

Mary Ann HADEN.