She walked with her God and now her God is walking with her.
Victoria Anne McIntosh Hayden was born May 17, 1919, and entered the next phase of life, the eternal phase, Oct. 30, 2017. There are 98 years in between those two dates and they were filled to overflowing with her joy.
Somewhere along her teenage years, Victoria became “Tordie” and was known by that name for the rest of her life, but she did love to tell you that her father John McIntosh was from Prince Edward Island, Canada, and she was named for Queen Victoria of England.
Tordie was the fourth of eight children of John McIntosh and Eunice Baldwin McIntosh. She was born in Bishop, Calif., and the family moved to Huntington Beach, Calif., where she graduated from high school and then attended Bible Institute of Los Angeles (now known as BIOLA). She married James Rife Hayden (Jim) Sept. 22, 1940, in Santa Ana, Calif. Jim and Tordie spent the early years of their marriage in ministry with The Navigators, an international Christian organization that Jim co-founded with Dawson Trotman. Trotman encouraged them to pray about getting married and following their decision to do so paid for their wedding ring which was beyond their pre-WWII budget.
Within weeks of their marriage, they moved to San Diego, where they operated the first Navigator Servicemen’s Home, offering military men a place to talk and eat and enjoy recreation and grow in their Christian faith — a home away from home. During this time, Fred Joel and Linda Louise were born. In 1945, they moved to Pasadena, Calif., to fulfill different responsibilities in the ministry, and during that time Ruth Anne, John William and Paul Everett were born. Lifelong friends and memories were made during this period of their lives.
In 1951, Jim and Tordie moved to Santa Ana, Calif. Tordie was the consummate “mom.” She served in the PTA, typed reports for school assignments, attended all school activities, cooked all the meals (no fast food restaurants back then), sewed the girls’ clothes, cleaned the house and also exposed them all to her love of music, sports and games. She made corn fritters without corn for Ruth; baloney sandwiches without butter for Linda. She made chocolate chip cookies that Fred would sneak and put into his own private cookie jar. In fact, her grandchildren and sons-in-law often snuck their own cookies. There was even singing on occasion at the dinner table and always singing in the car on road trips.
During those years of raising their family, Jim and Tordie were involved in many church ministries, and so their children grew up surrounded by people of faith. Tordie played the piano and sang. She taught children’s church for many years and those children, now parents and grandparents, still fondly mention what they learned from her and what a role model she (unknowingly) was. She was also involved with the national organization of Christian Women’s Clubs, serving in many board positions. After retirement she became an inspirational speaker for the organization.
The children grew up and established their own lives. Fred married Fran; Linda married David Crites; Ruth married Ron Hancock (long standing family members of the Oak Harbor Fire Department); Dr. John Hayden married Nancy; and Dr. Paul Hayden married Terri. Tordie has 15 grandchildren, 21 great-grandchildren and three great-great-grandchildren. She is survived by three of her siblings; sister Juna married Dr. Richard Davies, her sister Sarah married Dr. Kenneth Ogden and brother Arthur McIntosh married Maryland. Preceding Victoria’s homecoming were brothers John McIntosh (married to Genevieve), Fred McIntosh (married Peggy) and Gladstone (married to another Genevieve) and her big sister Nellie McIntosh who married Robert Hoisington (“Huz”).
Tordie and Jim’s retirement years were spent in Oak Harbor. They joined Family Bible Church in Oak Harbor and attended for the rest of their lives. Jim moved on to heaven in March of 2009 and Tordie was thankful for the 69 years of marriage they had but sure wished they could have reached 70! At the age of 96, she moved into an apartment at Harbor Towers and in the spring of 2017 she began her residence at Regency, continuing to play the piano daily, being gracious and smiling and appreciative to all. Mom and the family grew to appreciate the special “ministry” and hearts of these exceptional care givers.
Tordie’s oldest son Fred and his wife Fran moved to Whidbey Island to be available to help during Jim and Tordie’s older years, and they, as well as daughter Ruth and her husband Ron Hancock, 50-year residents of Oak Harbor, made sure they were well cared for.
Tordie left a trail of joy everywhere she went, and her smile, sparkling eyes and her delight of just being alive were a hallmark of who she was. Her grandson Dr. Michael Crites said his impression was that when his grandma entered a room everyone got happier, and he imagines that when she entered heaven that “the party just got louder.”
There will be a celebration of Tordie’s life at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 20 at Family Bible Church.