Ruth L. Hayward

January 25, 1924April 24, 2021

Ruth Leone Hoffmann Hayward, a proud Wisconsin ski bum who adopted Colorado to marry a Colorado high country fisherman and to ski above timberline, died on 24 April after 97 years of living life to serve others while experiencing fulfillment, passion, and joy. She was a humble saint, defining those two words which are often used though not fully appreciated.

Ruth was born 25 January 1924 in Campbellsport, Wisconsin to Dr. Leo Hoffmann and Lilly Froeling Hoffmann. She and her 5 siblings enjoyed all the small village had to offer: boating, fishing, and swimming the area lakes, sledding the hills, and playing in the open back yards for wild fun without causing trouble. She often rode along with her physician/father on house calls to farms around the village. Ruth and her siblings learned the importance of community living through the '30s depression, the war and the natural challenges of early 1900's life in a small town.

Ruth graduated from Marquette University in 1946 with a bachelor's degree in Nursing. She and fellow nurses decided to go to Colorado for skiing and nursing jobs. She met husband-to-be, Robert Hayward on a blind date ice skating at Washington Park under sparkling stars on a below-zero night. They celebrated their 70th Wedding Anniversary with immediate family September 2019, fittingly at Washington Park next to the warming house on the lake where they met. Ruth and Bob enjoyed the outdoors in summer and winter in the spectacular Rocky Mountains. She taught her 5 children to enjoy these outdoors as well as teaching them endless possibilities of life and, equally important, independence/service/humility.

Ruth bore 6 children: Bruce {1951), Daniel {1953), a still born son (1955), Gregory (1957), Philip (1959) and Terese (1963). Besides lovingly guiding and caring for us, she helped with our many school and extracurricular activities. She taught us life skills including the importance of a spiritual life; she instilled in us Christ-like values to be part of our daily lives, as they were in hers. She excelled in community and church leadership rolls including Cub Scout Den Mother, running church blood drives for decades, leader of Parish Council and PTA president, singing in the Lourdes choir, and volunteering as junior high PE teacher.

Ruth was physically active enjoying tennis, hiking, cross-county skiing, walking and running. She loved to ride her bike to activities, on errands, and to church. Riding continued into her 80’s. In her 60's she medaled in 9 summer or winter ‘Rocky Mountain Region’ and in a sprint event at the US National Senior Olympics in St. Louis. She was adept at cooking and baking; for years all our bread was home-made using local wheat that she ground at home. There were always at least 15 types of cookies for Christmas and homemade caramel­ corn for Halloween (in the days when that was allowed).

Ruth and Bob continued living in the family home, though with some help the past few years. Ruth's short-term memory began slipping around 2000 but this did not dampen her zest for life and helping others. She continued to laugh, reminisce, and find the positive spark in others.

A stroke on 17 April with subsequent decline in physical condition took her from us and propelled her into heaven on 24 April.

Ruth was preceded in death by her parents, Dr. Leo Hoffmann and Lilly Froeling Hoffmann, her stepmother, Malinda (Lindy) Haak Hoffmann, her siblings Art (Marcella (Sally)& Louise). H. Jane (Sam & Geno), W.C. Phil (Gloria & Jane), and Math (Helena who is still living).

Ruth is survived by Robert, her husband of 71.5 years, sister M. Ann (Cliff, deceased), sister-in-law Helena, sons Bruce (Lori),Daniel, Gregory (Patricia), and Philip (Yayoi) and daughter Terese (David); grandchildren Amy (Clint) Cowperthwaite, Kristie (Rob) Ferree, Matthew Hayward, Philip (Danielle) Hayward, and Isaac (Mary) Hayward; great-grandchildren Ben and Abbie Cowperthwaite, Alyssa and Kaylee Ferree, Lucy Hayward and Milo Hayward. There are also numerous nieces and nephews both living and deceased.

Arrangements are through Olinger Hampden Mortuary, 8600 E. Hampden, Denver, Co [google “Ruth Hayward Obituary” will locate

A rosary/vigil will be on Wednesday, 5 May at 7:00pm: Our Lady of Lourdes church (2298 S. Logan, Denver) – Masks required

The funeral Mass will be on Thursday 6 May at 1030 am with viewing prior (9:30am) at Our Lady of Lourdes church (2298 S. Logan, Denver) – Masks Required

Reception immediately following funeral Mass at Our Lady of Lourdes church (2298 S. Logan, Denver) – Masks Required

Private Family Internment will be Thursday, 6 May at 2:15pm and Fort Logan National Cemetery. Flowers for the services can be sent to Our Lady of Lourdes church church (2298 S. Logan, Denver) In lieu of flowers contributions can be made to:

Colorado Alzheimer's Association: (Bob and Ruth attended the support groups a LOT):

The Cute Syndrome Foundation: (Honoring Ruth’s nursing, passion for children, and great grand-daughter)

Children Hospital Colorado, Center for Cancer & Blood Disorders: (Honoring Ruth’s pediatric nursing) and-blood-disorders/

Denver Catholic Charities: (Bob and Ruth consistently supported social justice work by the Church)

A more extensive remembrance can be seen on the Facebook page for Pat Hayward .


  • Robert (Bob) D. Hayward, Husband
  • Bruce T. Hayward (Lori Rosdahl Hayward), Son
  • Karen L. Hayward, Daughter-in-law
  • Amy Hayward Cowperthwaite (Clint Cowperthwaite), Granddaughter
  • Ben Cowperthwaite, Great Grandson
  • Abbie Cowperthwaite, Great Granddaughter
  • Kristie Hayward Ferree (Rob Ferree), Granddaughter
  • Alyssa Ferree, Great Granddaughter
  • Kaylee Ferree, Great Granddaughter
  • Matt Hayward, Grandson
  • Daniel L. Hayward, Son
  • Gregory D. Hayward (Patricia Hurd Hayward), Son
  • Philip Hayward (Danielle Pol Hayward), Grandson
  • Lucy Hayward, Great Granddaughter
  • Isaac Hayward (Mary Kolowski Hayward), Grandson
  • Milo Hayward, Great Grandson
  • Philip L. Hayward (Yayoi Sasaguri), Son
  • Terese M. Hayward (David Thorp), Daughter

  • Bruce T. Hayward, Pallbearer
  • Daniel L. Hayward, Pallbearer
  • Gregory D. Hayward, Pallbearer
  • Philip L. Hayward, Pallbearer
  • Matt Hayward, Pallbearer
  • Isaac Hayward, Pallbearer


  • Visitation

    Wednesday, May 5, 2021

  • Rosary Service

    Wednesday, May 5, 2021

  • Visitation

    Thursday, May 6, 2021

  • Funeral Mass

    Thursday, May 6, 2021

  • Reception

    Thursday, May 6, 2021

  • Committal Service

    Thursday, May 6, 2021


Ruth L. Hayward

have a memory or condolence to add?

Phil Hayward

April 28, 2021

Sent: Saturday, April 24, 2021 1:00 PM
From: Philip Hayward
Subject: My Mom's last day
How does one relay the news of a loved-one's passing?
Hoping to celebrate a life, while also mourning.
Not easy when its your mother, the one who birthed, nurtured and encouraged you, who  acknowledged the triumphs, tolerated the errors and whims of her 5 young ones,so actively involved in the social fabric of church, school, sports, scouts, outdoors,
always giving, giving, enjoying the satisfaction and fulfillment of raising our family in the milieu of life in Denver,CO;

She exemplified a continuous loving presence, jovial attitude,
thrift when needed along with hard work, piety and tradition.
A daughter, sibling, friend, wife, mother, aunt, grandmother, great-grandmother; a life of solid sensibility, she remains a steadfast presence in my life, in many lives..
Always, smiling, caring, positive in spirit; that was my mom.
Its quite a difficult thought to have her gone. She passed early this morning.

She was mobile and cognizant on most levels up to so near her seemingly painless last breath,having remained in the family home I grew up in, until suffering a massive stroke this last week.
My dad, at 99 still resides in their home. Please keep him in your thoughts too.
The family gathering in Sept 2019 for my parent's 70th wed anniv was fortuitous to precede the pandemic year and was my last time being with mom.

 There's such a volume of memories of her which makes it overwhelming to think it might actually have had an ending.
But end it must, dust-to-dust. Raise a glass to her life, with me.

Remembering  her good natured "Still Kickin" response to how-are-you query,   her often repeated questions and phrases the last few years, coupled with tunes stuck in her mind,
 I remember her so often whistling an old one, with the line
"Dont they know, its the end of the world- it ended when you said goodbye"
Bye Mom!     I'm sure your spirit is still kickin!

Aloha nui loa

Eloise Bienvenu

April 28, 2021

My name is Eloise Weber Bienvenu and I'm from West Covina, CA.
Ruth and I grew up together on Martin Street in Campbellsport, WI. We spent 8 years at St. Matthew School and then 4 years at Campbellsport High School. After High School graduation in May, 1942, we went our separate ways, but always kept in contact with each other. There were many 5 year class reunions when we were able to catch up on our lives. I was fortunate enough to have been able to visit with the Haywards several times. It was always great to get together and reminisce about the past. We had many fun times growing up. One of my most memorable incidents was the time we went swimming in a nearby lake. I really could not swim, and I accidentally stepped into some very deep water and was struggling, but Ruth came and pulled me to safety--a real life saver! My heart is grieving; I have lost a life-long friend. May she rest in peace.
My sincere sympathy to Bob and all the Hayward Family.

Colleen Costello

April 27, 2021

I have known this wonderful family for decades. Mrs. Hayward, I and other parishioner clean the church together every six weeks. It was called the Franciscan Circle. This is how our friendship began. I can honestly say, I never heard nor known Mrs. Hayward ever speak badly towards anyone. She was devoted to her faith, family and husband. As the saying goes,” You can preach a better sermon with your life than with your lips “ and indeed this is exactly what Mrs. Hayward did. Family friend ~Colleen