In loving memory of Hayden Brian Dempsey, a vibrant soul who graced this world with his presence, we share the heartbreaking news of his untimely departure. Born on July 10, 2001 at 1:46pm, in Burnsville, MN, Hayden brought joy and warmth to those fortunate enough to know him. Tragically, on the evening of Tuesday, November 14, 2023, at the tender age of 22, Hayden lost his battle with mental illness, leaving a void that can never be filled.
Hayden was a young man of profound intellect, curiosity, and a zest for life that touched everyone he encountered. His ability to find beauty in the complexity of the world was truly remarkable. A quote that resonated deeply with him, by the renowned astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, encapsulates Hayden's perspective on life: "The universe is under no obligation to make sense to you." This sentiment mirrored Hayden's own understanding that life, like the cosmos, is a tapestry of unpredictable events, each contributing to the intricate fabric of our existence.
Hayden's love for knowledge was boundless, and he approached every challenge with a tenacity that inspired those around him. His passion for learning was infectious, encouraging those close to him to embrace the beauty of curiosity. Hayden spent the majority of his formative years in Burnsville schools. In his last two years of high school, driven by a deep-seated passion for environmental stewardship and a fresh community, he transitioned to The School of Environmental Studies in Apple Valley, Minnesota. He graduated with one of the highest honors, Magna Cum Laude, which reflected both his academic excellence and his dedication to creating a better future. At the time of his untimely departure, Hayden was actively pursuing his education at Normandale Community College with plans to transfer to a University and pursue a focus on either Environmental or Electrical Engineering. His insatiable curiosity led him to explore various fields of study, especially in mathematics, science, astronomy, and the environment. A common thread through all of it, whether it was tutoring kids in mathematics or dreaming of creating a more sustainable world for the future, was an unwavering desire to contribute meaningfully to the world around him.
Hayden was a gentle and compassionate spirit. His unmatched capacity for empathy extended not only to fellow humans but also embraced the needs of animals, making him a source of support and safety for all in need. You could have these deep talks with him or just crack a joke, and he'd always bring this incredibly deep philosophical vibe to any conversation. Amidst his complexity, he also possessed this dry sense of humor and minimalist wit that would catch you off guard, and it was the kind that stuck with you. Hayden's empathy extended well beyond his immediate circle, driving a passionate commitment to advocate for and support the oppressed through tangible actions for social justice. In his dreams, he even had this idea of building a duck sanctuary. That was Hayden, always thinking about everyone, human or otherwise.
Hayden was known for his eclectic interests and was never confined to a single realm. From athletics to academics to the arts, he did it all. Hayden was involved in baseball, basketball, football, student council, band, choir, math masters, swing dancing, boy scouts, and was even a certified scuba diver (recently traveling to Honduras to dive in the ocean.) He was a skilled southpaw (lefty) on the baseball field as a youth, impressing spectators with his pitching finesse and ability to make an out on first base while doing the splits. As he transitioned from baseball, a newfound passion emerged in the form of playing competitive disc golf with the Professional Disc Golf Association. He often loved getting lost in the woods. Hayden navigated the challenges of disc golf with the most beautiful methodical approach (anyone who played with him would understand!) Amid his athletic pursuits, Hayden revealed another layer to his talents, he was deceptively amazing at playing the piano and had an incredible singing voice, adding a musical dimension to his multifaceted abilities. Beyond his artistic talents, he was obsessed with the Rubik’s Cube. Hayden has competed professionally with the World Cube Association since 2015, boasting an impressive personal best solve of the 3x3 in just 5.47 seconds! We will all miss hearing the familiar sound of his cubes clicking away at lightning speed at all hours of the day or night.
Hayden's departure leaves an indelible mark on the hearts of his family and friends. While we grieve the loss of a beautiful son, brother, nephew, cousin and friend, we also celebrate the remarkable life that he lived. In honoring Hayden's memory, let us remember his insatiable curiosity, compassionate spirit, and the profound impact he had on those fortunate enough to know him. May his legacy continue to inspire us to embrace the mysteries of life with the same wonder and humility that Hayden embodied so passionately.
Preceding Hayden in death are his maternal grandmother Brenda Jane Matesky (Faulkner), maternal grandfather James Arthur Matesky, step-grandfather Randy Hollister, and beloved pet cat Salvador (whom he loved very much.)
Hayden leaves behind his father Brian James Dempsey (wife Kelley Dempsey,) mother Victoria Rose Matesky (husband Tafazal Mohammed), brother Donavan Alan Matesky (fiancee Kelly Peterson), as well as Donavan’s children (Hayden’s nieces) Autumn Rose Matesky and Emberlynn Hayden Matesky, sister Cassandra Jane Sabol, grandparents (paternal) James and Beverly Dempsey, step-grandmother Kathy Hollister, aunts, uncles, cousins, friends, and his beloved pet cats Rembrandt “Remi” and Cosmo Orion.
A celebration of his life will be held from 3 PM to 6 PM on Saturday, December 16, 2023 at Interra by Mueller Memorial Chapel, 835 Johnson Parkway, St. Paul, MN 55106. A time to share memories will be held at 6 PM. In lieu of flowers, memorials preferred to the family. Family held a private interment at Pleasant View Cemetery in Burnsville.
A recording of Hayden's Celebration of Life is posted below.