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Robert Haydn Silleck

Died: January 6, 2013

Haydn Silleck was a relaxed, affable student who seemed to get along well with everyone. He always had a smile on his face and was an essential part of any social gathering. He was a popular member of the Ezra Stiles community as well as Phi Gamma Delta fraternity. A natural, well rounded athlete, he played freshman and varsity squash, earning his major Y in 1964. He was captain of the Ezra Stiles touch football team and a swimmer. As if that weren’t enough, he also played tennis and softball. Somehow he found time for academics and was a Latin American studies major. His special enthusiasm continued throughout his life, as evidenced by a friend’s admiration of his “spirit of adventure, interest in everything, zesty mastery of bridge, whole body smile, and courage in doing something new.”

Haydn was born in Brooklyn, NY, grew up in Scarsdale and attended The Hill School prior to coming to Yale. Following graduation from Yale he answered the call of Uncle Sam and enrolled in the U.S. Army Infantry School at Fort Benning, Georgia. After receiving his commission as Second Lieutenant he returned briefly to Bronxville and married the love of his life, his high school sweetheart Mary Daley. Haydn and Mary began married life together at Fort Ord, California. After completing his service as Second Lieutenant Haydn and Mary returned to the East Coast where he earned his M.B.A. from Harvard Business School in 1971. They subsequently moved to Colorado, living many years in the Denver suburb of Littleton. Their children, Sarah and Howie, were born in 1976 and 1978 respectively. At the time of Haydn’s death he and Mary had four grandchildren.

Haydn worked for the commercial banking office of the United Bank of Denver from 1971 to 1975. According to his family’s remembrance in Tributes.com he “quit abruptly one day when he realized that the bank was not going to make him president at the age of 26. After spending some time flipping houses, he tired of being dirty and began his life as an entrepreneur.” He was part of many enterprises, including chair of Starwood Investments, Data Imaging Inc., Gold C coupon company and Colorado Cinemas. In addition to his business ventures he was involved in community service, co-founding the non-profit Jefferson Foundation and serving as president of the Denver chapter of the Big Brothers organization.

His life following retirement is well summarized by Tributes.com. “After retirement, Haydn and Mary took off to see the world. When they were not traveling, they spent their time with friends and family, including adored grandchildren, at home. In July 2011, Haydn was diagnosed with glioblastoma multiform, an aggressive form of brain cancer. After his diagnosis, he continued to live life with enthusiasm, planning their adventures around his chemotherapy schedule.” On January 6, 2013 “he passed away peacefully at home and without pain, with Mary by his side.”