Roger Hayward lived to see most of his old friends and associates pass away, including Red Stong and Bill Freeman. He lived out the rest of his days with Betty and their dog Gnawbert in Merced, where they enjoyed less upkeep on their property and the slower pace of a quieter town. Roger continued to experience health problems and was periodically hospitalized. He halted much of his correspondence after 1977, but continued through to 1978 with a few old friends. On October 11, 1979 he passed away at the age of 80 due to complications from emphysema. Betty followed him fourteen months later.