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In Memory of . . . Robert L. Hadley (1928-2012)

Posted By Administration, Thursday, September 12, 2013

The Rev. Robert L. Hadley died on December 28, 2012. He was 84 years old.

Rev. Hadley was born in Leominster, MA on February 21, 1928 to Eleanor and Lawrence Hadley. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from Yale University in 1950. He went on to attain a Bachelor of Sacred Theology from Harvard Divinity School in 1956 and a Master of Sacred Theology from Boston University School of Theology in 1977.

Rev. Hadley was ordained on June 17, 1956 at the First Congregational Society in Leominster, MA. In 1956, he began a remarkable 31 years of service to the First Church Unitarian in Littleton, MA, finishing his time there in 1987. Then, from 1987-1991, he served as minister of the Maumee Valley Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Perrysburg, OH; and from 1991-1994, he served as minister of the Universalist Meeting House in Provincetown, MA. Lastly, he served as minister of the First Parish Church in Fitchburg, MA from 1995 until his retirement in 2002. The First Unitarian Church in Littleton, MA and the First Parish Church in Fitchburg, MA named Rev. Hadley Minister Emeritus in 1998 and 2002, respectively.

Committed to the denomination, Rev. Hadley served as: a member of the UUMA’s Member Insurance Committee from 1974-1977; a Ministerial Settlement Representative in the Massachusetts Central District from 1982-1985; and a member of the UUA AIDS Task Force from 1985-1986.

Throughout his life, Rev. Hadley was also heavily involved in his communities. He served as president of the Central Middlesex Mental Health Association from 1974-1977. He was also a founding member of the Emerson Hospital Hospice, and served on its board from 1978-1981.

Those who knew Rev. Hadley, will remember his love of nature and his passion for restoration. He restored the gardens around a housing complex in which he lived during Hurricane Wilma. He and his life partner, Jimmy, took on all of the costs and labor, themselves, as well as the upkeep afterwards. They also restored a historic, landmark house and garden in Provincetown, MA. Certainly both a natural and spiritual experience, Rev. Hadley once referred to his garden as "an expression of God.”

Rev. Hadley is survived by daughter, Amy Hadley; son, Thomas Hadley; son, Peter Hadley; grandchildren, Maya and Rosa; former wife, Pat Hadley; and life partner, Jimmy Sullivan.

A memorial service took place on March 16, 2013 at 11:00 a.m. at the First Church Unitarian, 19 Foster Street, Littleton, MA 01460.

Notes of condolence may be sent to Jimmy Sullivan at 130 Dartmouth St., Apt. 407, Boston, MA 02116.

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