LGBTQ+ Community Mourns the Passing of Aging Services Pioneer Hadley Dale Hall

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LGBTQ+ Community Mourns the Passing of Aging Services Pioneer Hadley Dale Hall

14 August 2020 — SAN FRANCISCO, CA: San Francisco has lost a towering figure in aging services and a leader in the LGBTQ+ community with the death of Hadley Dale Hall, 87, who passed away August 10, following a short illness.

Retired CEO of the Visiting Nurses and Hospice Program in San Francisco, Hall founded San Francisco Home Health Services, a non-profit organization, where he developed the groundbreaking 30th Street Senior Center in 1976.  He formed comprehensive programs for the elderly such as home delivered meals, congregate meals, adult day health and home care, all while advocating for living wages and better working conditions for home health aides and homemakers.  

He also created Coming Home Hospice, the first residential AIDS hospice in the country.  The program provided care and support for both people with AIDS and those with other terminal illnesses.

His legacy includes major contributions to address ageism and homophobia in city services, especially those expressly designed for seniors.  Since his retirement in 1986, Mr. Hall had been an active adviser and volunteer with non-profit aging organizations On Lok and Openhouse, where he served as a long-time foundational board member. He was instrumental in bringing the dream of a LGBTQ+ senior community to life at the Openhouse campus on Laguna Street, according to Dr. Karyn Skultety, Openhouse Executive Director.

“Hadley was a beloved figure in the LGBTQ+ senior community in San Francisco, and his legacy lives on at Openhouse,” said Dr. Skultety.  “He selflessly contributed his experience, grit and determination to help LGBTQ+ seniors age comfortably at home rather than go back into the closet at often unwelcoming nursing homes.”

Dr. Marcy Adelman and the late Jeanette Gurevitch founded Openhouse in 1998, providing housing, social services and community for LGBTQ+ seniors.  Mr. Hall became a board member in 2004, served on the board through 2017 and remained actively involved as a key advisor as a board alumnus.

“Hadley was an extraordinary advocate for seniors. He was a mentor, teacher and friend not only to me, but to all Openhouse board members and staff,” Dr. Adelman said.  “As a leader, he was both generous and fierce–generous with his time, praise and compassion and fierce in his advocacy and drive to see that seniors receive the best care possible and then some. We loved him.”

His passion to provide comprehensive senior services to the LGBTQ+ community and his selfless dedication to improving the lives of LGBTQ seniors continues to inspire and define the work at Openhouse, according to Tim Sweeney and Nanette Miller, Co-Presidents of the Openhouse Board of Directors.

“Our organization and services reflect Hadley’s strength and spirit, and we pay tribute to his many hours of effort and selfless contributions toward the mission and success of Openhouse.  We are so sorry we have lost Hadley. What a champion for seniors, LGBT people and Openhouse,” said the Board Co-Presidents.

Mr. Hall is survived by his husband of nearly 60 years Warde Laidman, and a sister, Carmela Sanders, of Beaverton, OR, as well as many nieces and nephews. On Lok and Openhouse will observe a celebration of Mr. Hall’s life at the new Openhouse Community Center in 2021 after it is safe to gather socially.  A bronze tribute already cast in his honor and planned for the new Openhouse Community Center now becomes a memorial, and will be unveiled at the celebration of Mr. Hall’s life, Dr. Skultety said.