Eleanore Anne Ruth Hadley, 94, died peacefully December 12, 2019.
Eleanore was born March 18, 1925, in Providence, R.I., to Eleanor Gertrude (Rogers) Hadley and Howard Girard Hadley, who both worked hard to make ends meet as Eleanore grew up during the depression. Also in the household were Eleanore's beloved brother, Harry Joseph Hadley, grandmother Marie Ann (Giguere) Monroe, and grandfather Harry F. Monroe.
Eleanore was a religious and artistic child who, wishing to become a nun, sewed her own habit to wear while playing school with her friends! She attended St. Elizabeth's Parochial School and St. Xavier's, and was a member of Sodality of Our Lady of Mercy, the Rhode Island Honor Society, and poetry and art clubs.
Eleanore won state and alumni scholarships to the Rhode Island School of Design, graduating with a BFA in Apparel Arts and Techniques. Her yearbook aptly described her as having a lovely voice and lovely smile. The Needlecraft Bureau's Original Design Contest awarded her national first prize, consisting of cash plus a trip to New York City to meet top dress designers and watch them work.
Eleanore lived briefly in New Jersey (home to her paternal grandparents, George and Mae Hadley) and began her career designing patterns. She then moved to New York City, where she was a successful dress designer for McMullen for two decades. During this time, as always, Eleanore was an exceptionally devoted daughter to her mother, who lived with Eleanore for many years.
When McMullen was sold in 1976, Eleanore mustered her courage and started her own business designing custom dresses with the label "Eleanore Hadley," enlisting some of the fine garment makers she had worked with previously.
Eleanore created custom dresses for many notable women over the course of her career and took pleasure in understanding the tastes of refined women. She traveled to Hong Kong for the best silks and other fabrics and around the U.S. for trunk shows at various dress shops. After retiring from fashion design, she studied and worked in interior design, traveled, and practiced Tai Chi Chih.
Eleanore loved God, her family, her dogs (including Sport, Chacho, Duffy, Jenny, and Jessie), New York City, her New Jersey apartment in West New York with its view of NYC and the river, Norman Vincent Peale, her friends and colleagues, and yoga and yogurt long before they went mainstream. She was a strong, beautiful, elegant, gracious, independent, talented, inspiring woman who gave generously to charities and individuals.
Eleanore will be remembered with love and admiration by many, including her niece Marie Janicke (David) of Buffalo and nephew Howard Hadley (Barbara) of Rochester, who are grateful for her life and for having been with her in her home for her final days. We will pass on her legacy to younger generations.
Donations in Eleanore's memory can be made to St. Joseph's of the Palisades, 6401 Palisade Ave., West New York, NJ 07093, 201-854-7006). Ceremony and interment will be in Rochester, NY.
To send flowers to Eleanore's family, please visit our floral section.