Donald Dennis Hadley

Donald Dennis Hadley, age 82, passed away at home on January 19, 2021.

He was born March 5, 1938 in Des Moines, Iowa to Harold and Margaret Hadley. The family later moved to Wausau, WI where he spent the majority of his childhood/teen years. He attended Catholic school there until an unfortunate incident involving him and one of his classmates (putting limburger cheese in close proximity to a radiator) resulted in a transfer to the public school system. He loved playing basketball (varsity) and his high school team went on to win a state championship. He went to Spencerian Business College to pursue a career in retail. Don then married Arlene Jakubek on July 4, 1957 and they later divorced.

Most of his retail career was in the shoe business. He worked with and eventually had a partnership in the Twin Cities with Bill Frautschi (Grove Shoes), taking over the shoe store after Bill passed away. Don helped out one of the Frautschi children who was still in school (Trudi) after both parents had passed and was dubbed “Had-Dad”. He married Jeannine Lindquist on October 5, 1978 in Apple Valley, MN and they moved to Rochester, MN where Don continued his retail career at Massey’s Department Store.

Don then became owner of O&B Shoe Store in downtown Rochester and eventually added a store at the TJ Maxx Plaza; he was known about town as “the Soleman”. He could sell you anything and believed in making work fun. He loved his business friends (Canadian Honker, Eagle Drug, Ell Boutique, Hanny’s, Hers, Leisure Aquatics, Pappy’s, Shuler Shoes, Tangerine, Victorias, Wells Fargo, West Bank, to name a few), his customers (locally and from around the globe of whom some spent time at his home, the Hadley Hotel) and especially all of his employees who he thought of as family (Natalie Arend, Ben Barnett, James Berg, John Butrum, Jerry Campbell, Tom Carlson, Bryan Cole, Melinda Cooper, Kailynn Hamersma, Angie Hanson, Greg Hayes, TJ Jahnke, Dan Johnson, Brandon Krom, Adam Kuehn, Chuck LaRue, Kayla Mathiason, Dean McGuire, Mike Meek, Joe Murphy, Tascha Schaar, Lisa Sobotta, Anthony Verderame, Sue Wermerskirchen).

When it came to getting a good pair of shoes, he often said he could fit “anything that moves”. If you were at one of the two shoe stores and needed a pair of shoes located at the other store, he would hop into the Solemobile and get it to you within 20 1/2 minutes (best record was 14 minutes and that was without a speeding ticket but probably because he sold shoes to his friends in blue). If you couldn’t get out of your car or leave your home, hotel room or hospital bed, he would bring the shoes to you. If they fit properly, then he would let you pay for them.

Don enjoyed looking for morel mushrooms and playing cards with neighborhood friends (Jack and Vivien Har), football (Green Bay), a morning dip in the pool, and winter vacations by the ocean with friends (Monsignors Hargesheimer and Grubisch, Kroms, Mildes and Nusses). He also performed in all ten of the St. Pius X Church dinner theaters playing various and always nefarious roles which included Mr. Potato Head, the good witch of the north, and other unmentionables. His favorite saying was “I started with nothing and I have most of it left.”

He is survived by his wife, Jeannine; brothers, Douglas Hadley (Karla) and Mark Hadley (Debbie); and sister, Sally Burr. He leaves behind six children, Charles Hadley (Cindy), Carrie Elder (Rob), Cathy Anderson, James Hadley (Donna), John Hadley (Anita) and Andrea Kaplowitz (Josh); 19 grandchildren, Jennifer Bartholomay (Jason), Jake Hadley and best friend Maranda Blackwell, Jordan Hadley and best friend, Dani Schafer, Anthony Verderame (Leah), Jonathan Verderame (Julie), Adam Kirwin, Nate Anderson, Lauren Seog (Adam), Jeanette Hadley, Kara Shakya (Prakash), Brent and Zachary Hadley, Collin Buckler, Thomas Hadley, Noah Hadley, Bella Hadley, Isaiah Hadley (due to arrive later this month), Eli Kaplowitz, Evelyn Kaplowitz, Simon Kaplowitz; 10 great grandchildren, Madelynn and Ethan Bartholomay, Michael and Eleanor Verderame, Maya Mørch, Emma Verderame, Griffin Seog, Aria and Sidhartha Shakya, Halley Hadley; and nine very grand pooches; Harold, Leo, Puga, Doc, Bentley, Murphy, Caffrey, Gatsby and Norman.

The Memorial Mass for Donald will be held at 11:00 a.m. Saturday, March 6, 2021 at St. Pius X Catholic Church. Visitation will be held one hour prior to the service at church. Burial will be in St. Margaret’s Cemetery in Minnetonka, MN.

Memorials to Seasons Hospice and St. Pius X Church.

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