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    In Memoriam: Aging Services Pioneer Hadley Dale Hall (1933–2020)

    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 nonprofit 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 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, Hall had been an active adviser and volunteer with nonprofit 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. Hall became a board member in 2004, served on the board through 2017, and remained actively involved as a key advisor and board alumnus.

    “Hadley was an extraordinary advocate for seniors,” Dr. Adelman said. “He was a mentor, teacher and friend not only to me, but to all Openhouse board members and staff. 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.

    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 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 Hall’s life, Dr. Skultety said.

    Dedicated LGBTQ Community Member and Realtor Cheryl Lazar (1948–2020)

    Cheryl Lazar passed away on Sunday, July 26, just 4 days before her 72nd birthday. Born in New York City, Lazar followed her heart and moved to San Francisco in 1983. It was in the City that she found the love of her life, Pam David, with whom she spent 34 wonderful years, and where she realized her passion for real estate.

    Lazar had an incredible talent for making friends—all of whom swore they were her best friend. What is true is that her love of life, her sense of humor, and her warmth drew people to her. She could also be demanding! When David suggested they get married in October, 2008 Lazar said she would if it included a party, a present in a light blue box, and if Mayor Newsom personally officiated. All conditions were gleefully met!

    It took many career twists and turns before Lazar landed on work that engaged her fully. She began her work life as a teacher in New York City’s public schools and in the Bay Area, and then worked with flowers, plants, and interior landscaping in many ways and forms. Finally, after having wanted to be a real estate agent for years, she overcame her fear of tests and got her license. From day 1 there was no looking back.

    In addition to her spouse, Lazar leaves behind her loving sister, Linda Smith, and Smith’s husband Robert, and her adored niece and nephew, Kira Frank and Joshua Frank, and Joshua’s wife Julia. Lazar was embraced and loved by three generations of in-laws, including Marianne and Joel Paine, Robin David, Andy and Celia David, Kate Kelly, Cassidy, Paul and Maggie Stachowicz, Allison, Kushal and Lia Paine Chakrabarti, and Peter David and Chitra Panjabi. She will also be missed by her godchildren, Halli and Cassidy, her puppy, Ruby, and her legions of friends and colleagues, who all loved her dearly.

    Donations in her memory may be made to either or both of the following:

    The Rabbi-in-Residence at the University of San Francisco, Swig program in Jewish Studies and Social Justice. Please comment that this gift is in loving memory of Cheryl Lazar. This honors the spiritual support Rabbi Angel has provided to her and David over these past 2 years, and to recognize the importance of interfaith work for social justice

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    Muttville, to celebrate Lazar’s love of all things canine ( ).

    Published on August 27, 2020