Dorothy Ruth Reynolds Hadley, a volunteer for charity and church who was supportive of her father and husband in the iconic family business, Franklin Ice Cream, and a family venture to develop a regional shopping center, died June 21 in ProMedica Ebeid Hospice, Sylvania. She was 91.
She had a stroke nine days earlier, her son, John Reynolds Hadley, said.
Mrs. Hadley, formerly of Perrysburg Township and Ottawa Hills, lived much of the last decade at Kingston Residence of Sylvania. As long as she and her late husband, Jack, were able, they attended events in support of the Library Legacy Foundation; the Toledo Zoo, where they helped found the Silverback Society, and Toledo Museum of Art.
She had been an officer of the Toledo Dental Dispensary, which offered dental care to those who could not afford it. She was a longtime member of what is now Ashland Church, taking part in ministries and attending services at its historic near-downtown location.
She was born Oct. 16, 1926, to Ruth and Irving C. Reynolds. Her father with a financial partner several years earlier had started Franklin Creamery, named for Benjamin Franklin. She was in her teens when the family moved to a farm in western Lucas County. The renamed Franklin Ice Cream Co. had its headquarters, a plant, and a store at Monroe Street and Talmadge Road. Her father also opened a private airport on the property.
She worked in the store, scooping ice cream and making shakes and sundaes, during summer breaks from Burnham High in Sylvania, from which she graduated in 1944.
“She was very friendly, outgoing, personable,” her son said.
She received a bachelor’s degree in home economics from Ohio State University. She was a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority and was a former president of its Toledo alumnae association. While at Ohio State, she was president of the campus YWCA.
After marriage, “she really became kind of a homemaker and a full-time mom, and it was great,” her son said. “She had a way of being there for you and not judgmental, and wanting to be the best example she could be. And she was.”
Her husband became a Franklin vice president as the company expanded to Cleveland, Columbus, and beyond.
Her husband also was a vice president and director of Reynolds Building Co., which her father had formed to develop a regional shopping center on the Franklin property. The Rouse Co. eventually became the developer of Franklin Park Mall, which opened in 1971.
She and John Bothwell Hadley married April 28, 1951. For the couple’s anniversary in 2001, they gathered their children and grandchildren for a motor tour around Lake Erie to Niagara Falls on the way to Toronto for sightseeing.
“It’s the very nicest way to celebrate our 50th anniversary — no telephones and lot of time together,” Mrs. Hadley told The Blade afterward. Her husband died Nov. 22, 2017.
Surviving are her son, John Reynolds Hadley; daughter, Judith Marie Hadley; six grandchildren; two great-granddaughters; three step-grandchildren, and six step-great-grandchildren.
Visitation will be from 10 a.m. to noon Aug. 13 at Reeb Funeral Home, Sylvania, during which a service will be held.
The family suggests tributes to the permanent trust fund of Ashland Church in Oregon; the Silverback Society of the Toledo Zoo; the Toledo Museum of Art, or a charity of the donor’s choice.
Guidelines: Please keep your comments smart and civil. Don't attack other readers personally, and keep your language decent. Comments that violate these standards, or our privacy statement or visitor's agreement, are subject to being removed and commenters are subject to being banned. To post comments, you must be a registered user on toledoblade.com. To find out more, please visit the FAQ.