NORMAN — Hadley Meinders was born in Okarche 90 years ago on Feb. 21, 1923. Hadley was the sixth child of his parents, H.H. Meinders and Rosella Andrews Meinders. Hadley died peacefully in his sleep on Saturday morning, April 20, 2013.
Services will be 10:30 a.m. Wednesday at Christ the Redeemer Lutheran Church in Tulsa.
The family moved from Okarche to a farm half mile west of Yukon when he was six months old, and that is where he spent his boyhood. Hadley enjoyed watching Route 66 being paved in front of the farm in 1927 and observed his mother offering food to men passing through looking for work during the Depression. That impression formed a basis for his active volunteerism throughout his long life. He attended schools in Yukon and was a 1937 graduate of Yukon High School, growing up with his siblings who have all predeceased him: Lily Wildman, Anne Wicken, John R. Meinders, Wesley Meinders and Harvey Meinders. The year he turned 10 years old, Hadley and his sister, Anne, witnessed their mother being struck by a car and killed right at dusk as they crossed the highway to remind their father to check on new chicks in the brooder before walking to town for the evening. He spent that school year living with his older sister, Lily and her family in Kingfisher.
After his mother’s death, Anne, Wesley and Harvey left for college and Hadley and his father ran the family dairy together while Hadley completed high school. His brother, John, formed a trucking company to deliver the fresh milk to Oklahoma City. Hadley learned how to work hard and appreciate the ways of rural life in those years. Active in the FFA, he raised Duroc hogs, Buff Orpington chickens and a Jersey cow. He achieved Tenderfoot through first class in the Boy Scouts and started his stamp collecting hobby, all of which dovetailed well with his love of American history and agriculture.