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stories along The Way

Thursday, March 10, 2011

James Hadaway, past GM of Rec and Parks, passes

Our condolences to Mr. Hadaway's family.

From the obituary published in the LA Times:
Hadaway, James
November 27, 1928 - March 7, 2011
General Mgr, City of Los Angeles Parks & Recreation Dept. (1976-92) & Memphis, TN, 1967-76. Survived by wife Nelwyn of 63 yrs & Children: Robin, Kirk, Kerry Petty & six grandchildren. Services 10 a.m. March 11, 2011, Journey of Faith Church, Manhattan Beach, CA. Donations in lieu of flowers to the Special Olympics. 
James Hadaway, who emphasized the renovation of inner-city parks as general manager of the Los Angeles Recreation and Parks Department from 1976 to 1992, has died. He was 82.

Hadaway, who had cancer, died Monday at his Hermosa Beach home, his family said.

"He was the architect of the urban impact program, which refurbished parks and recreation centers in inner-city and lower-income areas that had been kind of neglected," said Kevin Regan, assistant general manager of the department.

"It has had a profound effect on the way the Department of Parks and Recreation operates today. And it has benefited the community since," Regan said.

As the third person to lead the department since it was formed in 1947, Hadaway oversaw 350 city parks, 150 recreation centers and 92 miles of hiking trails. He had almost 2,200 full-time employees and a $96-million annual budget when he retired.

During his tenure, $250 million was spent to establish new recreation centers.

One new 160-acre park surrounding Lake Balboa opened in 1990 in the Sepulveda Basin Recreation Area even though the lake would not be ready to be filled for two years.

"We thought we ought to open it up for people to use," Hadaway said in 1990 in The Times. "We've got places where people can picnic, fly kites and throw Frisbees around."

In 1986, Hadaway caused controversy when he fired Los Angeles Zoo director Warren Thomas and accused him of mishandling animal transfers and using zoo supplies for personal use. Thomas was reinstated but abruptly resigned in 1990 over similar charges.
Read the rest at the Times.