Toronto Star

June 25, 2000

Murdered woman mourned

Friend `didn't have a chance to say goodbye'

By Katherine Harding
Toronto Star Staff Reporter

Gillian Hadley's family and friends bid goodbye to the 35-year-old mother yesterday, marking the freeing of her spirit at graveside with the release of a white dove.

The woman was shot by her estranged husband Ralph in her Pickering home Tuesday morning. He then killed himself.

Hadley's longtime friend Carol Brown delivered a eulogy.

``You were taken away so suddenly,'' said her friend of 25 years.

``I didn't have a chance to say goodbye.''

Brown drew brief moments of laughter from the distraught audience when she told stories about her and Hadley growing up in Scarborough.

The two met in high school and became fast friends. They had a tradition of meeting every Wednesday night to play cards.

``Your life was short. It was like Elton's song, `Candle In The Wind,' `Your flame burnt out long before your legend ever will,' '' Brown said. ``Don't worry. Your legacy will live on in the lives of your children.

``You were a great mom who loved your kids so much,'' said the 36-year-old woman.

She told mourners she has already promised Hadley's daughter Faith, 8, that she will start visiting her for Wednesday night card games.

Hadley also leaves behind a 7-year-old son and an 11-month-old son.

Hadley was later buried at Pine Hills Cemetery. In a touching show of support and forgiveness, her mother, aunt and other relatives as well as dozens of family and friends attended a private service Friday for Ralph Hadley at the same east-end cemetery.

With files from Canadian Press

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