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Richie loved Roane

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By Cindy Simpson

He was a Yankee, a former New York City cop. But when Richard Hadorn Sr. fell in love with Roane County, people responded in kind. Hadorn, who died recently, quickly became part of the community, making friends at the Rockwood Civitan Club, trying out different church families and visiting with employees at Tractor Supply Co., Kroger, Valley Farmers Co-op and elsewhere. He moved to the Eagle Furnace area outside of Rockwood in February. What Hadorn and his wife, Nancy, were the welcoming people they met. “There is not a person we’ve met that isn’t like that,” Nancy said. “We would sit here at night ... and talk about how good everything was.” Richie, as her husband was called, became so well known in such a short time that many people were saddened by his sudden passing in a car accident on Winton Chapel Road, not far from his home. Wayne Pugh, who got to know the couple when they came wandering through the area, said Hadorn never met a stranger. “Richie loved everybody. I never heard him say a bad word about anybody. He was always positive, always upbeat,” Pugh said. Nancy and Richie met again years after their childhood romance had fizzled out. They hadn’t seen each other in years, but they the spark rekindled. After retiring from NYPD, Richie finished his pharmacy degree. At first they ended up in Florida. The Hadorns didn’t like it there, but they bought a piece of property they’d never seen near Rockwood with no intentions to necessarily move. They met Pugh while searching for that property. Since his death, Nancy has had nothing but concern flood in from around the community. People she didn’t realize had been impacted by Richie’s wit and warmth called her to offer condolences. Nancy was particularly touched by a Tennessee Highway Patrol trooper bringing a chaplain with him to tell her of her husband’s death. “It started from that moment, the kindness, and it has not stopped,” Nancy said. The Civitan Club is going to help her hold a memorial for her husband. “He was just a nice guy. He put up with me,” Nancy said of her soulmate. “We were best friends. I could tell him everything.”