Linda Hadley

Alvah Lynn (“Linda”) Hart, born in 1931 in Winfield, Kansas, was the youngest of seven siblings. Her family moved to Eugene, Oregon, when she was a teenager. She became a roller skater and ice skater in Oregon. When Ray Hadley Sr. proposed, she was currently serving in the U.S. Army. After they married in 1954, Linda taught alongside her husband at the Seattle Civic Arena. Ice time was limited there, so they also taught at the Ballard and Tacoma rinks, and on winter weekends they traveled to an outdoor rink in Yakima. Linda taught singles and pairs and Ray taught ice dancing. They both taught Ray’s children—Ila Ray and Ray Jr.—who competed in all three disciplines.

Linda was the only 1961 coach with no competitive experience herself, but she quickly became an innovative coach. She was a good choreographer and introduced new moves in her students’ routines. Ray and Linda opened their own studio—the Hadley and Hart Ice Studio—in November 1960. After Ila Ray and Ray won the 1957 U.S. junior pairs title, Linda accompanied them to Paris, where they performed exhibitions at the 1958 World Championships. They competed at the 1960 Olympic Winter Games and placed second in 1961. They almost didn’t make the flight to Prague for the 1961 World Championships, due to lack of money. Ray, who stayed behind to teach and run the studio, planned to meet his wife and children in Prague later in the week.