It is with great sadness that the Vancouver Maritime Museum acknowledges the ending of an era. Eugene C. “Dean” Hadley was the last surviving member of the St. Roch’s 1940-42 crew which made the historic transit through the Northwest Passage. On July 13, 2018 Dean passed away at the age of 98.

He grew up on the Canadian prairies in the 1920’s and an early fascination with radios led to job with the RCMP in 1938. He joined the force and learned about basic forensic analysis in their Crime Lab. In 1940 Dean signed up to the St. Roch as the radio operator.

Dean later moved to the united states where he worked for NASA to configure controls for the equipment on the 1969 Moon landing.

The Vancouver Maritime Museum was honoured to have Dean Hadley present for the inaugural Northwest Passage Hall of Fame evening on September 28, 2017. We learned he had been excited for weeks leading up to the event and had been busily picking out his wardrobe. Dean became the inaugural inductee in the individual category for his time aboard the St. Roch.

The following day, Dean came back to tour the St. Roch, reminisce about his experiences and share his stories. It was wonderful for staff to be able to engage with such a knowledgeable, kind, and honest individual who is so strongly tied to the history that the museum presents.

Dean will be missed, and always remembered.

(Dean is 3rd from left in St. Roch crew photo)

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