Dr. William Jesse “Bill” Hedden was born the son of Wilbur Jesse Hedden and Henrietta E. (Jacobsen) Hedden on July 16, 1943, in Thayer, Missouri, and departed this life on February 15, 2015, at his home in Thayer, at the age of 71 years.
He was united in marriage on August 12, 1967, at Springfield, Missouri, to Neoma Fay Jones.
He is survived by his wife of forty-seven years, Fay Hedden of the home in Thayer, Missouri; two daughters, Debra Lynn Nissen and husband, Greg of Crewe, England, and Sheri Michelle Bunch and husband, Ronnie of Brandsville, Missouri; three grandchildren, Isaac, Moriah, and Gabriela Nissen of Crewe, England; one brother, Jim Hedden and wife, Patsy of Mulvane, Kansas; several nieces, nephews, other relatives and many friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Wilbur and Henrietta Hedden and an infant brother, Wilbur Eugene Hedden.
Bill graduated from Thayer High School as the Salutatorian of the class of 1961. Later, he returned as High School Science and Math Instructor at Thayer, and taught twenty-two years at the Koshkonong High School.
Mr. Hedden was a Veteran and served his country as an officer in the United States Army Corp of Engineers, while stationed in Heidelberg, West Germany.
Bill earned his PhD in Geology from the University of Missouri in Rolla. His passion in life was teaching. He was beloved by many students and fondly referred to as “Doc.” His career spanned for many years in both high school and college levels, touching many young lives and offering direction for their future. He taught at Evangel College in Springfield, Missouri, University of Missouri in Rolla, Southwest Baptist University in Mountain View, Missouri for twenty-seven years, Mineral Area College at Current River Campus in Winona, Missouri, and a number of years for the Drury University at the Thayer Campus, retiring in December of 2014.
He always loved the study of rocks and minerals and could identify nearly any rock handed to him. That growing interest increased as a Petroleum Exploration Geologist in the oil industry while working for Terra Resources, Inc. in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma for several years.
He loved the outdoors, whether hiking through Grand Gulf, fishing from his boat on Spring River, or just walking in the woods.
Bill liked spending time on different building projects, his masterpiece being a cabin in the woods.
He especially loved the Lord and loved to worship Him in song. Bill was a member, elder, and worship leader for many years at New Life Worship Center in Thayer.
He will be remembered as a quiet gentle man with a fun sense of humor and a kind heart. He will truly be missed by all who knew him.
Funeral Services will be Saturday, February 21, 2015, at 1:00 PM at the Carter Funeral Hme Chapel in Thayer.
The family will receive friends at the Funeral Home Chapel in Thayer on Friday, February 20th from 6:00 until 8:00 PM.
Burial will be in the Thayer Cemetery with services under the direction of Carter Funeral Home, Inc. in Thayer.