West Plains, MO Location (417) 256-4141

Thayer, MO Location (417) 264-7242

  Bill Hedden
Bill Hedden

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.



  1. Larry Price
    February 17, 2015 @ 3:11 pm

    Dr. Hedden was a model of integrity, dependability, and loyalty in all that he said and did as an adjunct instructor at SBU. He expected much from his students, but he never failed to show them how to meet and even exceed the standards he set. Although I worked closely with him for 26 years, I could never call him “Bill”. He was always Dr. Hedden. Period. It was obvious to me that he loved his family and his Lord. He enriched my life.


    • Debbie Hedden Nissen
      February 19, 2015 @ 11:28 am

      Larry, thank you for your kind words. I know my dad respected you a lot and enjoyed working with you all those years. He truly loved teaching at SBU.


    • Jamie Goodfellow
      February 19, 2015 @ 4:14 pm

      Dr. Hedden was an amazing instructor, with great honor I can say I was a student in his Earth science class at SBU. I’m saddened to hear of his passing and send my condolences to his family! Many prayers of comfort in thier time of greif!


      • Debbie Hedden Nissen
        February 19, 2015 @ 7:29 pm

        Thank you, Jamie. My mom and I even took his classes. So much fun having my dad as a teacher. Thanks for your thoughts and prayers.


  2. Terry Martin & Family
    February 18, 2015 @ 7:52 pm

    Our deepest condolences to you Sis. Fay and Family.
    Bro. Hedden was every bit of A True man of God.
    You knew he loved his Lord Jesus and his beautiful wife and his daughters and their
    Families. He never thought he was better than anyone even though he was a Professor, and knew the Word of God as well living it. He and his wife could be called upon when needing Prayer Warriors.
    He will be missed but not forgotten. Love to the family.


    • Debbie Hedden Nissen
      February 19, 2015 @ 11:31 am

      Thanks for your comments, Terry. Your words are so true. He was very intelligent, yet he remained a simple, down-to-earth, man. He prayed for me many times, and I will miss his wisdom.


  3. Carla Randolph
    February 19, 2015 @ 10:15 am

    Sending prayers to the family. Dr. Hedden was a wonderful person I knew several years ago. I had the pleasure of hearing my girls talk about him as he was their instructor this past semester. One of those special people that left an impact on everyone he met.


    • Debbie Hedden Nissen
      February 19, 2015 @ 7:30 pm

      Thank you for your words, Carla.


  4. Rocky and.Beverly Rogers
    February 19, 2015 @ 12:02 pm

    We love you all and have been blessed by your entire family. Mr. Bill was a beautiful soul thats memories will live on for a lifetime through his children, grandchildren and students. Our deepest sympathy for your earthly loss, but be assured you will share the heavenly mansions with him again someday….please let us know if there is anything our family can do for yours during this season of grief….


    • Debbie Hedden Nissen
      February 19, 2015 @ 7:31 pm

      Thanks so much Rocky and Beverly. We look forward to seeing him again. Even in our grief, we have that hope. We appreciate you guys.


  5. Betty Howard
    February 19, 2015 @ 12:16 pm

    Bill was loved by many and will be sorely missed.
    How are things at “home” Bill? We are anxious to be with you when the Lord calls us “home”.


    • Debbie Hedden Nissen
      February 19, 2015 @ 7:32 pm

      Thanks for your words, Betty. Every time I pray, I ask Jesus to tell him “hi” for me.


  6. Robbin Norris
    February 19, 2015 @ 12:16 pm

    Dr. Hedden was one of the most amazing minds I’ve ever met. Truly a great man. I had the pleasure of not only being his student some 20 years ago, but secretary for him as well as all of the faculty at Southwest Baptist University-Mountain View. His faith in God was awesome, he was so down to earth. He laughed at me quit a bit in class just having a good time. I learned so much from him, not only in class but as far as life goes. He will missed by all. All my prayers and love to his family.


    • Debbie Hedden Nissen
      February 19, 2015 @ 7:34 pm

      Robbin, thank you for your kind words and prayers. He truly loved teaching at SBU in Mt. View.


  7. Ginger Mullins
    February 19, 2015 @ 12:44 pm

    Mr. Hedden was such a great man!!! I had him last semester in my Earth Science class and I loved it… I will truly miss him!!!!
    SBU student
    Ginger Mullins


    • Debbie Hedden Nissen
      February 19, 2015 @ 7:35 pm

      Ginger, thank you for your words. Several years ago, my mom and I took my dad’s earth science class at SBU, too. He loved teaching!


  8. Corri Drum
    February 19, 2015 @ 2:57 pm

    His class was one of the most fun and interesting ones of my college career. My condolences to the family.


    • Debbie Hedden Nissen
      February 19, 2015 @ 7:36 pm

      Thanks, Corri. We appreciate your comments. My dad loved teaching.


  9. Valerie Foerster
    February 19, 2015 @ 5:18 pm

    Dr Hedden was a great teacher. Every time I hear hear Johnny Cash sing “Ring of Fire” I think of Earth Science and how much I enjoyed him and the class.


  10. George and Vickie Smith
    February 19, 2015 @ 8:39 pm

    Bill was always one of my favorite people, whom I looked up to and admired. He was an inspiration and a wonderful role model; he reminded me of Grandpa George Jacobsen by his actions, kindness and marvelous sense of humor. Bill always was ready with a laugh, a smile and words of inspiration. During our rare visits to Thayer we always tried to make a stop by to see Bill and Fay; this was always one of the highlights of our trip. Through his deeds and actions Bill carried on the tradition of kinship, fellowship and faith the family was renowned for. The world is a better place because of Bill, he will be missed. Our thoughts are with his family and friends; we know he is now with Our Father.


  11. Kacey Pierce
    February 19, 2015 @ 9:13 pm

    Doc was one of my favorite teachers I have had at SBU. He always had a smile on his face and always asked how I was even after I had him. He taught me so much! I’m so glad I was able to have him as a teacher. You could see he cared for his students. He loved his family and God so much and he told you that. He will be missed. Praying for his family in this difficult time.


  12. Kimberly Brake
    February 19, 2015 @ 9:32 pm

    Dr. Hedden was a great teacher and person. I will never forget Earth Science class. I believe I could still label the rocks. He had a way of opening up our minds to learn. He was a person who was not afraid to state what he believed concerning his belief in God. My prayers and thoughts are with his family.


  13. David Tucker
    February 19, 2015 @ 9:55 pm

    I am sorry for your loss I will be praying for you and your family


  14. David Tucker
    February 19, 2015 @ 9:56 pm

    I am praying for you guys


  15. Sheri bunch
    February 19, 2015 @ 10:05 pm

    Thank you all for your comments and kind words. I was so proud of my daddy and always loved it when I met someone who knew him and I would tell them he was my dad! I was so lucky to not only have for my dad but as a teacher as well! His earth science class I took at sbu was my favorite class ever! I remember him telling me when I took Earth science and biology class that it was okay if I made a c or b in the classes because he knew it would be hard for me. I have never studied so hard in my life! I would start studying for his test on Friday evening all day Saturday and Sunday. He was so proud of me when I made A’s on every test! I loved our long talks on our way to Mnt. View and back. I will miss going by and seeing him almost every day. I have did that for 20 years! I will miss him saying hi Sheri doodle and always calling me his sunbeam…I will miss his advice and all the fun and laughter we had together! Love you daddy!


  16. Sheri bunch
    February 20, 2015 @ 9:37 am

    Larry my dad loved working for you! Thank you for your kind words.


  17. Brenda Ledgerwood
    February 20, 2015 @ 2:57 pm

    Mrs. Hedden, Sheri, and Debbie,
    Although it has been many years since we taught together at SBU, I certainly enjoyed knowing Dr. Hedden. Please accept my condolences.


  18. Rev. Bruce and judy Underhill
    February 20, 2015 @ 5:56 pm

    My first time to meet Bill and his wonderful wife was at a evening prayer time at their church. My first impression of Doc was a praying man of God who loved the Lord, his wife, two daughters and families with every fiber in his body. My remaining memories were as our first. Kneeling by his bed side and praying with him and seeing heaven in his eyes. Sis Fay and family our thoughts and prayers are with you as Doc has turned his tassel and has graduated to Heaven…
    His undersheperds, pb&j


  19. Sharon Jordan
    February 22, 2015 @ 12:34 pm

    So many hearts are saddened by your loss.
    Prayers for you and everyone who was blessed just
    to know Bill.


  20. Sandy Crews
    February 22, 2015 @ 11:30 pm

    So sorry to learn of your Mr. Hedden’s passing. He was such a nice man with a gentle spirit each time you would see him. You have my deepest sympathy.


  21. Brenda Lambe
    February 23, 2015 @ 8:57 am

    I am sorry for your loss. I know Dr. Hedden will be sorely missed. Knowing Bill had a true relationship with God is in itself a comfort. However, I also know that this pain of losing his companionship must be tremendous. May God hold you through this time of sorrow.


  22. Vernetta Frost
    February 24, 2015 @ 2:14 pm

    I had Doc as an instructor last semester in Earth Science and enjoyed every class session. I was listening to a program on PBS just this last weekend and it made me think of him. I learned so much from his wealth of knowledge. Southwest Baptist University and the world was better with Doc in it. Heaven has a new angel today. God bless each of you and hold to the fact that he will be waiting for you to join him when the trumpets sound. Vernetta Frost


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