Donald L. Hedrick
November 20, 1932 ‒ July 20, 2010
Mount Gilead, Ohio
Donald L. Hedrick, age 77, of Mount Gilead, died early Tuesday morning, July 20, 2010, at Riverside Methodist Hospital in Columbus following a brief illness.
On November 20, 1932, Don was born in Edison, Ohio, the son of the late Everett and Iva Mae (Harden) Hedrick. He graduated from Edison High School in the Class of 1950.
Shortly following graduation, Don enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corp. to help protect his fellow soldiers and his country during the Korean Conflict. He served from 1951 to 1954, and had been stationed in Japan, earning the rank of Sergeant and several medals.
After his honorable discharge from the Marines, Don returned to Morrow County and began working as a fabrication welder for North Electric in Galion. Later, he worked for ITT and lastly for PECO II, from where he retired in 1997. He was a member of the Galion Moose Lodge.
One evening, while attending a dance at a family members home, Don’s life was forever changed after one dance, the Tennessee Waltz, with Nancy Lou Chubb. They were married soon thereafter in Winchester, Virginia, on April 24, 1965. They would share over thirty-three wonderful years of marriage together. She preceded him in death on December 10, 1998.
With a deep love for music that began at an early age, Don often “lost track of time” when he was playing his guitar into the early hours of the morning with his friends. A great singer, his bass singing voice went best with the music of his favorite singer, Johnny Cash. He enjoyed playing “all the time” and was proud to help his nephew, Rick Watkins, get started learning to play the guitar so they could continue playing together.
Back in the 1960’s, Don and his brother, Doug, “got the itch” and purchased their first motorcycles. He shared a love for the open road, first with Nancy, and later with his daughter, Connie, who will forever be proud to have been able to ride motorcycles with her father. Aboard his “dressed up” motorcycle, Don was best at finding an ice cream store to ride to, and he managed to find an ice cream store “every time”.
An avid woodworker, Don could help make most any craft Nancy would want. Together they enjoyed making things, such as white reindeer, pumpkins, sleighs and so much more to help decorate their and others yards. Later, he shared his love for woodworking with his nephew, Michael Watkins, and they often teased they started their own “Amish garage” because of all they were able to make.
Always sitting on his front porch, Don loved being a part of the neighborhood and being able to save a few pennies by not using his electricity.
Having a bright mind, Don was able to retain even the most minute details of most anything he read. Further, he greatly enjoyed sharing all of those details to his family and friends, and they would emphasize that he did share all of the details.
With his love for details, Don enjoyed putting together model semis and most any puzzle.
With the “sons he never had”, Don looked forward to his daily trips to Ryan’s Steakhouse in Marion. He went so often that his young granddaughters even figured out that it was the “place you go to eat with Grandpa and get tired”. He was also grateful for his niece, Linda Jenkins, who always looked after him and brought him food when he didn’t go to Ryan’s.
“Simple” and “laid back” were words that aptly described Don, though the words that best described him were “loving” and “supportive” as he was the best father and grandfather his family could have ever asked for.
A proud patriot, Don was an avid supporter of most veteran organizations and he continued to feel honored to have served his beloved country.
Don will be dearly missed by his two daughters: Connie (fiancé Jason Medenwald) Jeffries of Mount Gilead, and her three children: Nathan (Rachelle) Newson of Mount Gilead, Aimee (Kevin) Case of Delaware, and Colton Carter of Mount Gilead; and Michelle (Mark) Hamet of Hilliard, and her two daughters: Michaela and Maddie Hamet; two great-grandchildren: Abram and Amelia Newson; and several nieces and nephews.
Including his wife and parents, Don was preceded in death by his brother, Douglas Hedrick; two sisters: Orpha Watkins and Marilyn Seitz; and a special friend, Beverly Walsh Johnson.
His family will greet friends from 4 – 7 p.m. on Thursday, July 22, 2010, at the Snyder Funeral Home, Craven Chapel, 67 N. Main St., Mount Gilead. Memorial services celebrating his life will be held there on Friday at 11:00 a.m. with Don Kelley ministering. Burial with military honors provided by V.F.W. Post 8054 and Am Vets Post 87 will follow in Rivercliff Cemetery.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Morrow County Veterans Service Office or to the Disabled American Veterans, and they may be sent in care of the funeral home.
For those wishing to express their condolences to Donald’s family, you may do so by visiting www.snyderfuneralhomes.com.