Deward Douglas Hedrick, age 96, of Montrose went home to be with Jesus on Friday, Oct. 21, 2011, at Valley Manor Care Center in Montrose. Deward was born Feb. 28, 1915, to James and Versa (Richardson) Hedrick in Reeds Spring, Mo. He spent his childhood and grew to adulthood there, and married Alva Hammers on May 20, 1933, in Reeds Spring. Alva preceded Deward in death on March 13, 2001, in Montrose. The family moved to Colorado in 1956, where he made his home until the time of his death. Deward was a farmer and dairyman, and owned a concrete construction business.
At the age of 6, while helping his grandfather rob wild bees of their honey in the Ozarks, Deward developed a life-long passion for beekeeping and, for the past several years, has been known as "The Bee Man." He was also known as "The Fisherman," "The Elk Hunter," "The Moose Hunter" and "The Caribou Hunter," but more often as Dad, Grandpa, Great-Grandpa, Great-Great-Grandpa and even "Grandpa Tomato." He loved the outdoors and the mountains of Colorado.
Surviving family members include his five children, Eutona and husband Hiram Simkins of Montrose, Chilton Hedrick and wife Anna of Edwards, Chlorene and husband Robert Deines of Montrose, Kathalene and husband Richard Dalton of Beaumont, Calif., and Randy Hedrick and wife Debbie of Montrose; one sister, Euvella Newman of St. Louis, Mo.; one sister-in-law, Bonnie Blake of Henderson, Nev.; two brothers-in-law, Glen Ecker of Olathe, Colo., and Herbert Hammers of Medford, Ore.; 16 grandchildren; 27 great-grandchildren; eight great-great-grandchildren with two on the way; and a special friend, Noni Snider of Montrose.
Deward was preceded in death by his wife, Alva; both parents; three sisters; one grandson; and one great-grandson.
Visitation for family and friends will be held on Thursday, Oct. 27, 2011, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Crippin Funeral Home Chapel. Funeral services are scheduled for Friday, Oct. 28, 2011, at 1 p.m. at Christ's Church of the Valley, with the Rev. Gary Hodges officiating. Burial will follow the service at Grand View Cemetery in Montrose. Memorial contributions may be made to Christ's Church of the Valley or the charity of the donor's choice. Arrangements are under the direction of Crippin Funeral Home & Crematory of Montrose.
Published in the Montrose Daily Press on October 26, 2011.
Alva A Hammers Hedrick
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