Dr. William Leroy HEDGES

HEDGES, Dr. William Leroy
April 26, 1925 - March 20, 2014

On March 20, 2014, with his family and longtime caregiver, Sherlette Gentle surrounding him, Dr. William Leroy Hedges, left this world to be with his loving wife, Marilyn in heaven. He leaves behind an enduring legacy of family and friends.

Bill (Doc) was born in Chicago, Illinois on April 26, 1925 to Leroy and Elizabeth Hedges. He served in the Army during World War II as a medic in the Philippines. Upon his return he began medical school at the University of Illinois. It was there that he met his bride-to-be, Marilyn Miller. Within 3 months they were married and moved to Sacramento to start his internship at the Sacramento County Hospital and a new life that took him through his next 60 years. During his internship/residency program he met Jim Farley, MD, with whom he set up a medical practice in Family Medicine. The two of them were like brothers and are remembered fondly by many in the Sacramento Area for the care they provided for over 35 years.

Bill is likely best known as the patriarch of an extremely large family of whom he often bragged and was so proud! He and Marilyn raised nine children: Bill (Erenne); Deter (Joe Guglielmo); Betsy (Greg Middleton); Jill (Ken Bennett); Peter (Jane); Marilyn (Charlie Stebbins); John; Anne (Michael Downey); and James (Anne Bialowas), 20 grandchildren: Justin, Matthew, Anne Marie, Emily, Jenny, Julie, Katie, Tommy, Mollie (his most devoted Sunday visitor), Mary Alice, Beth, Trish, Jamie, Chrissy, Lindsay, Sammi, Mallory, Aidan, Bridget, and Scarlet and 11 great-grandchildren.

Bill shared his love of life with his kids. He taught them to snow ski and some of the best family trips were spent driving in the station wagon to visit his cousin, Don in Vail to ski. Those road trips created some of the families' most hilarious adventures. He also enjoyed water skiing and summer vacations to Tahoe where every child was allowed to bring a friend. Bill will also be remembered for going on 'family jogs' long before running was popular and for his involvement with the Physician's Cycling Group where he logged thousands of hours on his bike riding from Tahoe to Yosemite and commuting to work. Poopsie, as he was lovingly called by his kids also loved to grace any dance floor he could find. In his final days he could be found performing his dance moves in his wheel chair.

He had a joie de vivre that will always be remembered. He was an amazing artist who loved to paint as a young man and who picked it back up after retirement painting many scenes he saw on his extensive travels around the world with Marilyn. His artwork will be enjoyed for generations to come. He served others throughout his life in both his medical practice and in his church. Bill was someone on whom his patients, friends and family could always depend. He was also one of the last of the old-school doctors who made house calls and invited patients, nuns and priests over for Sunday night dinners.

He loved to laugh and was a jokester until the very end, yet everyone around him knew the depth of his love and compassion. He will be sorely missed but his spirit will never be forgotten.

A rosary will be held on Thursday, March 27, 2014 at 7:00 pm at Our Lady of the Assumption Church, 2141 Walnut Avenue, Carmichael, CA followed by a memorial mass, Friday, March 28, 2014 at 10:00 am.

In lieu of flowers, remembrances may be sent to Mercy Hospice, UNICEF or the .

Published in The Sacramento Bee on Mar. 25, 2014