William Depew Hedges

On August 29, 2019, William Depew Hedges, age 95, died at Oak Hammock at the University of Florida, Gainesville, after a brief illness. William was born June 9, 1924 in Southampton, New York to William and Susan (Depew) Hedges and was raised in Malvern, Arkansas. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy during World War II and gained admission to the V-12 Navy College Training Program. He graduated from the University of Oklahoma in 1946 with a B.S. in Electrical Engineering where he received his commission. After completing his tour of duty he married Robbie Farris in Eureka Springs, Arkansas in 1948 while teaching high school mathematics and science. He held positions in teaching and administration in public schools in Arkansas, Kansas, North Carolina, Florida, and Missouri. He earned his doctorate at George Peabody College (now part of Vanderbilt University) in Nashville, Tennessee. An associate professor in the Department of Education at the University of Virginia, he was granted leave from 1959 to 1962 to work with the public schools in Daejon, Korea where he focused on improving science education. In 1968 William became Chairman of Curriculum and Instruction in the College of Education at the University of Missouri with a leave year for research at the University of Pittsburgh. He then accepted the position of Chairman, Elementary Education in the College of Education at the University of Florida in 1971. After resuming teaching as professor in Instructional Leadership, William was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship for 1985-1986 and returned to Daejon, Korea to lecture at Chungnam National University. William retired from the University of Florida as emeritus professor in 1991. During his career, William authored six books, some 150 articles and consulted widely stateside and overseas. William is survived by his wife of 71 years, Robbie, his sons William and Douglas, and daughter-in-law Diane. He was preceded in death by his sister and brothers. A rationalist in intellect and an iconoclast in temperament, William devoured books, gardened vegetables, played bridge, voted a Democratic ticket, and appreciated bourbon and branch water every afternoon. Above all he was a devoted husband, father, and father-in-law. William will be cremated and his ashes will be scattered by his immediate family at a place he loved. Donations may be made in his name to the William D. and Robbie F. Hedges Research Fund in the College of Education at the University of Florida. Arrangements are in the care of Milam Funeral and Cremation Services 311 S. Main Street Gainesville, FL 32601 (352) 376-5361 www.milamfh.com

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