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Dr. Thomas Vernel Hedges, formerly of Benton

  • Dr. Thomas Vernel Hedges

    Dr. Thomas Vernel Hedges

updated: 9/17/2018 11:42 AM

Dr. Thomas Vernel Hedges passed away Sept. 4, 2018 following a brief illness.

Thomas was born Aug. 7, 1931 in Benton, Illinois to the late Anna L. (Beaty) Hedges and Thomas J. Hedges. He married Norma Jean Neal on Aug. 5, 1950 in Piggott Arkansas.

He spent his first 18 years through high school in and around Benton and Akin, Illinois. Prior to attending college, he worked in a grocery store, worked for Servus Rubber and served in the U.S. Army.

Dr. Hedges had a very rewarding 35-year tenure as a university professor, from 1958 to 1993. He taught six years at Southern Illinois University, 5 years at Indiana University, five years at Texas Christian University and 18 years at Southern Methodist University.

Following his retirement from SMU in 1993, Dr. Hedges lived in east Texas. He enjoyed the time spent with family and friends, and gardening, square dancing and traveling with his wife. He loved all music, but especially Western Swing.

He leaves behind his two sons, Thomas James (Jim) Hedges and Allie Wayne Hedges and his wife Angie; grandchildren, Brady Hedges, Cassidy (Hedges) Shoemake and her husband Mark, and Michael Hedges and his husband Ryan Kite Hedges; and sister-in-law, Fannie Lou Henke and her husband, Lee.

Dr. Hedges was preceded in death by his wife, Norma Jean (Neal) Hedges; daughter, Janell Hedges; grandson, Joshua Hedges; sisters, Betty McDowell, Lena Spencer and Beverly Fisher; and brother, Charles Hedges.

Military graveside services will be held 10:15 a.m. Monday, Oct. 1, 2018 at the Dallas-Fort Worth National Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in Dr. Hedges memory can be made to IOG (Investing in Others Greatness), 2501 Parkview, Suite 123, Fort Worth, Texas 76102 ( or to the charity of your choice.