George H. Hedgepeth

Published 1:42 pm Friday, July 2, 2021

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FRANKLIN – George Horace “Top” Hedgepeth, 94, passed away on Thursday, July 2, 2021. He was born June 13, 1927 to the late Horace Fletcher Hedgepeth and Doris Carr Zimmerman. He was preceded in death by his sister, Helen Virginia Hedgepeth.

George H. Hedgepeth

A devoted husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather and uncle, Mr. Hedgepeth is survived by his wife of 74 years, the former Louise Cook of Newsoms. Also surviving him are his sons, Dennis W. Hedgepeth (Laurie), Larry G. Hedgepeth (Kathryn) and Brian K. Hedgepeth (Terri-Lynn); grandchildren, Anne B. Hedgepeth, Amy H. Civetti (Mike), Michael B. Hedgepeth (Amanda) and Katherine E. Hedgepeth and great-grandchildren, Camryn M. Hedgepeth, Elle M. Hedgepeth and Autumn J. Hedgepeth, along with numerous nieces and nephews.

Mr. Hedgepeth graduated from Carrsville High School in 1944 and attended Randolph-Macon College. A native of the Walters-Colosse community, he served in the U.S. Navy. He lived in the City of Franklin after his service in the Navy.

For most of his career, Mr. Hedgepeth worked for St. Regis Paper Co., which was purchased in 1985 by Champion International Paper Co. In March of 1986, Stone Container Corp. purchased Champion’s Bag Packaging Division, where he worked in sales.

In August 1946, Mr. Hedgepeth began working for St. Regis. He held numerous supervisory positions with the company including industrial engineering quality control manager, training instructor and personnel manager.

In 1974, Mr. Hedgepeth joined the sales team for St. Regis’ bag packaging division. His sales territory included Virginia and North Carolina. While with St. Regis, he received the President’s Order of Merit Award recognizing his exceptional service and outstanding performance beyond the normal requirements of his job. Mr. Hedgepeth was the first and only employee from his division to receive this award. He retired from Stone Container Corp. after 43 years in the paper industry.

Known to his friends and acquaintances as “Top,” Mr. Hedgepeth was active in many civic, community and church endeavors. He was elected to the Franklin City Council for three terms from 1966-1978. He held leadership positions with various community organizations, including president of the Franklin-Southampton Chamber of Commerce as well as chairman of its Industrial Division, president of the Franklin Lions Club, a group leader for the Southampton Memorial Hospital Building Fund and a member of the Board of Directors for the Franklin Community Fund. He also served on the Virginia Advisory Council to Review Workers’ Compensation Laws for the State of Virginia.

Additionally, Mr. Hedgepeth was a member of the board of directors for the YMCA and Group Leader for the YMCA Building Fund. An avid baseball fan, he was an active player in college, in the Navy and in the YMCA Church Softball League. He coached little league baseball in Franklin for 18 years, touching the lives of hundreds of young men. At Franklin Baptist Church, he taught Sunday School, was a member of the Bruner Bible Class and served as Chairman of the Board of Deacons. He also served as president of the Franklin High School Parent Teacher Association.

A funeral service with military honors will be held at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, July 7 in Wright Funeral Home. Burial will be private. The family will receive friends one hour prior to the service in the funeral home and suggests that in lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Franklin Baptist Church Building Fund.