Our loving father, Donald Ward Hedrick, 96, passed away with his family at his side, May 4, 2014, at the University Retirement Community. His death was seven years to the day after his beloved wife, Pauline, died. Born July 20, 1917 in Willapa, Washington., to H. Ward and Bertha (Fisch) Hedrick, he was the last surviving sibling of his family.
Don received his bachelor’s degree from Washington State College (now University) in Pullman, Washington, in 1939. He then served as a pilot in the Flying Tigers (later the 14th Air Force) during World War II in the China-Burma-India Theater, during which he received the Purple Heart and Silver Star. Upon his return, he married Pauline Gray, May 14, 1944, in Willapa, Washington.
He received his master’s degree in forestry from UC Berkeley in 1949 and his Ph.D. in range management from Texas A&M in 1951. He was a professor of range management at Oregon State University for 18 years before becoming the first dean of the School of Natural Resources at Humboldt State University in 1969, until his retirement in 1981. He also served as chairman of the North Coast Regional Coastal Commission from 1975 to 1976. Five of the years of his career were spent in Nigeria, Gambia and Zimbabwe as a forage agronomist and range-management specialist to help improve the grasslands and beef production of the population.
Don was an active member of a church community wherever he lived. He met Pauline at church in Texas during World War II. He was devoted to God, inspired by Christ’s love, and touched by the Holy Spirit. He was a member of the Davis United Methodist Church and the Pilot’s Club at URC. Don volunteered at the Davis Senior Center for the Meals on Wheels program for more than 15 years.
Don was a kind, devoted, and generous father and he is survived by children who loved him deeply, Donine Hedrick (David Studer) and Dr. Ronald (Karen) Hedrick both of Davis, Dr. David (Ximena Sepúlveda) Hedrick of Ellensburg, Washington, and Dr. Lora (Richard) Ellenson of New York, NY; grandchildren Ryan, Victoria (Victor Gandarillas), Steven, Brittany, María Ximena, Thomas and Taite; and two great-grandchildren, José Tomás and Lucía.
Services will be private. If you wish to make a contribution in his memory, please send it to the United Methodist Church of Davis, 1620 Anderson Road, Davis, CA 95616 or the Davis Senior Center, attention Meals on Wheels, 646 A Street, Davis, CA 95616.