“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” 2 Timothy, 4:7
Charles Clark Hedde, MD, left this world on August 13, 2017, at Good Samaritan Hospital in Vincennes, Ind., where he proudly dedicated his working career to taking care of others. He was surrounded by his family as he met the Lord he so graciously served.
Born in Chicago, Ill., to Charles and Wanda (Clark) Hedde on February 2, 1952, he grew up in Lawrenceville, Ill., with two sisters, Sandra (Hedde) Tully and Janet (Hedde) Guess. He led his 65 years with extreme kindness, compassion and showed goodness to everyone he knew. He did good things for all people in hopes that it might make them better.
As a child he developed a great love for the games of basketball and golf. He played both throughout his high school career at Lawrenceville High School and then went on to play collegiate basketball at Ole Miss before transferring to the University of Kentucky to focus on his undergraduate studies in medicine, where he was a member of the Phi Beta Kappa Society.
He studied internal medicine at Northwestern University in Chicago where he would come to meet some of his lifelong friends. Completing his residency in 1982, he was board certified in internal medicine, a fellow of the American College of Physicians and the American College of Healthcare Executives. Academically inclined, the list of his professional experiences, certifications, licensures and associations are too many to mention and he would prefer them not be. And for this, he was an example of humility.
Dr. Hedde always wore his gray Northwestern medical coat as an outward sign of pride for his alma-mater. You can imagine his joy watching them advance in this past season’s NCAA tournament. While in Chicago, he fell in love with the Cubs and would see a 2016 World Series championship. But what really stole his heart during those early years in medical school was a young woman named Ann.
After some rather persistent courting, he married the love of his life, Ann Elise Hendrix, on December 11, 1976, and loved nothing more than to make her happy, and it was this that made him an example of a good husband. Together they raised three adoring children. Charles Clark Hedde Il, Elizabeth Ann (Hedde) Sheets and Margaret Elise (Hedde) Hatteberg. His family was the apple of his eye. There was only one thing that could interrupt an appointment with one of his patients, and that was a phone call from any of his children.
He loved watching Charles excel on the basketball court, Elizabeth on the tennis court and Margaret sharing her musical talents on stage and at church. Encouraging the refinement of each of their talents, he rarely missed a game, match or performance. It was this that made him an example of a good father.
His children married and their family grew. Being a grandpa suited him very well. Charles II and his wife, Natalie (Heldt) Hedde married in 2006 and have two children, Charles Clark Hedde III who is four years old, and daughter Haven Marie is three. Elizabeth married Douglas Sheets in 2008 and together they have Cooper Douglas who is five and Caroline Ann just turned one. Margaret wed her husband, Jared Hatteberg in 2010. Not only to his children, but to Natalie, Douglas and Jared, Dr. Hedde was a place of wisdom, counsel and perspective. And these elements are what made him an example of a thoughtful listener and honest mentor.
Dr. Hedde practiced medicine with great pride for more than 30 years and helped shape the fine establishment that is Good Samaritan Hospital. He enjoyed his most recent position as Chief Medical Officer and this fall was to begin teaching at the new IU School of Medicine in Evansville. He was extremely thrilled that Good Samaritan would begin taking residents and become a teaching hospital. He wanted to teach his passions, which were to instill patient advocacy as a core competency in young physicians and ensure they treated their team of nurses and staff with great respect. How fitting that Good Sam is where he took his last breathe under the care of a tremendous medical team of whom he was so very proud. Those who cared for him were led by his example as he embodied every element of servant leadership.
A pillar of the community, he served on the Vincennes University Foundation Board and was an active member of Vincennes First United Methodist Church where he held multiple leadership positions.
He will be greatly missed by his parents, Charles and Wanda, his wife Ann, children and grandchildren in addition to his siblings and extended family.
Visitation will be held on Thursday, August 17 from 3:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., EST, at Vincennes First United Methodist Church in Vincennes, Ind. A funeral of Christian burial will be held at 11:00 a.m., EST, on Friday, August 18 at First United Methodist. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Health Education Center for the Residency Program through the Good Samaritan Hospital Foundation.