JOHN R. HEDJohn R. Hed, 91, longtime resident of Duluth, passed away peacefully amongst family on Monday, Jan. 16, 2012, in St. Luke's hospital.
Retired Colonel, USAF
John R. Hed, 91, longtime resident of Duluth, passed away peacefully amongst family on Monday, Jan. 16, 2012 at St. Luke's hospital.
John was born to Swedish immigrants in St. Paul on Aug. 16, 1920. He was a devoted husband, father, grandfather and great grandfather. He was married for 55 years to Artelle (Fogelberg).
His passion was aviation. In his teens he enlisted in the Air National Guard and eventually went on to flying school in the Army Air Corps. He served during World War II in the Aleutian Islands ferrying many different kinds of aircraft. He returned and finished his aeronautical engineering degree at the University of Minnesota. He was then tasked to help start the new Air National Guard base (now the 148th Fighter Wing) in Duluth. In his career he flew over 7400 hours in over 75 different aircraft. He was also an early and longtime member of the Experimental Aircraft Association. He even owned a prototype "Baby Albatros" sailplane that now resides in the Smithsonian. In 2003 he was inducted into the Minnesota Aviation Hall of Fame. Until the end, he would travel just about anywhere to see and talk airplanes.
John was also a devout man. He was a member of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church since 1948. He served in many capacities. He especially enjoyed the youth programs and teaching 6th grade Sunday school where he touched the lives of many young people.
After he retired he volunteered for Meals-on-Wheels for many years. He was a voracious reader, watched only Fox News and was a diehard conservative that made Rush Limbaugh look left wing!
He was preceded in death by his wife Artelle; and his brothers Norman, Leonard, Rodney and sister Lois Newhouse.
He is survived by daughters Barb (Keith) Hanson, Shirley Helmen and son John (Grainne) Hed; nine grandchildren; and seven great grandchildren.
The family would like to give special thanks to the kind and compassionate staff of the Mount Royal Pines III facility. Special thanks to Dr. David Sproat and the wonderful staff at St. Lukes hospital for the excellent care he has received there over the years.
He lived by the lifelong motto of "God, country, family" and he will be greatly missed.
VISITATION: 10 a.m. until the 11 a.m. Memorial Service Saturday, Jan. 21, in the Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd, 1325 N. 45th Ave. East.
In lieu of flowers, memorials preferred to Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd or the EAA Young Eagles program.
Please leave a memory of John or words of support for the family at www.bellbrothersjarvidowd.com