OBITUARY

Peggy Shepherd Hedrick, JD

December 30, 1936January 18, 2023
Obituary of Peggy Shepherd Hedrick, JD
Beloved wife, mother, Grandmama, GGMa, sister, aunt, cousin, writer, speaker, attorney, linguist, world traveler, entrepreneur, pianist, friend, Bertha Margaret “Peggy” Shepherd Hedrick died on January 18, 2023 after a long, brave battle with Alzheimer’s disease. Family game night. What’s the capital of Iceland? Blank stares all around. Peggy laughed. “Reykjavic!” she said. She often knew the answers to questions that stumped others. Everyone wanted her on their trivial pursuit team. Peggy was once approached by a stranger who begged to “read” Peggy’s aura. “Your aura is multi-colored!” the woman exclaimed. “You’re knowing and creative and you attract people.” Anyone who’s ever met Peggy already knows she’s special. Peggy was smart, ambitious, creative, well read. After passing the Bar, she worked for a time at Legal Aid before she “put out a shingle” to open her own law practice. A portion of her home was dedicated to her office, where she had a successful legal practice for more than 30 years and is still registered with the Missouri Bar Association. She was a fixture in her Springfield, Missouri community where she answered legal questions on Wayne Glenn’s KTXR radio program for many years, beginning in 1983. She was the first woman to run for Circuit Judge in Greene County (as a democrat, in a Circuit with eight Republican Judges). She was a member of the League of Women Voters and was the Chairperson of the Board of Directors of Springfield’s Council of Churches. Peggy used computers, scanners and printers in her practice while others were still typing, hand-writing and hand-filing legal documents. She used computers to digitally submit pleadings before other lawyers in her area knew how to login. She bought domain names before most people knew what they were. She created her own website at PeggyHedrick.com to promote her practice and provide legal help as soon as the technology appeared. Before LGBTQ was a term, Peggy had created a method for same gender couples to establish and protect their families. Before self-publishing was a “thing,” Peggy opened Thoth Publishing Company to promote her family’s books. Her home language was English but she read the Bible – and John Grisham books – in German, just to keep her skills up. If she visited a country, she studied its language. German was her most practiced foreign tongue, but at different times she communicated in Japanese, Greek, Arabic, Turkish, Bosnian and ASL. Peggy was born on December 30, 1936 in Lake City, Iowa. She was an Army “brat” and attended 22 different schools before graduating high school. In one city making friends was hard. In the next adventure, “I was on the homecoming court,” she said. Throughout her life, Peggy loved meeting new people and learning their stories. She lived in Japan, Germany and Egypt, traveled in Greece, Turkey, and Israel, studied the languages of those countries and worked on archeological projects in Egypt. With her husband, Charlie – to whom she was married 67 years - she travelled to Greece every year for 20 plus years. Together they lived on the most distant Greek island off the Turkish coast (Karpathos). She took her first modern Greek class at San Fernando State in the 1960s while scholar Charlie focused on the ancient form. “Charlie could read the tombstones, but I bought the groceries,” she joked. One day, she wrote, Charlie “woke up” and decided to study Modern Greek too. Peggy was admitted to the Missouri Bar in 1981. Her undergraduate degrees, in German and Sociology, are from Pitzer College in Claremont, California. She has two law degrees, the first from the University of LaVerne College of Law, LaVerne, California. The second, from Benjamin Cardozo School of Law, Yeshiva University in New York City. She completed 25 units of classes at the Law School of the University of Missouri at Kansas City (applied to the Cardozo degree). In 1998 Peggy was chosen to be a "polling supervisor" by the United States State Department for the national elections in war torn Bosnia-Herzegovina. The next year she served as a polling supervisor for the Assembly elections in Kosovo, and in November 2001 returned to Bosnia. In the 1970s, Peggy lived alone on a houseboat on the Nile River in Cairo, Egypt while working as a photographer for the Coptic-Gnostic Project for the Nag Hammadi Codices of Claremont Graduate University. Peggy took up jogging before there were Adidas, Nikes or running bras. As an at-home mom, she designed and sewed Halloween costumes, baked cookies for PTA fundraisers, attended school functions. When rain poured from the clouds, she made a boat out of popsicle sticks and, soaked to the bone, raced the craft from street to sewer. When she became interested in photography, she turned the family coat closet into a darkroom. She arranged for daughter, Kay, to appear in a movie called Wake Me When the War is Over, starring Ken Berry and Eva Gabor. Cindi was in the tv show, Family Affair, and interviewed for The Graduate (where Peggy made an impression on director Mike Nichols). When Charles studied abroad, she met him on the Spanish Steps in Rome, Italy. Peggy obtained a tiny spider monkey as a pet. “Jocko” rode the dog’s back, wore a harness and a leash and visited schools for show and tell. When Jocko proved less than reliable at potty training, Peggy created a diaper for him with her Pfaff sewing machine. Unfortunately, she didn’t patent her invention. Peggy was an avid gardener who planted apple trees and grape and blackberry bushes in the yard of her California home. She grew aloe on a sunny hill outside the fence. She would break the plant’s leaves and rub the gel on her face and hands – and drink the liquid too. Much later, aloe would be sold in stores across the country, acclaimed for its medicinal qualities. Peggy was an accomplished pianist who travelled to Army chapels with her Chaplain father and played the organ. She taught all three of her children – and their friends! – to play. Even after dementia had claimed her language, Peggy found comfort in arpeggios. Her favorite was G7, performed in fluent flourishes up and down the piano. She liked cherry chocolate chip ice cream, with chocolate chips and cherries in luscious vanilla. Peggy planted a cherry tree. She would pit the fruit with a straw and bake pies. Once, she walked to Blockbuster with granddaughter Kimberly and found $40! They rented movies with it. And got candy and popcorn too. Sure, there are stray coins to be found here and there and maybe the occasional dollar bill. But who finds two $20s in a puddle? Peggy Hedrick, that’s who. The loss of Peggy is an unceasing grief with no top or bottom. Peggy is predeceased by her parents, Clyttie and Clayton Shepherd, brother Conner Shepherd and sister Lois Inlow. She is missed by her husband of more than 67 years, Dr. Charles W. Hedrick, Sr. of North Kansas City, MO. Remembered with love by her sister/cousin, Betty Bouris of Menifee, CA and brother Everitt Shepherd of Scottsdale, AZ. Loved forever by her children, Charles Hedrick, Jr. (Jenny) of Santa Cruz, CA, Janet Lucinda Kennaley (Bob) of Kansas City, MO, and Lois Kay Hedrick of North Kansas City, MO. Adored by her grandchildren, Christopher, Katie and Kimberly Kennaley, Charles (Chaz) Hedrick, III and Margaret (Meg), 2LT Helen (Ella) and Mary (Mouse) Hedrick. Beloved by her three great grandchildren, Krissy, Killian and Cael Kennaley and many cousins, nieces, nephews and friends. A gathering of Peggy’s family and friends will begin at 1 PM Sunday on January 29th at McGilley Antioch. Burial will be at 2 PM Monday, January 30th at the Missouri Veterans Cemetery at Higginsville, MO. In lieu of flowers, contributions suggested to NorthCare Hospice House of Kansas City Hospice & Palliative Care (https://www.kchospice.org/nc-support/), to whom the family is most grateful for their gentle and loving care of Peggy during this difficult time.

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  • FAMILY

  • Dr. Charles W. Hedrick, Sr. Husband
  • Betty Bouris Sister/Cousin
  • Everitt Shepherd Brother
  • Charles Hedrick, Jr. (Jenny) Son and daughter-in-law
  • Janet Lucinda Kennaley (Bob) Daughter and son-in-law
  • Lois Kay Hedrick Daughter
  • Grandchildren: Christopher, Katie and Kimberly Kennaley, Charles (Chaz) Hedrick, III and Margaret (Meg), 2LT Helen (Ella) and Mary (Mouse) Hedrick.
    Great grandchildren: Krissy, Killian and Cael Kennaley
    Many cousins, nieces and nephews

Past Services

Sunday, January 29, 2023

Funeral Service

Monday, January 30, 2023

Graveside Service