James Mark “Jimmy” Hedge, Sr., 86, of Fredericksburg passed away peacefully on Tuesday, May 19, 2020 at home surrounded by his loving wife of almost 70 years, Ivy, their beloved children, and his brother and sister-in-law, Murphy and Elizabeth Street, with whom he shared a special relationship.
Jimmy was born in Clarksburg, WV on June 11, 1933 and grew up in Fredericksburg where he worked at Wakefield Restaurant and Hedge’s Restaurant (both owned by his parents) and graduated from James Monroe High School. He is preceded in death by his parents, Clifford and Irene Hedge, siblings William “Bill” Hedge (San Diego, CA), Clarence Hedge (Spotsylvania), Thelma Harper (Elon, NC) Donald Hedge (Fredericksburg), and his beloved black Labrador, Ace.
At age 17, Jimmy and his high school sweetheart, Ivy (Snellings) of Falmouth crossed state borders to marry in New Bern, NC. They briefly relocated to CA before settling down in Fredericksburg to raise a family of six children. Their love proved to the naysayers that they were indeed not Too Young (their signature song sung by Nat King Cole) with a union that would have lasted 70 years on October 4.
He was a born salesman who was employed with Holsum Bread Company, Dr. Pepper, and Lay’s before landing as the Supervisor of Sales at Wise Potato Chips and Snack Company, where he became lifelong friends and travel companions with his employers, Julian and Laverne Bly. Following their deaths, their son, JC, took over the company, and he and Jimmy forged a fond friendship and work relationship. After 48 years of employment at Wise, Jimmy retired at age 80.
Jimmy was a past member of the Fredericksburg Bowling League, Elks Lodge #875, and First Christian Church. Recently, he began attending Hillcrest United Methodist and was particularly fond of Pastor Justin Williams. The family would like to thank Reverend Williams and Dr. Ryan Anderson for their compassion and care during his illness.
Jimmy was a skilled and avid poker player, who for many years played weekly with a regular group of “poker buddies.” He was also a history buff and enjoyed reading the Bible and watching television shows Jeopardy and Hee Haw with his wife. He was a lifelong Washington Redskins fan, but recently enjoyed watching the ever-winning New England Patriots and Tom Brady in particular.
More than anything, Jimmy loved spending time with his family and vacationing with them in Nags Head, NC. He and Ivy often hosted football and pizza parties, as well as an annual family Christmas gathering that included a visit from Santa Claus.
Survivors include his wife, Ivy (Snellings) Hedge and children Teresa “Terri” Marshall (John) of Spotsylvania, Gail Keefe (William “Bill”) of Reidsville, NC, James “Jimmy” Hedge, Jr. (Betty) of Spotsylvania, Serita Parlett (James) of Lancaster County, Cynthia “Cindy” Hurley (David “Dave”) of Westmoreland County, and Renee Embrey of Fredericksburg. In addition, he is survived by his former sons-in-law, John “Bunky” Gayle, Sr. of Stafford and Mark Embrey of Charlotte, NC. He is also survived by his grandchildren Mark Hedge, Rachel Jacobs, Michelle Johnson, Matthew Keefe, John Gayle, Jr., Derek Gayle, John Marshall, Tara Reid, Aaron Marshall, Joshua ONeil, and Alex Embrey; great-grandchildren Brent, Chase, and Ryleigh Hedge; Kyla Johnson; Owen, Andrew and Caroline Jacobs; Paychence, Darien, Robert, and Jackson Gayle; Kayleigh, Cambree, and Ryan ONeil; and Harper and Alex Reid. He was looking forward to welcoming his newest great-granddaughter, Logan Embrey, in August. He is also survived by his brother, Harold “Butch” Hedge of Seagrove, NC and several nieces and nephews.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, a private funeral service will be held at Covenant Funeral Home in Fredericksburg, followed by interment at Sunset Memorial Gardens. The family will hold a Celebration of Life, which will be held at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Mary Washington Hospice, 2300 Fall Hill Avenue #401, Fredericksburg, VA 22401 or Hillcrest United Methodist Church, 2208 Lafayette Boulevard, Fredericksburg, VA.