American Patriotic 11

Perry Oslund Hedberg

February 6, 1925 ~ April 11, 2022 (age 97)

Obituary

Perry Oslund Hedberg, Age 97 of Arden Hills, Passed away April 11, 2022. He was a Navy Veteran of WWII. He worked in Christian Publications, most prominently for Bethel College as Director of Public Relations. Preceded in death by his wife, Jane of 70 years; parents, C. Perry and Rosa; brother, Willard. Survived by his children, John (Michele), Wendy, Peter (Diane) and Kerstin Leonard (Mark); 10 grandchildren; 11 great grandchildren; and sisters, Carolyn, Mary Alice and Nancy. Memorial Service 11 am Friday, April 22 at Community of Nations Church, 2025 Skillman Ave W, Roseville, with visitation one hour prior to service. Service can be viewed through www.communityofnationschurch.com and click the Sunday Services Zoom Link. Private Interment at Fort Snelling National Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorials preferred to Community of Nations Church.

Perry was born February 6, 1925, in Davenport, Iowa, to Carl Perry and Rosa (Oslund) Hedberg, now deceased. He was the oldest in the family of two boys and three girls. His three sisters survive him, Carolyn Vandeventer; Mary Alice (Curt) Koch; and Nancy (Jim) Wilhelm. His younger brother Willard pre-deceased him, though his sister-in-law Mary Lou Hedberg remains.
Perry’s was a warmly Christian home. His mother prayed with him for his salvation experience and he was baptized Easter Sunday of 1935 at the Swedish Baptist Church near his home. Perry graduated from Davenport High School in June 1943.
The following month, Perry went on active duty with the Navy. First, he had two months of training at the University of Minnesota. Then he had boot camp training at the Great Lakes Training Center before he was shipped overseas from Shoemaker, California, in April, 1944.
Perry served as a pharmacist’s mate working in Malaria Control in the New Hebrides Islands (now called Vanuatu). At the beginning of the war, there were eight casualties to malaria for every one casualty to the Japanese. The Malaria Control Unit reversed the ratio!
While in the New Hebrides, Perry was able to visit a mission compound and see the actual work pioneered by John Paton, a Scottish missionary. Perry remained concerned for the native tribes’ people of Vanuatu for the remainder of his life.
Perry came home in December, 1945, and was honorably discharged from the Navy in April the following year.
In September, 1946, Perry went to Bethel College and graduated with a degree in Philosophy. After Perry and Jane were married in August 1950, Jane had to spend several months in Michigan to help her mother. Perry attended Bethel Seminary for one year at that time. While he was a student, Calvary Baptist Church was formulated at Bethel, where Perry and Jane were members. They were present at the groundbreaking ceremony at the Roseville location.
Immediately after they were married, Perry and Jane lived in an apartment in a large house on Dayton Avenue which was owned by the Council of Churches. Their apartment was rent free, because they were caretakers. Evenings and weekends they had use of the entire house. Jane served lunches to various groups who met there. It was an interesting opportunity to see firsthand the work the Council of Churches did in the Twin Cities.
In 1955, the Hedbergs moved to Chicago where Perry worked for Christian Booksellers Association until September 1962. For the next thirteen years, he was Director of Public Relations at Bethel College and Seminary. He had a heart for Bethel, and he considered these years the apex of his career. He started the Bethel Focus, a publication featuring news, articles and alumni updates, which continues today under a different name. Perry worked at Bethel in the years spanning its location in St. Paul and then relocation to Arden Hills. Those were eventful years in Bethel’s history.
In 1975, Perry and Jane moved to Valparaiso, Indiana, where Perry worked for Christian Haven (located in Wheatfield, IN), an organization that helped emotionally disturbed boys, again in the area of public relations. Hedbergs returned to St. Paul in 1977, where Perry worked in security at Presbyterian Homes. He eventually became Head of Security at the Johanna Shores location, and worked well into his retirement years. One of the benefits of working at this final position was that he and Jane were able to live in a cozy home on Lake Johanna Blvd. across
the street from work for some 30 years. The Lord provides.
Perry and Jane (deceased 11/4/20) were married for 70 faithful years as of 8/19/20. Children include John (Michele); Wendy; Peter (Diane); and Kerstin (Mark) Leonard. They have 10 grandchildren and 11 great grandchildren. Perry and Jane were exceptional parents as attested by their children.
When Christian Youth Fellowship was first begun by the Baptist General Conference (BGC), Perry was its first president. This group no longer exists, but it did a great work for many years. Perry also served on the BGC Board of Publications for ten years and the Board of Bible School and Youth Work for five years.
While attending Bethany Baptist Church, Perry served on the Deacon Board and also taught the seniors’ Sunday School class for many years. He was a faithful supporter of his church for 60 years.
We thank God for Perry’s love for the Lord and His Word and we value him as a true brother and co-worker for Christ. Perry was always a humble servant, manifesting Christ-likeness in considering others before himself, with a willingness to give to others even beyond his means. He had honor and respect for those in authority and was faithful and loyal to those for whom he cared. In these latter years, he continued to be a fervent person of prayer for those from family, friends and acquaintances who had touched his heart.

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