Wayne Hedman, who passed away last December, will be remembered by a whole lot of people for the many things he did for them and for this community over the years. He built a pharmacy business based on genuine compassion and consideration for his customers, every one of whom he saw as a potential friend. At the same time, he took the idea of civic duty to an extraordinary level. He served the wider community in most every way he could with just as much energy and compassion as he served his customers in the pharmacy business. He was a thinker and always had something worthwhile to contribute in community conversations. He also loved animals and nature and always sought to integrate that love into his business and civic affairs.
Now, thanks to a combined effort primarily including the Hamilton Lions Club, the City of Hamilton and the Bitterroot Land Trust, there will be a permanent reminder of this man and his many connections and accomplishments at Skalkaho Bend Park where a bench was dedicated in his honor last Thursday, November 5.
President of the Hamilton Lions Club, Dan Rothlisberger, orchestrated the dedication. Hedman was a very active member of the Lions Club.
“The local Lions Club has been active in the community for 91 years,” said Rothlisberger. “Wayne was a member for 46 years, about half the life of the organization.” He said Hedman was heavily involved in the club’s activities over the years, playing a role in the creation of Blodgett Park and saving the Alta Cabin, among many other projects. Whatever organization he decided to help benefited greatly from his involvement and energy including the Trapper Creek Job Corps, the U.S. Forest Service, the Bitterroot Chamber of Commerce, Marcus Daly Memorial Hospital and the Ravalli County Museum.
Rothlisberger said that the Lions Club, known for its work on dealing with heart disease and diabetes which can seriously impact individual lives, is also always wanting to do something of lasting value for the community such as aid in the creation and upkeep of parks. Rothlisberger said that he got to know Hedman well over the last 10 years and accompanied him on a lot walks in the area that has now become Skalkaho Bend Park.
“He came here a lot,” said Rothlisberger. “He loved to come to the river and walk with his dog Seymour. I accompanied him on numerous occasions. This is the perfect place to honor him.”
The plaque on the bench reads:
In Memory of Wayne Hedman 1939-2019
46 Year Member
Hamilton Lions Club
Downtown Business Leader
Friend of the Forest
A Friend to All
Rothlisberger said that rain had been forecast for the day of the dedication ceremony and there were clouds over the mountains, but a faint rainbow appeared on the mountainside across the way.
“I felt like it was Wayne up there, saying “OK, I like what you have done in my honor,” said Rothlisberger.