Cover photo for Bill Bates Hedges's Obituary
Bill Bates Hedges Profile Photo

Bill Bates Hedges

September 19, 1938 — May 31, 2023


Bill Bates Hedges

Click HERE to watch Bill Hedges Memorial Service

Billy Bates Hedges passed away on Wednesday evening, May 31, 2023; he was 84.

He joins his parents, brother Jerry Lee Hedges, and wife Jane Hedges. He is survived by his brother, Harold [Mary Helen] Hedges, III, Daughter Kathryn [Stephen] Arata of Dallas, TX, grandchildren Jeremy [Emma] Arata, Hannah Arata, and Julianna Arata; Son Kent [Jennifer] Hedges of Cedar Park, TX, grandchildren Nick [Lily] Hedges, Noah Hedges, and Logan Hedges; and Daughter Rebecca [Ross] Matthews of Houston, grandchildren Ellen Matthews and Olivia Matthews.

He also joins his second wife Beth Robinson Hedges. He is survived by Stepdaughter Jill [Todd] House of Joshua, TX, grandchildren Katie [Jason] Billingslea, Mary Claire [Will] Meador; and Stepdaughter Jill Meil Robinson of Dallas, and grandchildren, Ben Robinson, Adam Robinson, Madison Shirley, Chloe [Collin] Cooper, and two great-grandchildren.

Growing up in Little Rock, AR, Bill enjoyed the outdoors, loved exploring, and became an Eagle Scout. Bill graduated from Little Rock Central High School in 1956, attended Hendrix College for two years, graduated from SMU with a History degree in 1960 and Perkins Theological Seminary in 1963. He served as a United Methodist pastor in 20 churches throughout east Texas for over 40 years.

Capitalizing on his love of history, Bill served as the Methodist Conference historian for 28 years, President of the Texas United Methodist Historical Society, Archivist for the South-Central Jurisdiction for 8 years and a member of the General Commission on Archives and History for 4 years. Bill is captured for all posterity via a video he made welcoming people to the Center for Connectional Resources in Conroe (TexasAnnualConferenceUnitedMethodistChurch-Archives&History).

Bill’s life centered on the phrase: “Serve the People” and he embodied a life of service through many local leadership roles with Rotary International from chapter president to District Governor. He often quoted their motto: “Service above self” and the 4-Way test of the things we think, say, and do: “Is it the truth?”, “Is it fair to all concerned”?, “Will it build goodwill and better friendship?”, and “Will it be beneficial to all concerned?” Bill lived by the words of John Wesley: "Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can."

Bill will be laid to rest in the columbarium and memorial garden at St. Michael’s Episcopal Church located at 12415 Cantrell Road, Little Rock, AR 72223 following a service on Sunday, June 18, 2023, at 2:00. A celebration of life service will be held at First United Methodist Church in Quitman, TX on Monday, June 19, 2023, at 1:00.


In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to (include “In honor of Bill Hedges” in the note/memo):

Quitman Rotary Club Attn: Scholarship Fund PO Box 222 Quitman, TX 75783 QuitmanRotaryClub

Feed My Starving Children FeedMyStarvingChildren 

The Quitman First United Methodist Church Endowment Fund FirstUnitedMethodistChurchQuitman 

Texas Annual Conference Archives & History ArchivesandHistory 

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Bill Bates Hedges, please visit our flower store.

Past Services

Memorial Service

Monday, June 19, 2023

Starts at 1:00 pm (Central time)

First United Methodist Church

406 Lane St, Quitman, TX 75783

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