Cover photo for Ervin Lee Hedegaard's Obituary
Ervin Lee Hedegaard Profile Photo
1937 Ervin 2023

Ervin Lee Hedegaard

March 21, 1937 — July 9, 2023

Ervin (Babe) Hedegaard passed away on July 9, 2023 at his home in Whitehall, Montana. He was born in Twin Bridges, MT on March 21st, 1937, the son of Nicolie (Nick) Hedegaard and Ada Wolfe.


Erv graduated from Twin Bridges High School where he was salutatorian, class president, and attended Boy’s State. He enjoyed sports, playing the saxophone, and spending time with his family. He is a member of the Twin Bridges Athletic Hall of Fame as a member of the 1952 Championship Football Team. Erv (Babe) had five older siblings: Melvin Nyhart, Gladys (Nyhart) Davenport, Louise (Edwards) Mantha, Donald Hedegaard, and Shirley (Nyhart) Hall.


During his senior year at Montana State College in Bozeman, he met Judith Faye Mahlum of Big Timber. Erv graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Electrical Engineering in 1960. Erv and Judi married on December 27th, 1960, and raised three children: Donna, Karen and Mike. Erv spent 34 years at Montana Power Company, retiring as the Director of Power Operations in 1999.


For the first eleven years of their marriage, Erv and Judi moved sixteen times, culminating in their final move to Whitehall in 1971. Erv was active in the Zion Lutheran Church (Elder), Lutherans for Life, Toastmasters (former president), Jaycees (former president), IEEE, Young Republicans (former president), and Butte Rescue Mission. He received the 1979 Community Service Award for the 11 western states making up Region 6 of the IEEE, selected from over 36,000 members. Erv was active in Rotary for over 30 years. He served as a member and president of the Whitehall Rotary club, District Governor of Rotary for Montana, was named a Benefactor for the Rotary Foundation of Rotary International, and was named a Paul Harris Fellow for Rotary International. Erv was a math genius and volunteered as a tutor for Math Counts at Butte Christian/Home Schools, leading the students in competitions in Montana. He was a founding member and chairman of the Jefferson Valley Community Foundation. He served as a judge for the Butte Junior Miss Pagent for two years. Erv was inducted into the Whitehall High School Athletic Hall of Fame in 2017 for his contributions to the school community, including being a member and President of the school board, team photographer for numerous sports, religiously attending athletic competitions, and keeping individual stats. He worked on the fund-raising effort to create the Whitehall Medical Clinic and served on the Board of Directors. Erv volunteered as an instructor for 55 Alive, an AARP Driver Safety Program, for many years. He was a proud Montana State Bobcat and attended all of his college reunions. 


Erv was known for supporting his wife, children, grandchildren, siblings, and his nieces and nephews in every sporting event, recital, major life events, and with providing sage wisdom. He enjoyed playing Bridge and Pinochle and was frequently in tournaments in Butte. In his later years he just played for fun with friends and family.


Erv was preceded in death by his parents, his step mother Vina (Nyhart) Hedegaard, three of his siblings, his wife Judi and his daughter Karen. 


He is survived by his daughter Donna Hedegaard, son Mike (Christy) Hedegaard, along with his four grandchildren, Doug O’Reilly, Danielle O’Reilly, Karen Hedegaard, and Sofia Hedegaard, his sisters Gladys and Shirley, and brother-in-law Joe Mahlum. 


A memorial service will be held at St. Teresa’s Catholic Church of Whitehall on Saturday, August 12th at 11am, followed by food and fellowship. 


In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to Rotary of Whitehall, Jefferson Valley Community Foundation, or Lutherans for Life.



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Saturday, August 12, 2023

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