SAMUEL RAYMOND HEDGE was born on September 18, 1937 in Spirit Lake, Iowa. Sam was raised on the family farm south of Jackson, Minnesota where he graduated from high school in 1955. He enjoyed many activities during his youth including FFA, 4H, and football. He was always willing to lend a helping hand to the neighbors. He had a lifetime interest in horses and as a young man he successfully competed in many horse racing events. Sam was also a pilot, starting in high school and young adulthood. He went on to become a crop duster and regional pilot. Sam furthered his education at North Dakota State University where he continued to put his love of football to use as an offensive lineman and middle linebacker. He transferred to Mankato State University in Mankato, Minnesota where he graduated with a degree in agriculture in 1959. College also led him to the love of his life, Annette Mangen, whom he married on September 25, 1959 at St. Bartholomew‘s Church in Wayzata, Minnesota. The couple made their first home in Fairmont, Minnesota and relocated several times before putting down roots on their family farm in Amiret, Minnesota in 1973. Sam and Annette enjoyed spending more and more of their time at the lake home they acquired on Lake Benton in 1986.
Sam’s career was focused mainly around farming and trucking throughout his entire life. He had over 40 years of experience in the trucking industry and accomplished over 3 million accident-free driving miles over his career. In 1994, Sam was awarded the title of “Independent Contractor of the Year” in the small fleet category by the Independent Truckers Association. This award and several other accolades, including a new semi-tractor, were awarded to Sam at the International Corporation’s ceremony in Palm Desert, California. His business continues today under the ownership and guidance of his son, Matt. Sam was also honored by the trucking industry by being named as a captain of America’s Road Team in 1995. His career taught him an unrivaled memory of the country’s roads and U.S. landmarks that were definitely more reliable than any GPS he could find. On Sunday, August 4, 2019, Sam passed away at the Unity Point Hospital in Sioux City, Iowa. He was 81 years, 10 months, and 17 days of age.
Sam was baptized and confirmed at the family church in Jackson County, Minnesota, and was a current member of Grace Lutheran Church in Lake Benton. He volunteered his time with the Diamond Lake Cemetery Association and was president of the Lake Benton Lake Association and the Lake Benton Lake Improvement District. Some of Sam’s favorite memories were of the days spent traveling the country with his wife and beloved dog, Corky by his side. He will be remembered for his ability to tell a great story, and his magnetic personality that made everyone who crossed his path feel comfortable enough to open-up to him and become a friend.
Sam is lovingly remembered by his wife, Annette Hedge; five children, Patricia (Mark) Mundahl of Minnetrista, Minnesota, Peg (Doug) Becker of Hinton, Iowa, Jennifer (Doug) Carlson of Eden Prairie, Minnesota, Matthew (Eileen) Hedge of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and Mark (Nancy) Hedge of Chanhassen, Minnesota; 11 grandchildren, Erin and Matthew (Laura) Mundahl, David (Steph) and Alexis Becker, Sadie, Shelby, and Tess Hedge, Jacob and Grace Carlson, and Tyler and Brittany Heim; and two great-grandchildren, Jackson and Levi Becker.