Harry David Hedin, 84, of Blackfoot departed for the ‘eternal patrol’ Tuesday, Aug. 6, 2013, at The Gables in Blackfoot.
Harry was born Sept. 13, 1928, in Grand Forks, North Dakota, the youngest child of Harry Hedin and Sophie Louise Peterson. His childhood was spent playing hockey on the frozen Minnesota ponds, helping his father with his veterinarian duties, and getting into mischief with the neighborhood boys. He joined the US Navy in 1945 by order of the local sheriff. He served on submarines in the Navy for 21 years. His most notable service was aboard the USS Nautilus when it made its historic voyage under the North Pole in 1958. Nautilus was the first nuclear submarine to cross from the Pacific to the Atlantic Ocean by way of the North Pole. For this mission, all crew members received the Presidential Unit Citation, the first ever awarded during peacetime. Other submarines he served on were Chub, Trumpetfish, Chopper, Sablefish, and the Thomas A. Edison.
Upon retiring from the Navy, Harry spent a brief year in Dillon, Mont., before settling in Moreland. He worked at the ‘Site’ (INL) as a mechanic until his retirement. In Moreland, he owned a small farm where he raised mostly sheep, cows, and horses and continued to work his farm until he was 83 years old.
While stationed at the AEC for nuclear training, he met and married Vivian Othea McCarrel on March 17, 1955, in Elko, Nev. Together they had four children: Kim, Kara, Karla, and Kasia.
Harry loved to plan and prepare for the yearly pack trip to hunt elk and deer. He didn't miss a hunting season for over 20 years; every year accompanied by his son, various friends or relatives, and his one-eyed horse named Blue. He was a master at telling a story and loved to entertain family, colleagues, former shipmates, and anyone else who would listen with his stories. He frequently attended reunions for Nautilus alumni, and he and his wife Vee planned and orchestrated a Nautilus reunion held in Idaho Falls in 1996 so the former crew members could once again tour the training facility on the Arco Desert. He loved to read and learn about history and military operations.
Though Harry was a member of the Lutheran Church, he seldom attended but he made it clear he couldn't get on a submarine without faith in God and the power of prayer.
He is survived by a son, Kim (Beverly) Hedin of Hailey; daughters, Kara (Terry) Bjarnson of Idaho Falls and Karla (Quinn) Twiggs of Blackfoot; one sister, Helen Foughty of Devils Lake, N.D.; 11 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren.
Harry wass preceded in death by his wife of 57 years, Vivian; an infant daughter, Kasia; an infant granddaughter, Kami; a sister, Erma Olson; and his parents.
The family will meet with friends Sunday, Aug. 11, 2013 from 7-8 p.m. at Hawker Funeral Home and also one hour prior to the funeral service. Services will be conducted Monday, Aug. 12, at 11 a.m. at Hawker Funeral Home with full military rites performed at the Thomas Cemetery.
The family once again sends a thank you to Carol Wise and the staff at The Gables along with Home Health and Hospice for the dignified way they cared for our father.
Condolences may be sent to the family at: firstname.lastname@example.org .