Dr. George E. Hedrick III Memorial Statement
1943 - 2020
George E. “Woody” Hedrick III (1943 -2020) Dr. G. E. Hedrick (known to his friends as “Woody”) was born April 22, 1943 in Columbus, Ohio to George Elwood Hedrick Jr and Eileen Schmid Hedrick. At the time of his passing, he was living in Stillwater, OK. Dr. Hedrick was a member of the First Christian Church in Stillwater, where he served as a deacon for many years. He had three children from a previous marriage: Mary, Bryan, and Laura. In 1976, he married Carolyn Ann Brann of Stillwater; they had two children: Robert and William. He had three grandchildren.
Dr. Hedrick received his B.A. degree in Mathematics from Adams State College in Alamosa, Colorado. He went on to study Computer Science at Iowa State University, where he earned M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Computer Science.
Dr. Hedrick was among the first group of faculty members recruited in 1970 to build the newly formed Computing and Information Sciences Department (currently Department of Computer Science) at Oklahoma State University. He served the Department until his retirement in 2007. He twice served as Head of the Department and was recognized as the longest serving Department Head during the Department’s 40th anniversary celebrations in 2009. He also held the title of Regents Service Professor.
Dr. Hedrick’s scholarly accomplishments were many. He published more than 40 peer-reviewed articles and received numerous grants from NSF, DoD, DoE, and many companies. He supervised the first Ph.D. dissertation in the Oklahoma State University Department of Computer Science. Perhaps his most noteworthy contribution to Computing was his work in developing one of the first compilers for the programming language Algol 68. He received a multi-year grant to develop a portable compiler for Algol 68. In the early 1970s he organized a conference on Algol 68 and brought a group of internationally known researchers in programming languages to the Oklahoma State University Stillwater campus. He edited several conference proceedings.
Dr. Hedrick was a member of several professional organizations – Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), Mathematical Association of America, History of Science Society, American Association of University Professors, and International Association for Computer and Information Services. He served on the steering committee of the Symposium on Applied Computing, sponsored by the ACM Special Interest Group on Applied Computing (SIGAPP) and was instrumental to the formation of SIGAPP.
Service to the community and volunteering were an important part of Dr. Hedrick’s life. He served as volunteer for American Friends Service Committee, the Boy Scouts of America, the National Eagle Scout Association, and the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). Dr. Hedrick served on the board for NAMI of Oklahoma and NAMI of North Central Oklahoma, and he was president of both organizations. He received many awards, including the Distinguished Commissioner Award and the Silver Beaver Award from the Boys Scouts of America. He also served as volunteer Red Cross instructor.
In Dr. Hedrick’s own words, “I also try to find time for outdoor and aquatic activities (but I do not ski).” As a member of his high school swimming team, he set one state record.
As one of his OSU colleagues put it, “Woody was a fine teacher, an excellent researcher, and a truly gentle soul, one of the best people I’ve known.”
Dr. George E. “Woody” Hedrick III died at home on the 15th of April 2020, one week before his 77th Birthday.
Woody and his wife Carolyn at the CS 40th Anniversary Celebration