Albert S. Hedges, whose more than 50 years of active service to the Bridgehampton Fire Department also included time as captain and as a Fire District Commissioner, died on June 24 at the Peconic Bay Medical Center’s Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Riverhead, surrounded by family. He was 84 years old and had congestive heart failure.
Bert Hedges was born on Dec. 31, 1934, in Southampton, one of nine children of Allen Hedges and the former Miriam Fickeissen. He grew up in Bridgehampton, attending the Bridgehampton School, and lived in the hamlet for most of his life. He worked for W. C. Esp Heating and Air Conditioning in Bridgehampton and later with Mecox Landing in Water Mill, initially as a deliveryman and then as a repair technician.
In February 1957, he married Dorothy Jones of Southampton. They had five children, all of whom survive. Until recently, Mr. Hedges tended a large vegetable and flower garden, often sharing the bounty with others. He and his late wife, who was known as Dot, enjoyed canning pickles and tomatoes and making strawberry jam.
Mr. Hedges was a keen racing car driver. During the 1950s and 1960s, he competed at Riverhead Raceway and at tracks in Islip and Freeport.
“Bert was a great storyteller and would often share stories from his youth and his racing days,” his family said. “He was a talented woodworker and enjoyed cooking breakfast for his family on weekends.”
Dorothy Hedges died in September 2010. In 2018, Mr. Hedges moved to Calverton.
Two sisters, Florence Lanz and Ruth Guyer, and a brother, Edwin Hedges, died before him. His children are Timothy Hedges of Southampton, Linda Newberry of Altamonte Springs, Fla., Judy Kahl of Pleasantville, N.Y., Dorothy Walker of Southampton, and William Hedges of Summit, N.J. He also leaves one sister, Peggy Makowski of Riverhead, and four brothers, Eugene Hedges of Washington State, David Hedges of Texas, and Thomas William Hedges and Jack Hedges, both of Arizona. Nine grandchildren and two great-grandchildren survive as well.
A firematic service was held on the evening of June 27. Mr. Hedges was an active member and trustee of the Bridgehampton Methodist Church, where a funeral service was held the next morning, with Ms. Makowski as organist and the Rev. Denise Allen officiating. Burial followed at Edgewood Cemetery in Bridgehampton.
The family has suggested memorial donations to East End Hospice, P.O. Box 1048, Westhampton Beach 11978-7048, or Peconic Bay Medical Center Foundation, Palliative Care, 1300 Roanoke Avenue, Riverhead 11901.