Aiken – Mr. James Bradford Hedlund, 69, died Saturday, February 23, 2013.
A memorial service will be held at St. John United Methodist Church in Aiken on Friday March 1 at 3:00 pm with the Reverend Dr. George K. Howle officiating. The family will receive friends following the service.
Mr. Hedlund was born in Milwaukee and grew up in Neenah, Wisconsin. His first job was working on the maintenance crew for a paper mill, which began his lifelong passion for construction and remodeling. He earned a degree in economics from Yale University and studied finance at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. He regarded saving the perennially money-losing junior prom from being cancelled as one of his major accomplishments at Yale, which he achieved by booking Duke Ellington and Diana Ross and the Supremes at the height of their popularity on the Billboard charts.
After completing his academic studies, Mr. Hedlund began a career in public service, starting as a town planner in Connecticut. He moved to Washington in 1973 where he worked in the Department of Housing & Urban Development. He went to President Gerald Ford’s White House as deputy director of the Council on Wage and Price Stability and also served as a speech writer for President Ford. Mr. Hedlund also worked on Capitol Hill for four years as the Republican staff director of the Committee on the Budget for the U.S. House of Representatives.
After his service in the federal government, Mr. Hedlund led an industry association for small, independent television stations where he worked tirelessly to represent their interests against the large corporate broadcasting and telecommunications companies in Congress and before the Federal Communications Commission. He was a driving force in a successful lawsuit against the NCAA that was tried before the U.S. Supreme Court; this decision led to a significant expansion in the number of televised college sporting events and the associated broadcasting revenues earned by the participating colleges. During his time in Washington, Mr. Hedlund designed and built two houses and significantly remodeled and expanded a third. In addition to doing much of the construction work himself, he was also a skilled gourmet cook and collector of contemporary art. In 2002, Mr. Hedlund retired from the private sector and moved to Aiken where he began a successful construction company. He renovated and remodeled houses in Aiken, including several cottages in the Historic District.
He is survived by his loving wife, Carolyn Lee Hedlund, his son Steve, his granddaughters Emily and Rebecca, and his sister Kathryn.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be directed to the Aiken SPCA, 401 Wire Rd., Aiken, SC 29805.
Mr. Hedlund’s online guest book may be signed at www.shellhousefuneralhome.com
SHELLHOUSE FUNERAL HOME, INC., 924 HAYNE AVE., AIKEN, SC