“Each man’s life touches so many other lives. When he isn’t around, he leaves an awful hole, doesn’t
he?” Those are the words of Clarence the Angel in It’s a Wonderful Life, the all-time favorite movie of
John Thomas “Tom” Hedges.
Tom Hedges left us peacefully on April 3, 2022 at 79 years old, after a life he described as “full, with few
regrets.” Proving Clarence right, his absence will leave an awful hole.
Born on January 27, 1943, Tom grew up in Covington, Kentucky. He graduated from Holmes High School
and received an Associate’s Degree in Civil Engineering from Ohio College of Applied Sciences. He
worked as a telephone engineer for Cincinnati Bell for 32 years. During that time, he married Barbara
Weidner and had two children. In 1990, Tom earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Business from Northern
Tom was a loving father with a creative mind and a wealth of wisdom. He took great pride in encouraging
young minds. Throughout his life, he served passionately as a little league coach, high school basketball
announcer, community college professor, and Junior Achievement mentor.
Tom met his wife Jarri (née Hafner) in October of 2002. They eloped ten months later, with a ceremony
on the beach in Florida. Tom and Jarri were joyfully married for nearly 20 years. They were best friends,
and shared a deep and enduring adoration of one another.
Tom always lived life with purpose, and he never took things too seriously. He enjoyed cracking jokes,
making prank phone calls, and sharing riddles to make people smile. Tom started each morning with a
cup of black coffee, the daily crossword puzzle and a True Blue cigarette. He loved golf and the fellowship
that came with coordinating the Hedges Golf League for over 40 years. He had a passionate interest in
genealogy and spent countless hours researching the heritage of his family and friends, which led him to
write several books about the history of a particular row of buildings on Pike Street, near where he grew
up. Tom loved cheering on the Reds, the Bengals, and the Bearcats. He enjoyed Jimmy Stewart films,
greyhound dog races, and calling out the correct response to each Jeopardy clue before the show’s
Tom is survived by his wife Jarri; daughter Julia (granddaughter Violet); son John; stepchildren Patrick
Brady, Jenny Brady, Ben (Ashleigh) Brady, and Becky (Brian) Lohr; nephew Dan Gillespie; niece Holly
Gillespie; and 8 grandchildren, 2 great grandchildren, 2 great nephews, and 1 great niece.
Tom was preceded in death by his parents, John Harvey and Helen Baxter Hedges; his sister Marilyn
Gillespie; stepson William Brady; and great-nephew Connor Gillespie.
A Celebration of Life will be held at Kenton County Golf Course Banquet Hall, 3908 Richardson Road,
Independence, Kentucky on April 29, 2022 from 4:00-9:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made
to Junior Achievement.