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Charles Ragnar Hedberg
January 28, 1933 ~ October 2, 2023 (age 90) 90 Years Old
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On October 2, 2023, Charles “Chic” Hedberg died peacefully at home at the age of 90. Chic, the youngest of 4, was born in Brooklyn on January 28, 1933 to Marie (Mueller) and J.O. Viking Hedberg.
Chic attended Poly Prep in Brooklyn for high school and studied mechanical engineering at Steven’s Institute of Technology. He was a Naval Aviator and flew submarine chasers (S2-F’s) off the USS Yorktown (CV-10) in the Pacific.
Chic’s family summered in Westhampton where met his future wife, Margareta “Greta” Johnson as a teenager. He proposed to her on the beach at Dolphin Lane in East Quogue, they married in 1958 and headed to California where he was stationed. Soon after, Greta became pregnant, and the young couple moved back East. Their first child, Victoria was born in December 1958, and their son, Viking in 1961.
Chic’s career included managing cooling systems for high energy physics research at Brookhaven National Laboratory and as a test engineer for Grumman Aerospace. However, his passion was the protection of the environment and social justice. His many efforts included protecting Long Island salt marshes, preventing offshore oil drilling, establishing recycling activities, supporting reproductive health rights and racial equity.
Chic found solace in the ocean and typically would swim daily from May through late October. With the wonderful support of the staff at Roger’s Beach, he was able to swim through 2022. An avid sailor, in winter, he could be found skating on local ponds or cross-country skiing.
Always restless, his “free time” was busy doing home improvements or landscaping projects. On retirement, he continued the property maintenance business begun with his son.
Sadly, his wife developed Alzheimer’s and he cared for her at home until her death in 2014. He was known throughout the community for his enduring love of his wife, Greta, for being spotting in his “rusty green truck”, his pilgrimages to Dolphin Lane and his passion for the ocean. Up until his mid-80’s, he could be found on a roof cleaning out gutters or using his truck to move bushes. He lived independently until age of 89 and with the support of family, friends, his church, and wonderful group of caregivers, he was able to live out his life in his home.
He is survived by his daughter, Victoria Hedberg and her partner, Karl of Manor Park; his son, Viking Hedberg and his wife, Katie of Plymouth, NH; his granddaughters, Laura Ceruti and her partner, Tim and Carolyn Ceruti and her partner, Justin, all of Eastport; and his grandsons, Andrew Hedberg and his wife Dana of Wakefield, Massachusetts and Woodrow Hedberg and his wife Jacqueline of Wilmington, Massachusetts. He has three great grandchildren, Alex, Anthony and Adrianna.
Calling hours are scheduled at Werner-Rothwell Funeral Home in Westhampton Beach on Saturday, October 28 from 3-6 PM. A celebration of his life will held at the Westhampton Presbyterian Church, Sunday, October 29 at 3pm. In lieu of flowers, donations to the Quogue Wildlife Refuge would be appreciated.