(May 13, 1940 - Sept. 13, 2017)
James Loren Hedrick (Mr. Smooth), 77, of Tucson, AZ, passed away on Sept. 13, 2017, of stage 4 lung and kidney cancer.
The funeral will be in Powell at a later date.
James was born in Borden, Indiana, on May 13, 1940. He was an only child. He married his high school sweetheart, Janet, right out of High School. They divorced after about two years and he met and married Anita. She had a 4-year-old son at the time and he kept his dad’s name: Randolph (Randy) Wheeler. Jim and Anita were happily married for 20 years. When Randy came out of the military he was having some problems. He wouldn’t take his medications and Jim and Anita started having problems and got a divorce.
When Jim graduated from high school and college, he learned to repair all Band instruments. He followed the marching bands around the State of Indiana and also judged the majorettes. When he was 13, he won a competition and was awarded 3 years working with a 16-piece orchestra. He worked through the years roofing homes and installing lightning rods on homes and businesses. He played music weekends and after school.
James moved to Big Timber, Montana, where he met and married Shirley Senrud Menuey on Nov. 16, 1984 in Billings, Montana, and they were married 32 years.
Shirley got him back into the music business as she felt he was an exceptional guitarist. She became his booking agent and worked as a cocktail waitress so she could advertise easier and talk to everyone. They met a lot of interesting people and Jim loved it. He worked in Bishop, CA, Palm Springs, CA, Powell, Lovell, Billings, Laurel, MT, Red Lodge, MT, Cooke City, MT, Roberts, MT, Yellowstone National Park when the bosses retired and when the new ones were installed. All over Indiana with different bands, and hundreds of places in Arizona. He had memberships for a long time in all the lodges so he and Shirley could go in and advertise in all of them.
James is survived by his wife Shirley; children: Cindy and Orion Bean, Henry (Hank) and Linda Menuey, Jonnie and Lynn Stewart, Richard (JR) and Renee Menuey, Daniel and Tina Menuey, Juanita Ann Fox; and grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, and more friends than one would believe. Counted among true friends were people like “The Time Jumpers” with Vince Gill and Blanche White who played keyboard with “Ann Jones and her Western sweethearts all Girl band.” Some he played with in Indiana were: The Charles Kramer Big Band, Bill Wheatley and the Rockets, Bob Clouse and his band.
He was preceded in death by his parents: Glen (Coonie) and Bessie M Hedrick; his ex-wives Janet and Anita and numerous aunts and uncles. Donations may be given to whomever you feel is in need. The family of James Loren Hedrick wishes to thank everyone who helped so much to bring him home in more ways than one and were appreciated. They all went above and beyond, and all were members of the Moose Lodge #2543.