In Memory of Mrs. Peggy Shepherd Hedrick, JD

Beloved wife, mother, Grandmama, GGMa, sister, aunt, cousin, writer, public speaker, attorney, linguist, world traveler, entrepreneur, pastor’s wife, pianist, friend, Bertha Margaret “Peggy” Shepherd Hedrick died on January 18, 2023 after a long, brave battle with Alzheimer’s disease. Peggy was the daughter of World War II era Ch (Major) Clayton C. Shepherd and Clyttie L. Leake Shepherd. She met and married her husband of 67 years, Charles W. Hedrick, Sr. while Charlie was on active duty in Munich, Germany. Charlie later served as an Army Chaplain, both active duty and reserve. Peggy was the family anchor when Charlie was called up from the Academy for duty during Operation Desert Storm.
Peggy was an accomplished pianist and organist who travelled to Army chapels with both her father and husband. She played for services from the time she was 12 and later often sang duets with Charlie in church services.
Born on December 30, 1936 in Lake City, Iowa, Peggy was an Army “brat” who attended 22 different schools before graduating high school. In one city making friends was hard. In the next adventure, “I was on the homecoming court,” she said.
Throughout her life, Peggy loved meeting new people and learning their stories.
She lived in Japan, Germany, and Egypt, traveled in Greece, Turkey, and Israel, studied the languages of those countries and worked on archeological projects in Egypt. With Charlie, she travelled to Greece every year for 20 plus years. Together they lived on the most distant Greek island off the Turkish coast (Karpathos). She took her first Modern Greek class at San Fernando State in California in the 1960s while scholar Charlie focused on the ancient forms. “Charlie could read the tombstones, but I bought the groceries,” she joked.
One day, she wrote, “Charlie ‘woke up’ and decided to study Modern Greek too.” Peggy was once approached by a stranger on the streets who begged to “read” Peggy’s aura. “Your aura is multi-colored!” the woman exclaimed. “You’re knowing and creative and you attract people.”
Anyone who’s ever met Peggy already knows she’s special.
Peggy was smart, ambitious, creative, well read. After passing the Bar, she worked for a time at Legal Aid before she “put out a shingle” to open her own law practice. A portion of her home was dedicated to her office, where she had a successful legal practice for more than 30 years and is still registered with the Missouri Bar Association. She was a fixture in her Springfield, Missouri community where she answered legal questions on Wayne Glenn’s KTXR radio program for many years, beginning in 1983. She was the first woman to run for Circuit Judge in Greene County (as a democrat, in a Circuit with eight Republican Judges). She was a member of the League of Women Voters and was the Chairperson of the Board of Directors of Springfield’s Council of Churches and served for a period as acting head of the office.
Peggy used computers, scanners and printers in her law practice while others were still typing, hand-writing and hand-filing legal documents. She used computers to digitally submit pleadings before other lawyers in her area knew how to login. She bought domain names before most people knew what they were. She created her own website at to promote her practice and provide legal help as soon as the technology appeared.
Before LGBTQ was a term, Peggy had created a method for same gender couples to establish and protect their families. Before self-publishing was a “thing,” Peggy opened Thoth Publishing Company to promote her family’s books.
Her home language was English but she read the Bible – and John Grisham books – in German to keep her skills up. German was her most practiced foreign tongue, but at different times she communicated in Japanese, Greek, Arabic, Turkish, Bosnian and ASL.
Peggy was admitted to the Missouri Bar in 1981. Her undergraduate degrees, in German and Sociology, are from Pitzer College in Claremont, California. She has two law degrees, the first from the University of LaVerne College of Law, LaVerne, California. The second, from Benjamin Cardozo School of Law, Yeshiva University in New York City. She completed 25 units of classes at the Law School of the University of Missouri at Kansas City (applied to the Cardozo degree).
In 1998 Peggy was chosen to be a “polling supervisor” by the United States State Department for the national elections in war torn Bosnia-Herzegovina. The next year she served as a polling supervisor for the Assembly elections in Kosovo, and in November 2001 returned to Bosnia.
In the 1970s, Peggy lived alone on a houseboat on the Nile River in Cairo, Egypt while working as a photographer for the Coptic-Gnostic Project for the Nag Hammadi Codices of Claremont Graduate University.
When her children were small, Peggy obtained a tiny spider monkey as a pet. “Jocko” rode the dog’s back, wore a harness and a leash and visited schools for show and tell. When Jocko proved less than reliable at potty training, Peggy created a diaper for him with her Pfaff sewing machine.
Unfortunately, she didn’t patent her invention.
Peggy was an avid gardener who planted apple trees and grape and blackberry bushes in the yard of her California home. She grew aloe on a sunny hill outside the fence. She would break the plant’s leaves and rub the gel on her face and hands – and drink the liquid too. Much later, aloe would be sold in stores across the country, acclaimed for its medicinal qualities.
The loss of Peggy is an unceasing grief with no top or bottom.
Peggy is predeceased by her parents, Clayton and Clyttie Shepherd, brother Conner Shepherd and sister Lois Inlow. She is missed by her husband of more than 67 years, Dr. Charles W. Hedrick, Sr. of North Kansas City, MO. Remembered with love by her sister/cousin, Betty Bouris of Menifee, CA and brother Everitt Shepherd of Scottsdale, AZ. Loved forever by her children, Charles Hedrick, Jr. (Jenny) of Santa Cruz, CA, Janet Lucinda Kennaley (Bob) of Kansas City, MO, and Lois Kay Hedrick of North Kansas City, MO. Adored by her grandchildren, Christopher, Katie and Kimberly Kennaley, Charles (Chaz) Hedrick, III, and Margaret (Meg), 2LT Helen (Ella) and Mary (Mouse) Hedrick. Beloved by her three great grandchildren, Krissy, Killian, and Cael Kennaley, and many cousins, nieces, nephews, and friends.
A gathering of Peggy’s family and friends was held January 29 at McGilly Antioch Chapel, 3325 NE Vivion Road, Kansas City, MO 64119 with burial at the Missouri Veterans Cemetery in Higginsville, MO. In lieu of flowers, contributions suggested to NorthCare Hospice House of Kansas City Hospice & Palliative Care (, to whom the family is most grateful for their gentle and loving care of Peggy during this difficult time.