Arthur Carl Hedberg

Arthur Carl Hedberg

April 11, 1928 - August 6, 2017
Born in Chicago, Illinois
Resided in Des Moines, IA


Arthur Carl Hedberg, 89, died August 6, 2017 at the Madrid Home. Visitation will begin at 10:00 a.m., Saturday, August 12, 2017 at Iles Grandview Park Chapel, followed by a memorial service at 11:00 a.m. at the funeral home. Private burial will be held at a later date.

Arthur was born April 11, 1928 in Chicago, Illinois, the son of Arthur and Hazel Hedberg. As a child, his family moved to Des Moines, where he lived on the east side most of his life. He graduated from East High School in 1947. He served in Korea in the US Army. With the benefit of the GI Bill, he was able to graduate from the University of Iowa Law School in 1954. While in college, he met, Janet Terry and they were married on August 13, 1955 in Radcliffe, Iowa. They made their home in Des Moines where they raised their family.

Art started his law practice in Des Moines in 1954, along with his cousin, Hazel Gurwell, who was his paralegal and remains a paralegal with the firm today. He practiced law in the area of worker's rights, representing injured workers and labor unions throughout the State of Iowa.

Throughout his adult life, he was involved in various civic, professional, and political organizations.

He was past Chair of the Iowa Young Democrats, past Chair of the Polk County Democratic Party, elected as a delegate to the Democratic National Conventions in 1964, 1968 and 1980, and a past member of the Democratic State Central Committee.

As an attorney, Art was known for his knowledge, passion, and accomplishments for his clients in workers' compensation and labor law. His professional achievements included his involvement as a founding member and long-time leader in the Iowa Trial Lawyers' Association (now the Iowa Association for Justice), an instructor at the Workers' Compensation School at the University of Iowa, past president of the Iowa Workers' Compensation Advisory Committee, past president of the Iowa Association of Workers' Compensation Lawyers, member of a Second Injury Fund Task Force created by the Iowa Legislature, and member of the Iowa Bar Association Worker's Compensation Section Council.

His civic involvement centered on helping the disabled. He was a member of The Arc for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (formerly the Association for Retarded Citizens) serving as chair of both Polk County and state associations as well as serving on the national board. During that time, Art was able to issue a bond for the establishment of Ruby Van Meter School in Des Moines, established the first group homes for the disabled in Polk County, lobbied members of the legislature on behalf of persons with disabilities, and worked with others to establish the Americans with Disabilities Act.

As a result of his work, he was a recipient of a number of awards including the Iowa Trial Lawyers Key Person of the Year Award, the Polk County Democrat Lifetime Achievement Award, the Outstanding Citizen Contribution to Labor from the Iowa Federation of Labor, and the ARC Compulsory Special Education Award.

Art had numerous hobbies including photography, gardening, bicycling, sailing, and in later years of his life he spent many hours in his woodshop.

Art is survived by his wife, Janet; sons, Eric (Carolyn) Hedberg, and Mark (Amy) Hedberg; daughter-in-law, Nancy Hedberg; daughters, Kathryn (Randy) Ramaekers and Mary Ellen Hedberg; 14 grandchildren; 14 great grandchildren; 9 great great grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents and a son, Christopher.

Art's family would like to extend a sincere Thank You to the entire staff at the Madrid Home for their excellent care and support during the last year.

Online condolences are welcome at Memorial contributions may be directed to Polk County Iowa Democratic Party, Iowa Autism Speaks, Opportunity House in DeKalb County, IL or ARC of Iowa.