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George Alfred Hedenburg, III
Nags Head -George Alfred (Chip) Hedenburg III ended this journey on June 20, 2016. George was nicknamed ‘Chip’ by his family soon after he was born in Providence, RI on August 9,1956. He attended school in Providence until the age of 11. Then the family moved to Vermont and lived first in Winooski before buying a home in South Burlington. During his first years in Vermont his father worked at the University of Vermont and Chip spent a lot of time on campus which planted the seeds for his livelong beliefs in social justice and taking action to initiate change. At the age of 14 he participated in an anti-war rally and occupied the Army recruiting office in Burlington. As he grew up in Vermont, he further developed his love of nature, spending much time exploring the fauna and flora, fishing the streams and ponds, and hiking the forests and mountains in Vermont, New Hampshire and New York. He met lifelong friends during these years, including some who now summer in the Outer Banks.
Chip graduated from South Burlington High School in 1974 and attended Johnson State College. He then began in earnest his lifelong pursuit for meaning and developing his own spiritual beliefs. During High School he started working for the Green Mountain Club which grew into several different seasonal positions over the years working on Vermont’s Long Trail for both the GMC and the National Forest Service. He hiked the 273 mile Long Trail from end to end in the fall of 1981. His summers were spent on the trail and he worked winters in Burlington in various jobs including a long stint as a taxi driver and dispatcher. It was at the cab company where he first acted on his social justice beliefs to organize a union drive with the employees. It also began his lifelong support of Bernie Sanders as Chip worked on Bernie’s first statewide campaigns and used his taxi driving skills to transport Bernie to campaign events. While working on the Long Trail at Little Rock Pond in the summer of 1984 he met Leigh Saunders whom he soon married and they began several years of homesteading, off the grid at their “Clearcut Farm” in Groton, Vermont.
He moved back to Burlington and worked full time as a service dispatcher at Adelphia Cable where again he was a union rabble rouser. During this time he was very active in the Burlington First Unitarian Universalist Society helping to lead the Pagan worship group. Finding himself single again, he relocated to the Outer Banks. He married Mary Ellen Riddle and they spent several years together with his stepdaughter Zoe, whom Chip loved very much. He started working at Charter Communications in 1999 as Lead Dispatcher. He quickly worked his way up the ranks to Account Executive in Charter Business and, as he was also a Chamber of Commerce ambassador, became well known in the business community from Virginia Beach to Hatteras. In the meantime he had also spearheaded the Kitty Hawk/Nags Head drum circle, was active in the Unitarian Universalist Church in Kitty Hawk, founded the band Mamba Jamba, and undertook a rigorous Ashtanga Yoga practice. A little over a year ago he followed his heart, left his white collar job, and created his dream, Shiva’s Drum Yoga Shop in Nags Head. Not surprisingly, the shop quickly became a spiritual home for the OBX drumming and yoga community.
Chip loved drumming at the beach, gardening, music, cooking (also eating !) and travel. He went to Iceland to visit the land of the Sagas, the American Southwest to experience and drum at Burning Man, Ireland to see the countryside of his ancestry with his mother, and finally to India to study yoga and Hindu culture .
He is survived by his beloved mother Miriam Hedenburg Foerster, his sister and brother in law Jody and Mike McLaren, his sister Beth Hedenburg, nieces and nephews and several grand nieces. His friends were numerous, and they all felt that he was their brother. He leaves a saddened Family Tribe who know that they will see him again someday.
His home, by the ocean of his youth, became the Outer Banks and its tight knit community.
Chip has been an inspiration to all who met him and lived his life following his beliefs.
His Memorial Service will be at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Kitty Hawk, NC on June 29, 2016 at 4:00 pm. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Feline Hope Animal Shelter, PO Box 893, Kitty Hawk, NC 27949 www.felinehope.org
Condolences to the family may be expressed at www.gallopfuneralservices.com Gallop Funeral Services, Inc. was entrusted with care.