Commissioner Steve Hedgren was born on March 7, 1950, in Chicago, Ill., into a Christian family to parents Robert & Eleanor Hedgren who were dedicated people who were involved in The Salvation Army and who demonstrated a tremendous love for their children. Commissioner Hedgren was called to his eternal home on Wednesday, Aug. 25, 2021, after battling his cancer for over 11 years, from his home in San Antonio, FL, and surrounded by his loving family.
He had been involved with The Salvation Army as a child and was involved in various programs that were offered at his corps such as band, songsters, assistant corps sergeant major and corps cadets. He was enrolled as a Junior Soldier in Aug. 1958, and a Senior Soldier in Dec. 1962.
After attending high school, Commissioner Hedgren completed his Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Northern Illinois University. Following graduation, he attended the Institute for Biblical Studies sponsored by Campus Crusade for Christ and taught by faculty from Dallas Theological Seminary. After completion, he became a staff member for Campus Crusade for Christ ministry attached to the athletic department at Arizona State University.
On Apr. 12, 1975, he married the love of his life Judith Ann White. Together, they felt the call to Salvation Army officership and applied to go into the College for Officers for the session of 1976, as a member of the “Disciples of Jesus” session of cadets, commissioned in June 1978. They were commissioned as Cadet/Lieutenants to Rockford Citadel Corps, IL, as well as Champaign, IL, Port Huron, MI, DYS in the Midland DHQ in the USA Central Territory.
In 1991, they transferred to the USA Southern Territory, with appointments in Tampa, FL, Miami, FL, Atlanta Temple, GA, General Secretary, DHQ AOK, Divisional Commander- AOK, Divisional Commander, FL. From there, the Hedgrens transferred to become Eastern Territory Chief Secretary, Territorial Commander- Eastern Territory, Territorial Secretary for Mission & Territorial Sr. Consultant before retiring in Apr. 1, 2016 with over 37 years of active service and, even in retirement he continued to work and serve the Lord. In addition to his appointment while serving in St. Louis, was part of the pastoral team attached to the St. Louis Cardinals, often presenting pre-game devotions to the Cardinals, and visiting teams. He also co-authored a book, ‘Mapping Our Salvationist DNA.’
In his papers for training, Commissioner Hedgren says under call to Officership: “This came when I became aware of the fact that I had to be a Salvation Army officer and nothing else in life would satisfy me. I am committed to the great commission of our Lord, and I want to use the Salvation Army as my vehicle to help accomplish this. On days when I have doubts as to whether this is really the right thing to do (or the thing I want to do), there is that underlying feeling that this is where God wants me, but there is a sense of urgency of His call to be an officer.”
Together, they have two children Heather (Jay) and Matt (Jessica) and six wonderful blessings – Brody Hedgren, Ryder Hedgren, Griffin, Needham, Harper Needham, Tate Hedgren and Duke Hedgren.
Surviving Commissioner Steve Hedgren are his wife Commissioner Judy, children Captains Heather (Jay), Matt (Jessica), grandchildren Brody, Ryder, Griffin, Harper, Tate & Duke. His two sisters Lt. Colonel Diane (Norman) Marshall of Grand Rapids, Michigan and Claudia Sjogren of Roswell, GA.
His parents, Robert and Eleanor, and sister Debbie, and brother-in-law Jerry Sjogren, have preceded him in death.
Commissioner Steve Hedgren’s life verse: John 10: 7-10
Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep.
All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them.
I am the door: by me if any man enters in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.
The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
Celebration of Life Service
Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021 (Visitation with family from 1:00-1:45 pm, Service begins at 2:00 pm)
The Salvation Army Church
1100 Sligh Ave
Tampa, FL 33604