PARIS TN: Gaines Hedges, volunteer and community booster, dies

Paris community booster Gaines Hedges, 67, died Thursday, Jan. 24, 2019.

A Henry County native, Hedges was known for his efforts promoting and serving the Paris and Henry County area.

He served as president of the Paris-Henry County Chamber of Commerce from 1989-90, and was Downtown Business Association president in 2002.

That organization was later renamed the Downtown Paris Association, and Hedges remained an active, contributing member. He served as DPA president in 2015.

He was named the Chamber’s Person of the Year in 2010, where 2009 recipient Jan Foy lauded Hedges for his tireless work to publicize community events.

“If we’re going to have an event in Henry County, he’s the one that gets the word out for us,” Foy said.

“From writing public service announcements, to posting it on Facebook, to putting up posters all over town, to stopping people on the street, he is your guy.”

She described Hedges as an avid volunteer, Friend of the Library, and former Scout leader and coach.

Among his many other hats, Hedges also served as interim director of the Paris-Henry County Arts Council in 2012-13.

He joined the staff of WTPR/WAKQ as an account representative in 2001, and was an advertising sales representative at The Post-Intelligencer.

He also worked as an insurance salesman and as a self-employed marketing consultant.

Beginning in 2012, he worked with Charles Hopkins at the Toggery through the business’ 100th anniversary.

A graduate of Grove High School, Hedges earned a bachelor’s degree from Union University in 1973.

Born Nov. 13, 1951, he was the son of the late Dalton and Nettie Hedges.

A charter member of the Atkins-Porter Neighborhood Association, he also was a Master Gardener and music aficionado.

Survivors include his wife, Becky Hedges; a brother, Joe Hedges; a daughter, Heather Bastyr; a son, Jess Hedges; and a stepson, Brad Saylor, all of Paris; a stepdaughter, Pam Heathman of Hermitage; three grandchildren and four step-grandchildren.

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