Obituary of Donald Hedberg (1927 – 2021) – Lac Léman, WI
Hedberg, Donald David
LAKE GENEVA – Donald David Hedberg passed away peacefully at his home on Lake Geneva on September 1, 2021. Don was born on August 7, 1927 in Appleton, Wisconsin, where he grew up. His family was poor and his father passed away when Don was 13 years old. Don quickly became the man of the house, taking on a myriad of odd jobs to help support his mother and two sisters. At the age of 17, Don joined the Coast Guard and, after his service in World War II, enrolled in Carthage College, where he earned a degree in chemistry. After graduating, he moved to Chicago, taught chemistry, and met Geraldine Raisler. They married three months later. After leaving teaching and a brief stint at Proctor and Gamble in Cincinnati, Don began selling educational tools for science classrooms in his basement in Evanston, Illinois. Soon after, the family moved to Janesville, Wisconsin, hoping to grow further. deals. A true entrepreneur, he saw the need not only for educational materials, but also for safety supplies in classrooms and science laboratories and developed the first business-to-business catalog to sell industrial safety supplies; thus, Lab Safety Supply was born.
In Janesville, Don and Gerry raised three daughters, made good friends and supported the community. Don and Gerry always wanted their daughters involved in the family business, which became a reality when Peggy took over marketing and later the whole business. In 1992, Lab Safety was sold to WW Grainger, Inc.
In retirement, Don and Gerry enjoyed travel, Arizona, golf and each other. In 1998 Gerry passed away. Soon after, Don met Marilyn Doubek, whom he married, and they lived 23 wonderful years until her death. They lived in both Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, and Manalapan, Florida, and loved to travel, their dogs, and their life together.
Don was a critical thinker and a strong supporter of science. He had an incredibly inquisitive mind as well as a persistent nature that drove him to develop new ideas for the business. A lifelong learner, he often took his children to the Janesville Public Library in the evenings. After the sale of the business, Don and Gerry donated funds for the construction of a new library in Janesville as a testament to their appreciation for the community and the rewarding and enjoyable years they have spent there. Don has also given generously to UW-Madison, Carthage College and many other philanthropic interests.
Don is survived by his wife, Marilyn; his daughters, Peggy Hedberg (Madison, Wisconsin), Carla Westcott (Lake Forest, Ill.) and Lara Deam (Mill Valley, Calif.); her grandchildren, Sophie, Abby, Eleanor, Maggie, Mac, David, Macy and Cal; his son-in-law, Chris; as well as the children of Marilyn, Jeff (Becca) Doubek and Jennifer Doubek; and grandchildren, Ava, Max and Charlie.
In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to the Hedberg Public Library; a link has been provided on the funeral home’s website.
To post your condolences online, please visit www.derrickfuneralhome.com.
Derrick Funeral Home is honored to assist the family of Donald David Hedberg.
Posted by Madison.com on September 9, 2021.