In Memoriam: Elizabeth R. “Liz” Hedges

Elizabeth R. Hedges, 73, of Carthage, passed away on Monday night, Dec. 3, 2018, in Longview. Elizabeth Ann Rector Hedges was born on June 5, 1945, in Longview to the late Cline Brooks and Dottye Mae Kimberling Rector. She graduated from Longview High School with the class of 1962. Liz attended Kilgore College and the University of Texas at Austin where she earned a bachelor’s degree in fine arts. She later earned a master’s degree of arts from the University of Texas at Tyler.

Liz married Carl Fredrick Hedges, Jr. on June 18, 1965, at the First Baptist Church in Longview. Upon graduation from college, she taught theatre in the Spring Branch and Cypress Fairbanks school districts. In 1976, she began her career at Carthage High School where she taught theatre for two years before joining the faculty at Panola College as the director of theatre, where she retired in 2007.

While at Panola, she served as UIL One Act Play Critic Judge and contest manager. She was also Region 3 UIL Academic Director. In 2005, Liz was awarded Educator of the Year by the Texas Educational Theatre Association. After her retirement, the studio theatre at Panola was named in her honor.

Liz enjoyed genealogy and was very involved and was a member and held offices in the Daughters of the American Revolution, the United Daughters of the Confederacy, the Daughters of 1812, and the Colonial Dames. After serving two years as the State Registrar for the Children of the Republic of Texas, she was serving this year as the State Historian General for the Daughters of the Republic of Texas and the President of the John Tilley Edwards Chapter of Daughters of the Republic of Texas.

Liz was a member of the Carthage Book Club and former member of the Carthage Music Club. She was a member of the First United Methodist Church in Carthage where she sang in the choir and served on various committees.

She is survived by her loving husband of 53 years, Carl Hedges, Jr.; daughter, Kimberley Funderburk and husband Jason; son, Carl F. Hedges, III; grandchildren, Sarah Elizabeth and Abigail Mae Funderburk and Bailey Michelle Hedges, Carl Fredrick Hedges, IV, and River Dean Holmes Hedges; and sister-in-law, Carla Lambright and husband Tommy of Texas City. A host of extended family, friends, and past students also survive.

A funeral service will be held 1 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 6, 2018, at First United Methodist Church with Bro. Freddy Mason, Rev. Kevin Otto, and Rev. Leah Morales officiating under the direction of Jimerson-Lipsey Funeral Home. Interment will follow in Gum Springs Cemetery in Longview. The family will receive friends from 5-7 p.m. on Wednesday at the funeral home.

Memorials may be made to Panola College for a theatre scholarship in Liz’s memory. Send tax-deductible donations to Panola College, 1109 W. Panola, Carthage, TX 75633, Attn: Endowed Scholarship – Liz Hedges Memorial, or use the online donation option at

A guestbook may be signed online at

To see photos from the Studio Theatre dedication, go to Elizabeth R. Hedges Studio Theatre Photo Gallery.

Read the story about the dedication of the Studio Theatre at Studio Theatre to be Named for Liz Hedges.