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With heavy hearts, the family of Rev. Dr. John Hedgepeth is deeply saddened to announce the passing of Mrs. Dorothy Fay Bullard Hedgepeth. Fay passed into the arms of the Lord on November 2, 2023, at 2:09 p.m.
Born in Rockingham, North Carolina, to her loving parents James Herman and Doretha “Dot” Rainwater Bullard, Fay’s parents emphasized the importance of an education and instilled in her a lifelong desire to learn. Fay demonstrated her commitment to learning by achieving the remarkable feat of skipping from the 5th to the 7th grade. She attended Emmanuel College in Franklin Springs, Georgia, and then East Carolina University, where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Grammar Grade Education.
Fay’s lifelong mission was to educate others. Fay taught in the Harnett and Cumberland County elementary school systems and at Fort Bragg dependent schools. She also taught at Northwood Temple Academy, where she later became its Headmaster. Fay’s gift for teaching extended to the ministry, where she used her gift to guide others through the Bible. She helped to initiate the Home Bible studies, which she taught weekly. Many people came to Christ because of this ministry. Her dedication to teaching others about the Bible extended to her cherished role as a Sunday school teacher at Northwood Temple Church, where she taught Sunday school for over 55 years.
One of Fay’s greatest passions was her family. She and her husband celebrated 60 years of marriage in August, traveling the world together. Their mornings began with shared breakfasts while watching the birds from their sunroom, often accompanied by laughter and prayer. As a loving mother and grandmother, Fay was the cornerstone of her home, cooking many meals and fostering cherished moments around the dining room table. Fay’s role as a kind grandmother brought her immense joy, especially during the sleepovers she hosted for her grandchildren and the numerous beach trips she took them on. She patiently embraced each grandchild’s unique personality, passing down family stories, life lessons, and recipes. Her children, raised with deep values of compassion and selflessness, considered her their hero.
Fay’s love and warmth extended to everyone she encountered, including the loving congregation at Northwood Temple, where she was affectionately known as the “First Lady.” She deeply cherished her church family, and they, in turn, cherished her. She was truly an excellent wife, mother, grandmother, student, and friend to all.
Fay is survived by her loving husband, Rev. Dr. John Hedgepeth; son Todd Hedgepeth and wife Suzanne; son Philip Hedgepeth and wife Angie; daughter Jennifer Montague and husband Lynwood; granddaughter Garett Butler and husband Preston; grandchildren Caroline Pope, Parker Hedgepeth, Ben Hedgepeth, Will Hedgepeth, and Collin Pope; brother Jim Bullard; sisters-in-law Tahia Roberson and Frances Hedgepeth; nieces Suzanne Bullard and Emily Williams; and nephew Mark Burgess.
A visitation to honor Fay’s life will be held on Friday, November 10th, at Northwood Temple Church, 4250 Ramsey Street, Fayetteville, N.C. from 6 to 8 p.m. The funeral service, also at Northwood Temple Church, will be on Saturday, November 11th, at 11 a.m. The graveside ceremony will be held at Lafayette Memorial Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Northwood Temple Academy. Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to Jernigan Warren Funeral Home. Fay’s memory will forever remain in our hearts, and her impact will live on through the lives she touched and inspired.
Funeral arrangements by Jernigan-Warren Funeral Home, 545 Ramsey Street Fayetteville, N .C. 28301
Online condolences may be made at www.jerniganwarren.com