Cover photo for Ellen D. Hedberg's Obituary
Ellen D. Hedberg Profile Photo
1937 Ellen 2015

Ellen D. Hedberg

May 8, 1937 — May 4, 2015

Ellen Carey Day was born on Saturday, May 8th, 1937 in the Longwood medical area of Boston. Her father was a medical doctor, Joseph P. Day Jr., son of the founder of "Joseph P. Day Realty Corporation" of New York, NY. Her mother was Frances Carey of Cambridge and Waltham, MA, daughter of Harvard English professor and social worker Arthur A. Carey.

Ellen's early years were spent enjoying the outdoor delights of the Forbush farm in Acton, MA, which she loved well and reflected on warmly all of her life. During WW II, while her father was tasked with heading an Army general hospital overseeing the return of wounded soldiers from the Pacific, she spent time living in Santa Barbara, CA.

She went on to Grier Boarding School in Birmingham, PA, where she excelled at field hockey, choir, and literary pursuits until being accepted to Wellesley College of MA, where it was her ambition to obtain a degree in psychology. However, she met her future husband, Richard B. Hedberg of Worcester, MA, and like many women of that era, she left school to start a family.

Outside of sharing fun and perspectives with her family and good friends, the things Ellen valued most included equality for all people and a love of nature and the outdoors. She greatly enjoyed music and singing, and she often spoke reverently of her time in choir and playing piano for church activities as a young woman.

She is survived by her eldest brother, Joseph P. Day III of Exeter, NH, by her three children, Alison Hedberg of Anchorage, AK, Ellen (Ken) Richardson of Cross Plains, WI, and John Hedberg of Brookline, MA; and by her two young grandsons, Ian and Isaac Richardson of Cross Plains, WI. She is also survived by her loyal friend and companion, Michael Distelzweig of Maynard, MA, who stood by her side with faith and humor for 35 years, and to whom her family is forever grateful for his unwavering presence in her life: Ellen liked to refer to her time with Mike as "The Golden Years".

Ellen passed away at age 77 on May 4th, 2015 at Sudbury Pines Nursing Home & Hospice in Sudbury, MA, and was laid to rest at Woodlawn Cemetery in Acton.

A memorial service in her honor will be held later this year. Family and friends are kindly invited to share their thoughts, feelings, laughter, tears, and stories.

Donations in Ellen's memory can be made to:

The Audubon Society

NAMI (National Alliance for the Mentally Ill),



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