|Remembering Beulah Hedahl|
Beulah M. Hedahl, retired professor of psychology, died March 17, at her home in Devils Lake, N.D. She was 87.
Hedahl, the daughter of Edwin and Clara (Berge) Hedahl, was born Sept. 12, 1920, in Bismarck, N.D. They lived at Mercer, N.D., and moved to Bismarck in 1928. She was educated in the Bismarck school system, graduating from Bismarck High School in 1937.
After graduating, Hedahl worked for her father in the family business in Bismarck, Hedahl Motor Supply. From 1939 to 1941, she attended Bismarck State College and was in the first graduating class. In 1942, she started school at Concordia College in Moorhead, Minn., but she had to return home in November 1942 because of her father's death. At the age of 22, she became the president and manager of Hedahl Motor Supply. Her two brothers were serving in World War II and it was up to her to decide if the business was worth saving. It was, and she forged ahead. Hedahl served on the board of directors for many years and in 2006 was elected to the board as board member emerita.
After her brothers returned from the war and took over the company in 1945, Hedahl returned to Concordia College and earned her B.A. degree in 1946. That fall she began graduate school at Washington State University at Pullman, Wash., and in 1948 earned her master's degree in English. From 1948 to 1951, she was dean of women and assistant professor of English at Pacific Lutheran in Tacoma, Wash.
In the fall of 1951, she entered graduate school at the University of Minnesota and earned a second master's degree in educational psychology in 1956. That fall she went to Michigan State University in East Lansing, Mich., where she was employed as a counselor in the Counseling Center. While there, she completed work on her Ph.D. in educational psychology from the University of Minnesota, graduating in 1958.
She came back to North Dakota as the director of the Counseling Center at the University of North Dakota. In 1972 she was promoted to full professor of psychology. From 1979 to 1981, she was chair of the Psychology Department. She was also senior counselor at the Counseling Center until she retired in 1983.
She moved to Bismarck and continued to serve on several doctoral committees. She donated her professional library to the Valerie Merrick Public and College Library at Fort Totten, N.D. In 2000, she moved to Devils Lake.
During her professional career she was very active at both the state and national levels. She was a member of the North Dakota Psychological Association, North Dakota Personnel and Guidance Association, American Psychological Association, American Personnel and Guidance Association, American Association of Counseling Directors, National Vocational Guidance Association, Association of Counselor Education and Supervision, Association for Higher Education, American Association of American Women, League of Women Voters, Phi Kappa Phi, and a life-long member of Pi Lambda Theta and Psi Chi.
Hedahl is listed in Who's Who of American Women. In 1980 she received the Outstanding Alumni Award from Bismarck State College Alumni Association. In 1981, she received the Lillian and Henry Barry Award in Human Relations from Phi Lambda Theta. For eight years, she served on the medical school admissions committee at UND. She served on the ad hoc Committee on Educational Provisions for Physically Disadvantaged Students and on the Committee for Indian Studies.
In 1979, Hedahl attended a National Conference on Consultation for Disabled Lutherans and in 1980 helped plan a state conference.
She had many other interests besides education. She was a strong supporter of the arts, especially music, and was also an avid reader. Her greatest interest and devotion was to help others. In the fall of 1973, she met Sharon Rance, a student at UND who was having a difficult time adjusting to college life and her physical disability. Hedahl invited Rance to live with her at a time when the University and the community were just beginning to provide services for physically disabled students.
Hedahl is survived by Sharon Rance of Devils Lake, sister-in-law Winnifred Coin-Hedahl of Bismarck, and several nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her brothers, Erling and Neil Hedahl and sister-in-law, Hazel.