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As we travel though life, we meet and get to know some people who really are larger than life.  I have been blessed with many people who fit this description.  But, one stands tall is “Big A”—Arnold Hederman.

Big A and Gail came into my life when my children attended Simpson Academy.  The youngest son Brit played baseball with Larkin and Breck. Dickey was blessed with his coaching.  I don’t think I ever known anyone who loved basketball more than Big A.  He volunteered countless hours coaching players to be their best.  Big A would be at Simpson early and late working with aspiring athletics.  He was committed to his players, the school, the students, and his friends.  He spent many hours working with his daughter Brandi!

This group of baseball guys loved Big A & Gail. Their son Britt is on the front row on the left —-1st one


Big A had a big heart!  He loved…and he loved big.  He helped so many students not only on an athletic field but in every day life.  Gail and Big A truly represent the word “volunteer.”  Those two volunteered for everything at SCA.  


Always having fun!

When Larkin died, Gail and Kim McNulty lead the change in preparing a funeral program in full color with tons of pictures.  (These girls were picture taking machines!). Big A and Gail began a fundraiser for a bench for me at the cemetery.  Their friendship and love is precious to me and my boys.

I guess one of the best things they ever did for me was give me a computer following Larkin’s death.  Big A and Gail knew the days and years ahead would be difficult.  They wanted me to have an outlet for my grief.  Little did we know, that from that gift would be born.  I always say Big A and Gail are the parents of MageeNews!

If there was a need, Big A and Gail found a solution.

As Big A’s health begin to decline, Gail bravely realized a move near their Louisiana children was necessary.  Everyone in Simpson County grieved over their departure.  Of course, Big A and Gail joined in all activities in the their new home.

One of Big A former team members had this to say on FB: “Good coaches leave behind trophies and banners, great coaches leave behind a legacy. 

Feeling sad tonight, but I know I’m a better person because of a larger than life man who invested so much time in me and so many other kids. Until we meet again on the other side….Love you Big A!” Brandi Dear Smith (former player)

The family is bringing Big A back to Magee for burial.  He loved Simpson County!  Visitation will be Thursday night and the funeral Friday.  The times of the events will be posted when received.  Tutor Funeral Home is in charge.

“Part” of Big A and Gail’s family!


The home page just shows a few of Big A’s fans! is an online news source serving Simpson and surrounding counties as well as the State of Mississippi.


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