While there have been a number of three-sport captains in Peddie‘s long athletic history, only a few could match the record of H. Fletcher Bedell ’59. At the core of Bob Lawson’s successful program, “Fletch” was truly a man for all seasons, excelling on the pavement of Etra Road in the fall, the groaning icy boards in the winter and the cinders of the Annenberg Track in the spring.
Undefeated in the quarter mile his senior year, with victories over Princeton, Columbia, and Rutgers freshmen, Fletch won the State Quarter Mile Championship. He occasionally won half-mile events as well. Fletch anchored the mile relay in a speedy quartet that included classmates Deckle McLean and Tommy King. “Bullet” Bob Lawson knew he could count on Fletch to add points to the Peddie score.
On Prize Day 1959, Fletch won both the Osias Honor Plaque for most improvement in track and field and the Weed Honor Trophy, awarded to that member of the cross country team “who proves himself to be outstanding in qualities of sportsmanship, leadership, and ability.”
Beyond sport, Fletch was very active in the glee club, church choir, and band; his extraordinary role as overseer of the Ayer Chapel work program is a legend in itself. As a college undergrad, he was senior class president and captain of crew and stroke.
The son of Mayor and Mrs. Harry F. Bedell of Bellport, N.Y., Fletch continues to live in his seaside hometown where he raised two children. He remains active in civic affairs having retired after 37 years in law enforcement, the last 22 as a supervisor of detectives with the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office.
For the leadership he provided, his excellence in a wide range of events, and his commitment and service to our school, we honor H. Fletcher Bedell ’59 and include his name among our athletic immortals.