as this years parade grand marshals
sense of compassion
has touched many lives
Helen E. McKinney
LA GRANGE, Ky. (July 2006) Beverly and Billy
McMakin believe in lending a helping hand to others so much
so that they practice what they preach daily, never passing up an opportunity
to help those in need.
by Helen E. McKinney
and Billy McMakin will be
honored at a noon luncheon on July 11.
Known for years as the druggist at Heads Drugs in
La Grange, Billy McMakin said, I really had a passion for pharmacy.
Likewise, Beverly kept the books, performed cosmetician duties and was
just as familiar with the daily routine of the pharmacy.
The community will honor the McMakins with a Grand Marshal Luncheon
at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, July 11, at the John Black Community Center in
Buckner. Sponsored by the Project Guild of La Grange, reservations are
$8 per person.
Billy, 64, grew up on a dairy farm in La Grange. His parents were William
Jr. and Kathryn McMakin. His father also worked for Belknap Hardware.
The McMakins now live in the home his parents built outside of the La
Grange city limits.
In addition to helping out on the farm, Billy would get up every morning
at 4:30 to deliver papers when he was 15. He wanted a better job and
applied at Crestwood Pharmacy upon learning that they were in need of
Hired as a soda jerk, Billy had no intention of going on to pharmacy
school. Instead, he thought he would go into the engineering field due
to several relatives who were in that line of work.
But the more he worked at Crestwood Pharmacy, the more he thought, This
is what I want to do, he said. For a time he entered the U.S.
Air Force after high school but always felt a strong calling for the
Graduating from the University of Kentucky in 1966, Billy held various
jobs until landing a full-time druggist position. He had always told
Head that if he ever decided to sell his drug store in La Grange, to
keep him in mind. Billy remembers his father calling one day to tell
him that Head had finally decided to sell the drug store.
After having traveled around a bit, Billy said his goal was always to
come back to Oldham County. He did so when he bought Heads Drugs
in 1973. He and Beverly, who had earned a business degree from the University
of Kentucky, operated the pharmacy until 1994. They sold it to Taylor
Drugs, with Billy remaining on staff for nine more months.
But the couple didnt give up their career in the pharmacy vocation
when they sold Heads Drugs. Billy still works three days a week
for PCA Inc., a health and safety consultant firm on Blankenbaker Lane
The McMakins attribute their nomination as Oldham County Day grand marshals
to the many former customers and friends made while they worked at Heads
Drugs. Surprised at their nomination, Billy said it was really
humbling to be on the same list as past grand marshals.
Its definitely not just a passing thing, said Beverly,
64. Both are being honored for their dedication to the community and
the way that they have unselfishly cared for those in need.
Oftentimes the couple would deliver prescriptions if a customer was
unable to pick them up. If a prescription was needed immediately, We
would drive to get it to you, said Beverly.
It was our obligation to see that you got the prescription,
said Billy. For the McMakins, it was important to perform every aspect
of their job, even if that meant inconveniencing themselves.
Project Guild member Betty Miller attends church with the McMakins.
Billy has been a Deacon for the La Grange Christian Church for 12 years,
the church in which he grew up. Miller said the McMakins are very
active in another organization, The Healing Place.
After noticing an ad for volunteers in a pharmacy journal for The Healing
Place in Jefferson County, Ky., the McMakins once again felt a calling
related to their career choice. The Healing Place is a center for recovering
alcoholics and drug addicts, a lot of whom are homeless.
The McMakins help run the pharmacy for The Healing Place, filling prescriptions
and providing counseling. They went from volunteering once a month to
once a week and often find their work harder there than holding a full-time
job. But they both agree that it is rewarding and they are very much
appreciated for what they do for others.
Billy said that although it might be a hassle getting there, on the
trip home they could feel that they have actually accomplished something
good for someone else.
The McMakins are also involved in the La Grange Rotary Club, having
been members for 33 years. His dad was an active past president,
said Beverly. His fathers friend, Dick Radcliff, approached Billy
about becoming a member by telling him, This is something you
have to do.
One special Rotary Club project they participate in is a group study
exchange. Young professionals from other countries travel to the United
States to spend five weeks in Kentucky, living with members of the Rotary
Club during that time.
This is a very rewarding program, said Billy. Young adults have come
from Brazil, Mexico, the Netherlands, Australia, South Korea and Russian
provinces. Now we have homes in all these countries as well,
Steve Shultz, a fellow Rotarian, has known the McMakins for the past
30 years. Like many in the community, he met them through Heads
Drugs and in his own line of work as a State Farm insurance agent.
The group study exchange is a program meant to encourage world
peace and understanding, said Shultz. Billy headed the La Grange
Rotary Clubs participation and was heavily involved in making
it work for the greater Louisville area, which is comprised of about
30 clubs, said Shultz.
The La Grange Rotary Club has been more active in the role of hosting
visitors in this program, rather than sending members abroad. One Rotarian
and four to five non-Rotarians are sent, and housed in Rotarian homes
while spending their five weeks abroad.
The McMakins always work together as a team, said Shultz. They
get something done in the very best of fashion. When they say theyre
going to do it, they do it together.
Shultz said the McMakins worked long, hard hours in a fast-paced, pressure-filled
environment while running Heads Drugstore. They are the
epitome of what it means to be a truly married couple. They were always
each others very best friend.
Married for 42 years, Billy met Beverly by picking her out of a cheerleader
lineup picture. Needing a date for the eighth-grade prom, he and a buddy
decided they would like to take some Crestwood girls. After looking
at some cheerleading pictures, Billy picked Beverly as his date for
a hayride and prom the following night. They have one son, Billy, who
lives in Lexington, Ky.
In addition to being a member of the Rotary Club for so long, Billy
has been a board member for the YMCA and Oldham County Health Department.
The couple has volunteered with Meals on Wheels, also.
To make reservations for the Grand Marshall
Luncheon, call Betty Miller at (502) 222-2266.
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