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Small town, Big Heart

Honoree Head has a passion
for serving his community

He is an avid firefighter
and active in Oldham County

By Helen E. McKinney
Contributing Writer

LA GRANGE, Ky. (July 2012) – When most people think of Buddy Head, the first thing that comes to mind is a generous heart. Known for his compassion and benevolent spirit, Head has spent a lifetime living, breathing and giving back to Oldham County.
“It’s important to him to give back to the community,” said Judy Head, his wife of 52 years. The list of his accomplishments and charitable endeavors could go on and on forever.
“He’s an Oldham County native, knows a lot of the history of the county, he’s lived a lot of it, and has been very active in a lot of things,” said Judy.
He was born on Walnut Street in La Grange to Willie and Luella Head.
Head’s been involved in Little League, was in the U.S. Army Reserves for 15 years, is in the La Grange Kiwanis Club, president of the Oldham County Fair Board and a member of DeHaven Baptist Church.
He and Judy, originally from Henry County, met while her sister was working in a restaurant in La Grange. “He asked her for a date but she said no because she had a boyfriend at the time. She told him she had a sister and he asked me out,” Judy said.
During their many years together, Head has served as a La Grange Volunteer Firefighter for 25 years. He also worked for BF Goodrich for 30 years and owned his own electric company after retiring.
“He’s been very active in the fire department for many years,” said friend Lucy Ricketts, who is also Oldham County Day Chairperson. Anyone who knows Head would say he has a passion for serving the community, she said.
Head was unavailable for an interview because he was in the hospital awaiting a procedure for an existing heart condition. “He went into cardiac arrest in 2007,” said his wife.
Because of this life-threatening experience, he has made it his main goal in life to go into schools, clubs and public places where people gather, to speak to anyone who will listen about the important of having an AED (defibulator) close by, said Judy. “It saved his life.”
For this reason and many others, Head has been chosen as this year’s Grand Marshal for the Oldham County Day Parade, to be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, July 21.
“Quite a few individuals nominated him for Grand Marshal,” said Victoria Motyka, publicity chairperson for Oldham County Day. The event is organized by members of the Oldham County Project Guild.
“He has a big heart for the area,” said Motyka. The theme for this year’s Oldham County Day is fitting, “Small Town, Big Heart.”
The theme is chosen based on “what he or she (the Grand Marshal) has done in the community,” she said. Overall, “we’ve had more nominations this year than we’ve ever had.”
Judy Head said that one of her husband’s biggest honors is in knowing that his sister-in-law, Fran Curtis, nominated him.
“If I hadn’t thought he was the best choice for Grand Marshal, I wouldn’t have nominated him,” said Curtis. “I’ve wanted to do it for years.”
She said the theme describes Head perfectly because of “what he does when he feels well, which is usually speaking about the importance of having a defibulator on hand. He’s out to help everyone. He’s always been involved in the community.”
Head will also be honored with the Grand Marshal Luncheon at noon Tuesday, July 17. The luncheon will be held at the John W. Black Community Center, 1551 N. Hwy. 393 in Buckner. Tickets can be purchased in advance.
For the last 20 years, Head has been very involved in the local Crusade for Children campaign. He has been instrumental in coordinating the fire truck setups in Oldham, Henry, Trimble and Carroll counties. In his role as Fire Truck Coordinator, the Crusade is “something he believes strongly in,” said Judy.
Head considers the Crusade “insurance” if any of his children or grandchildren ever get sick. If that were the case, “we feel like we could go to them and ask for help,” after volunteering for so long, she said. In fact, they did have a grandson in Kosair Children’s Hospital who needed to use machinery donated by the Crusade for Children.
“His life is in Oldham County,” Judy said. “It’s his county. He wants to see it grow, but at the same time remain rural so that people will get to know their neighbors.”
To have been nominated for Grand Marshal of the Oldham County Day parade is a “real honor and he gladly accepted it,” said Judy.

• To purchase tickets to the Grand Marshal Luncheon, contact Ann Brown at (502) 222-0023.

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