Times West Virginian
Jackie W. Lawson Headley, 80, formerly of Harford County, Md., and Grafton, passed away at Cadbury of Lewes, Lewes, Del., on March 8, 2013.
He fought a long and courageous 13-year battle with chronic kidney disease. A “Celebration of Life” memorial service was held Tuesday, April 16, at Cadbury of Lewes.
Jackie was born in Grafton in 1932, son of the late Myrtle Ann and John Henry Lawson. After his mother’s sudden death following birth, he would be adopted Christmas Eve of 1932 by the loving and caring Headley family.
Jackie graduated in 1951 from Grafton High School, then honorably served two years in the military during the Korean War. Soon after, Jackie returned to his hometown and applied for and received an apprenticeship with the B&O Railroad as a machinist. His interest of the railroad became a lifelong passion. He was an avid collector of B&O memorabilia and model railroads. A family Christmas tradition quickly evolved whereby the entire family would join Jackie to construct magnificent train gardens.
During his 45 years while living in Maryland, he enjoyed boating, fishing, golfing, bowling, woodworking and antiquing. Jackie was very active in community and civic activities, always striving to improve the quality of life for youth, neighbors and community.
His adoptive parents, Jessie (Simpson) Headley and Edward Ivan Headley, and his four siblings, Joe Simpson, Ava Dell Headley, Edward Gene Headley and April Ehrenman, preceded him in death. Jackie was also preceded in death by his biological siblings, Elmer, Guy, James and Maridiah.
He is survived by his caring and loving wife of 54 years, Carolyn Davis Headley of Lewes, Del.; his daughter, Robin Lee Boyd and son-in-law Michael Boyd of Stewartstown, Pa.; and one sister, Betty Lorene Arthur of Roland, Iowa. Other close family includes sisters-in-law, Janet Davis and Mary Jo Davis of Fairmont and Kathleen Davis of Terra Alta; brother-in-law, Allen Ray Davis of Independence, and LeRoy Davis and wife Virginia Sue of Cleveland, Ohio. He is survived by many nieces and nephews throughout the United States.
Mr. Headley will be remembered by his family and friends for his optimism throughout his long illness, his sense of humor and bright smiles.
Jackie endured multiple poor health issues and selflessly donated his body to the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and Research for further study. There will be a private burial at Oak Grove Cemetery in Grafton at a later date.
In lieu of flowers or donations, the family requests that in his memory each person perform an act of kindness for someone in need.
Arrangements are being handled by Parsell Funeral Homes & Crematorium, Lewes, Del.
Please visit Mr. Headley’s Life Memorial webpage and sign his online guestbook at www.parsellfuneralhomes.com.