James Alan Headley, 71, of St. Louis, Missouri, passed away on March 24, 2020, from the complications of Parkinson’s disease.
Jim was born on June 13, 1948, in Bryan, Ohio, to Harley Headley and Clela (Bowers) Headley of Stryker, Ohio. Jim and his older sisters, Karen and Joan, grew up on a dairy farm south of West Unity. His childhood instilled in him an interest in Midwestern farm history, literature, architecture and art.
A lifelong fan of learning, Jim graduated from Stryker High School and Adrian College, Michigan. He earned his masters and Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the University of Iowa, Iowa City, where he met Judith Herrin of Decatur, Illinois. Jim and Judy married on May 30, 1975, and moved to Houston, Texas, where Jim worked as a research chemist for Texaco Inc., for 29 years. He traveled to numerous countries, teaching other research chemists his craft.
In addition to his work and family life, he was involved in church activities at Grace United Church of Christ, singing in the choir, assisting with church building repair and renovation projects and serving on the board. He was a member of Houston Choral Showcase and served as their audio engineer.
When Jim retired from Texaco, he and Judy moved to St. Louis, Missouri, to be near their surviving parents. As he did in Houston, he became active in church, a community chorus and Habitat for Humanity, and enjoyed woodworking, reading and genealogy. He and Judy enjoyed traveling throughout the Midwest, visiting tractor shows and Frank Lloyd Wright houses.
He is survived by his beloved wife of almost 45 years, Judith Ann; and his two daughters, Alison Elaine of St. Louis and Megan Fay of Austin; his son-in-law, Luiz Tauil; and grandsons, Ian James and Max Muniz.
He will be missed by his sister, Joan Headley (St. Louis); sister and brother-in-law, Nancy (Herrin) and Richard Robinson, Joy, Illinois; and nieces and nephews, Dawn Chesterman, Tiffany McCampbell, Scott Mastin, Lara Farr, Jacob Robinson; extended family and many friends in Houston and St. Louis.
He is preceded in death by his parents and sister, Karen Mastin (Huntington, Indiana).
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Jim Headley’s name to the St. Louis Chapter of the American Parkinson Disease Association. The family plans to hold a celebration of his life at a later date.