After a courageous and upbeat struggle with blindness and dementia, Don Headen left it all behind and entered his heavenly home January 5, 2021. Donald Martin Headen was born in East St. Louis, IL, to William Franklin and Ella Beulah Moran Headen on February 21, 1930. At the height of the Depression when Don was three, the family moved to Texas. Don grew up near Waco. As a farm boy he shouldered many responsibilities. One of those was to make sure the cattle did not get through the fences to the crops. This offered him the opportunity to do one of his favorite activities: reading. Determined to attend college Don worked in a boarding house to support himself. Washing dishes, along with pots and pans for sixty peers was not much fun, but he was resolute: he was going to get an education. After two years at Tarleton Junior College, Don transferred to UT Austin. In addition to his studies and intermural sports, Don decided to take ballroom dancing lessons. This was an extravagance, but he enjoyed dancing--even on his 90th birthday. Upon graduating from UT in 1951 as a Second Lieutenant in the Army, he soon found himself in Korea. Shortly after his return from Korea, he began working for General Tire. He also joined the Army Reserves. About this time, he met Dorothy Fogle who soon became his wife. They were blessed with two sons, Donald Gene and Scott Alan. After fifteen years at the Waco General Tire Plant as an accountant, he was offered the opportunity to transfer to the Akron, Ohio plant as controller. Don and Dorothy, along with others, planted Crestview Baptist Church in Stow, Ohio. They were fully committed and active in this ministry. After almost fifty years of marriage Dorothy died in 2000. In the fall of 2001 while visiting his sister Sue in San Antonio, he met Jacqueline Schultz. Soon they were married. After five years of spending the summers in Stow and the winters in San Antonio, they decided to settle in New Braunfels. Blindness did not dampen Don’s love of books. Don listened to talking books supplied by the Texas State Library in Austin. He listened to hundreds of books-- from the classics to mysteries to biographies, even westerns! Don and Jacqueline enjoyed family, travel, gardening, and friends until Don’s dementia took over. This generous gentleman will always be the measure of a man and a beautiful example of God’s love and grace. His faith in the Lord was well lived. Don was an active listener, a good story teller, persistent in his prayers for others, he was funny, sharp, and made-up words on the spot that were somehow both hilarious and perfectly suited for the situation, and so much more… enveloped all he met. Don leaves a legacy of love.
Don was preceded in death by his parents, his brother Bob, his wife Dorothy, his son Scott, and his sister Lou. He is survived by his wife of almost nineteen years, Jacqueline, his sister Sue, his son Don (Margaret), his daughter- in- law Cindy Headen, Jacqueline’s children Kristin (Fred) Wilson, Melissa (Greg) Coman, Andy (Tammera) Schultz, his grandchildren Thomas and James Headen, Jacqueline’s grandchildren Taylor (Dayna) Williams, Walker Williams, Garrett Coman, Court (Laura) Coman, Wil (Ali) Coman, Lillian (Vittorio) Salvadori, Drew (Katie) Schultz, Jack Schultz, great grandchild Winter Williams.
Special thanks to Gruene Senior Living Memory Care and Hope Hospice. Donations may be made to Christ Presbyterian Church, Samaritan’s Purse, or the charity of your choice.
Don’s memorial service will be held Saturday, January 9, 2021 at 2:00 PM at Christ Presbyterian Church. For those who prefer to watch the service it will be live-streamed through the church’s website: www.Christpresnb.org