The Headlee Family has been an integral part of the Dublin community for nearly 100 years, with especially close ties to the Dublin Schools.
Earl and Bertha Headlee settled in Dublin in the 1920s where they would go on to raise their family of 14 children, 11 boys and three girls. Their children all attended Dublin schools, and as the family grew over the years, 16 of their grandchildren and three of their great grandchildren also became Dublin graduates. Nearly all of them participated in either sports or cheerleading, with sons John Headlee and George “Melvin” Headlee playing on the county basketball championship teams in the early 1940s (George even shot the winning basket to make Dublin the tournament champions in 1943), son Richard Headlee playing on Dublin’s very first football team in 1947, and daughter Irma Headlee Extenkamper playing on one of the earliest girls’ basketball teams in 1939. During the 1940s and 1950s the Headlees were a large part of Dublin’s football, basketball, and baseball programs, with many team captains and members of championship teams. Sons Wayne Headlee and Bill Headlee as well as granddaughter Connie Headlee Montgomery and grandson Rick Headlee are members of the Dublin Athletic Hall of Fame. Son Lee Headlee’s wife Barbara Rose Headlee, a well known and highly accomplished Dublin physical education teacher, was also inducted into the Dublin Hall of Fame for her contributions to Dublin’s sports programs. And as has been true since the 1930s when Earl and Bertha Headlee’s oldest children were students at Dublin, to this day at any Dublin sporting event you’re likely to find several Headlees cheering on their hometown team.
The Headlee Family’s leadership in Dublin sports continued into the following generations, with many of the Headlee grandchildren and great grandchildren participating in team sports at Dublin High School (later Dublin Coffman) from the 1960s through the 2010s. Among them were many team captains, lettermen, MVPs, scholar athletes, and state champions. Granddaughter Connie Headlee Montgomery won Dublin’s first state title, as the 1972 state champion for uneven parallel bars. Along with the family’s athletic contributions, daughters Eula Headlee Price and Sharon Headlee Shoemaker were both cheerleaders and members of the Homecoming Court (as were many of Earl and Bertha Headlee’s future daughters-in-law), and many of the Headlee grandchildren followed in their footsteps.
The Headlee Family have also been leaders in academics. Among Earl and Bertha Headlee’s children and grandchildren are numerous class officers, Student Council members, Merit Scholars, National Honor Society members, and one Valedictorian (Connie Headlee Montgomery, Class of 1972). Son Harold Headlee’s wife Wilma Dixon Headlee and son David Headlee’s wife Norma White Headlee were also Class Valedictorians.
The Headlees have continued to serve the Dublin Schools over the years. Son Lee Headlee served on the Dublin school board for 12 years. Lee’s wife Barbara Rose Headlee taught physical education at Dublin (now Dublin Coffman) High School for 23½ years, coached Dublin’s girls gymnastics team for 17 years, started the ski club, and served as the head of the Physical Education Department. Barbara also established school and community programs including the Dublin Community Gymnastics Program, and received state recognition for expanding Dublin’s physical education program. Granddaughter Connie Headlee Montgomery taught in the Dublin Schools for 30 years and served as Dublin’s girls gymnastics coach for three years, leading Dublin to a state championship; granddaughter Jennifer Headlee Harper has been a teacher in the Dublin Schools for the past twenty years. Son Jim Headlee’s wife Claudette Blankenship Headlee retired from the Dublin schools after 30 years’ service as a secretary and administrative assistant. In addition to his enthusiastic support of Dublin sports, son Bill Headlee was also a custodian at various Dublin schools for nearly twenty years.
In addition to their contributions to the Dublin Schools, the Headlee Family have been prominent members of the Dublin community. Many have been and still are active long-time members of the Dublin Community Church. Others have been involved with the Dublin Historical Society and Dublin Kiwanis. Sons Roger Headlee and Jim Headlee as well as grandson Gary Headlee worked for the City of Dublin. Several of Earl and Bertha Headlee’s children and their spouses operated successful businesses in Dublin, including Lee R. Headlee Public Accounting, Headlee Gardens, Headlee Electric, Headlee Office Supply, Headlee Refuse, and the Dublin Barber Shoppe. When the Dublin Independence Day parade created the honorary position of Grand Marshal in 1972, Earl and Bertha Headlee were named the very first Grand Marshals. Son George Headlee’s wife Catherin Willing Headlee, who holds a special place in Dublin’s history as the first female mayor along with making many other significant contributions to the community, served as Grand Marshal in 1982. In 2001, the entire Headlee Family – Earl and Bertha’s surviving children, and many of their grandchildren and great grandchildren – served as Grand Marshals of the Independence Day parade! Additionally, Catherin Headlee was the Grand Leprechaun of the 1989 St. Patrick’s Day parade, and daughter Eula Headlee Price’s husband Jack Price was Grand Leprechaun in 1999. Jack was another anchor of the Dublin community, operating the Dublin Barber Shoppe from 1963 to 2003 (now operated by Jack and Eula’s son Craig Price and grandson Brandon Shaw), serving as a founding member of the Dublin Chamber of Commerce, and playing an instrumental role in establishing the Dublin Independence Day parade.
The Headlee Family has also proudly and bravely served our country. Nine of Earl and Bertha Headlee’s eleven sons served in the Army. The oldest and youngest sons, Harold and Jim, were unable to serve for medical reasons. David, Charlie, Bill, Roger, and Wayne served during peacetime, Lee and Richard served during the Korean War, and John and George served in World War II. George was wounded at the Battle of the Bulge and was awarded a Purple Heart and three Bronze Stars. Charlie was stationed in Germany in the late 1950s with none other than Elvis Presley.
The Headlee Family is proud of its Dublin heritage, and cherishes this community as it has for nearly 100 years. It is a great honor for our family to continue supporting Dublin Coffman’s student athletes through The Headlee Family Foundation Scholarship Program.