James Emmet Headlee was born March 11, 1932 at 512 N. Lincoln in Odessa, to Dr. Emmet V. Headlee and Marie Sprusil Headlee.
He attended Odessa public schools, graduating from Odessa High School in 1949. He received a B.S. degree from SMU in 1953 and
served in the U.S. Army from 1953 through 1955. He died October 19, 2018.
After military service he returned to Odessa to begin a career in real estate. He developed the first phase of the North Country Club
Estates subdivision in east Odessa and managed the Headlee Building at 4th and Sam Houston Streets until it became the Ector County
Library in 1980.
He served on the board of directors of Odessa Boys and Girls Club from 1962 until the present time. In 2012 the Boys and Girls Club
presented him with its only fifty-year board service award for his half century of membership. In the year 2018 he learned with much
pride that the newest Odessa Boys and Girls Club unit in West Odessa will be named the James Headlee Unit in recognition of his nearly
sixty years of service on the Board and his generosity with club projects. Other organizations on whose directorates he served included
The United Way, The Village Place Charitable Trust, Permian Playhouse, Odessa Council on Alcoholism, Better Business Bureau of the
Permian Basin, Odessa Family YMCA, and The American Red Cross. He served on four grand juries, three times as jury foreman.
The Ector County Bar Association awarded him their first Liberty Bell Award for community service in 1969. He was one of only four
local citizens awarded the Boys Club Medallion, that organization’s highest national honor for volunteer service. His church membership
was at Westminster Presbyterian Church.
He spent much of his free time wood-working and woodcarving. Products of these hobbies are located in his church, as well as in his wife’s
church, St. Barnabas Episcopal. Many others are in the homes of friends and family members where he hoped they would bring warm memories
and joys of the Christmas season for many years to come.
He was never more at peace than while fly-fishing and releasing his catch in a high mountain stream, particularly when accompanied by close
friends and his son and sons-in-law. He was never prouder than when bragging on the accomplishments of his children, grandchildren, and his
adopted son, Rudy Acosta, who died in 2008. Among his fondest memories were Rudy’s graduations from Permian High School, Odessa College,
and Texas Tech University; Rudy’s recognition by the Heritage of Odessa Foundation as a Distinguished Former Odessan; and the building and
dedication of the Rudy Acosta Memorial Student Pavilion on the Odessa College Campus.
He was preceded in death by his parents, his brother Gordon, and his adopted son Rudy Acosta.
He is survived by his wife Mary Lou, three daughters and their husbands, Lisa and Joe Zuerker of Edmond, OK, Laura Nunez of Odessa, Linda and
Kenny Freeman of Odessa, and one son, Emmet V. Headlee II of Odessa. His survivors include thirteen grandchildren and eighteen great grandchildren.
His grandchildren are Meghan Zuerker Lawlis, Elisabeth, Garrett, Caitlin and Zoee Zuerker, Allison Nunez Heath, Amber and Aubrey Nunez, Kendra Freeman Baxter
and Kyle Freeman, Emerald Headlee Christopher, Brandt and Alec Headlee. His survivors include three stepsons Alan, Bill and David Rogers.
Memorial Service will be at 3:00 p.m., Saturday, October 27, 2018 at Westminster Presbyterian Church with David Chancellor, officiating.
His original pallbearers, some of whom preceded him in death were Dr. John Q. Long, Harry M. Wilkerson, Don Clark, Dick Gillham, Kenneth Hankins,
Hal Lambert, Roy Garcia, Jr., and Dick Waddell.
During the last years of his life his son Emmet was a loving dedicated companion and caregiver. He and his wife and daughters are forever grateful for this care.
Memorial contributions may be made to Westminster Presbyterian Church or Boys and Girls Club of Odessa.
Arrangements are under the direction of Sunset Memorial Gardens & Funeral Home. To sign the guest book, please go to www.sunsetodessa.com.
James was one of the nicest people I have ever met. He will be greatly missed. Our prayers are with his family.
Jim D MooreOdessa, TX
Roy & I are heartbroken with Jimmy’s passing. We’ve been so blessed to have had Jimmy in our lives. He was such a positive influence in our lives, as well as so many others, in our Odessa community. May Jimmy be in God’s Glory being the angel that he was from above now, Our prayers are with all the Headlee family. We love y’all & will miss Jimmy immensely. Sylvia & Roy Garcia, Jr.
Sylvia & Roy Garcia, Jr.Odessa, TX
Please accept my sincere sympathy in the loss of your loved one.
At a sad time as this, the Bible gives us comfort at Revelation 21:3,4 where God promises to eliminate sickness, sorrow and death. What a wonderful time when we no longer have to face these enemies.
I hope this scripture gives you some consolation.
I, Elaine Miller, am writing this for my friend, JoAnn Scott. JoAnn wanted to say: "I was the nurse of Dr. Headlee and Dr. Headlee's mother in the early 60's. I am the same age as James Emmet Headlee and just wanted to send my condolences to your family. (I live at Orchard Park on Dr. Emmet Headlee Drive.)"
JoAnn ScottOdessa, TX
Mary Lou,Emmet and family,you are in my thoughts and prayers.
Dr.Tom J.HeitingMidland, TX