Gordon L. Headley

Jul 11th, 1936 - Feb 2nd, 2020
Gordon L. Headley

Gordon Lee Headley, age 83, of Herrin, Illinois, passed away on Sunday, February 2, 2020 at 8:20 p.m. in Westside Rehabilitation and Care Center, West Frankfort, Illinois.

Gordon was born on July 11, 1936 in Carbondale, Illinois, a son to Jay Bennett and Josephine (Green) Headley. He married Dorothy Sue Bentley in 1956 and she preceded him in death in 1987. He later married Ruth Elinor Jones on September 2, 1988 in Madison County, Kentucky, and she preceded him in death on June 16, 2018. Gordon was a proud veteran of the United States Navy and worked for the United States Postal Service serving as the Postmaster in Herrin. He was a member of Second Baptist Church in Herrin where he had served as a deacon and was also a member of the William County Shrine Club.

Survivors include his step-daughter, Anne (Bill) Tottleben of Marion, Illinois; two beloved granddaughters, Tabitha (Trevor) Ferguson and Paula Murphy; other grandchildren including, Christy (Brandon) Law, Jackie (Jeremy) Martin, Ronnell Headley, Rodger Headley, Sarah, Holly and Megan; and numerous great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his parents; two wives, Dorothy Sue (Bentley) Headley and Ruth Elinor (Jones) Headley; one son, Allen Headley; and one brother, Rodney Headley.

Per his family’s wishes, private services are being held for Gordon. Inurnment will be in Herrin City Cemetery.

For the last eleven years of his life, Gordon lived with Alzheimer’s Disease, being diagnosed in 2009. For those who prefer, memorial donations may be made in his memory to the Alzheimer’s Association. Envelopes will be available and accepted at Blue Funeral Home in Marion.

Blue Funeral Home in Marion is assisting the family with arrangements.

4 Guestbook Messages

  • Guest: Paula

    From: Marion, Illinois

    Date: February 5, 2020

    Love and miss you grandpa

  • Guest: Tabby Ferguson

    From: Oceanside , California

    Date: February 5, 2020

    It’s always sad to lose someone close to you, but that’s life. You’re born, you live some, you meet people, those people will die and you will die. That’s just how it goes. And when you die, your loved ones will run around like chickens with their heads cut off trying so hard to do right by you, whether that means preparing your body for burial or cremation, writing your obituary, or arranging your services/memorial.

    What is the very sad, I think, is when an obituary is made, and you sit there reading it, thinking “that’s it. A life, summed up in a paragraph or two.” But what many of the readers don’t know is how much more to your life there was that can’t be fit into a few paragraphs. And how those who didn’t know you might read it and think “oh cool, I used to go to the same church” or “oh he was a veteran” but they won’t know how you used to wake up every morning at 5AM to go take a walk alone and breathe in the crisp morning air, and whistle back to the birds, how you used to blow through books, sometimes reading 3 in a week. Or how you barged into the delivery room so excited to hold your newborn granddaughter moments after you heard her first newborn cries. They wouldn’t know how you snuck candy into church with you, or how you sang nursery rhymes to your granddaughter, or cracked your knuckles and made me swear I never would (but I definitely picked up your techniques). They don’t know how you LOVED eating Dairy Queen and would stop and get ice cream multiple times a week. Or how you LOVED watching golf or watching Jeopardy with your wife.

    And the saddest of all, is that you have family who never got to know any of that, and never got to be close to you. They may be biologically connected to you but they never got a chance to KNOW you, and despite that, you loved them so much. They didn’t know you, and you barely knew them, but you would have given them the world like you did those who did know you.

    My PaPa was single handedly the most loving, friendly, gentle man I ever met. He was a very smart man who lived a simple life. When he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s we really thought the doctors had made a mistake, he seemed fine. Until he wasn’t. He would forget to eat, he would mow the same strip of lawn over and over. He forgot where he was going and eventually couldn’t drive anymore. And that gentle, friendly loving man started to lose himself in a grey cloud, and slowly forgot everything… and everyone… and eventually he even forgot who he was… but the last person he remembered…. was me. I was the last person he remembered, and that was MAYBE in 2011. He wasn’t my biological grandfather, in fact to get very technical, he was my mother’s adoptive mothers second or third husband(??) but he was the only grandfather I ever knew, and he was the best damn PaPa a girl could have. He was an amazing man, and I am so sorry for the people who never got to know him like I did. His obituary is a teeny-tiny glance in to who he was during his life. I could write a book about his life, and it still would never be enough to sum up the kind, gentle, friendly, deeply religious, fair, sweet, giving man he was. He was an angel among us, he was level headed. He was a dreamer, a believer, and so so much more. The world, whether or not the whole world knows it, lost an incredible man on February 2, 2020. PaPa Gordon will never be forgotten, and will be remembered truly as he was before his diagnosis and not just as a hazy minded, confused, and sometimes violent man that Alzheimer’s disintegrated him into.

  • Guest: Kay Bentley

    From: St Peters, Missouri

    Date: February 6, 2020

    I will miss a very considerate, caring, and gentle man. Now may he rest in peace.
    For those left behind may that peace bring comfort and courage to face the days ahead and loving memories to forever hold in your heart.

  • Guest: Donna Headley

    From: Burley, Idaho

    Date: February 7, 2020

    My kids loved him so much. They have great memories of riding in his Shiner car, going to parades, and playing on the sun porch. Later on, they remember watching the movie Seven Years in Tibet with them. He will be loved forever by them.