Obituary & Services: Hubert Harold Headrick

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Hubert Harold Headrick of Chillicothe died on June 1, 2023, at the Missouri Veterans Home in Cameron, Mo. where he has been a resident since February 2017.

Hubert was born on the Headrick family farm just south of Anutt, Mo. in Dent County on August 18, 1925.  He was the second son of C. Orvis and Pearl Headrick.  At the age of 15, his parents sent him to live with relatives in Rolla, Mo. to finish his last two years of high school education which he did in the spring of 1942.  Hubert also finished one year of college at the Missouri School of Mines and Metallurgy (now Missouri University of Science and Technology) in Rolla before receiving his parents’ permission to join the U.S. Navy while still only 17 years old. His older brother Vernon also served in the Navy during World War II.

Hubert Headrick
Hubert Headrick

Upon his discharge from the Navy in 1946, he immediately set about pursuing two great accomplishments. Using G.I. Bill benefits, Hubert began attending the University of Missouri at Columbia and he married his first great love, Ethel Capps, on July 11, 1947, at her father’s home in Mammoth Springs, Ark.  Ethel’s father, Rev. Alphus Capps, a Baptist minister, presided at the ceremony.

Upon graduation from the University of Missouri with a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture in 1948, Hubert and Ethel returned to the Anutt, Mo. area.  Hubert taught veterans in an “on the farm” training program and had his own farm until 1956.  Two sons, Michael (1950) and Larry (1952), and one daughter, Linda (1955), joined the family. 

In 1956, the family left Anutt as Hubert began his career with the University of Missouri Extension in Linn, Mo. Serving in multiple counties in the state, he rose from a county agent to Area Director of the Green Hills Region in 1967.  This brought Hubert and his family to Chillicothe.  The family had grown with the addition of two more daughters, Janet (1959) and Barbara (1962).  Hubert also completed a Master’s Degree in Extension Education in 1964 at the University of Missouri at Columbia. Hubert’s and Ethel’s commitment to education is evident in the academic achievement of their five children. Hubert and Ethel supported all five children through college and four of them went on to achieve advanced degrees.

As the Missouri Extension Green Hills Area Director, Hubert oversaw University Extension programs and boards in 9 counties in North Central Missouri. His work focused on farming programs, including Family Farm Development and Small Farms programs. He also strongly supported 4-H in the region and participated each summer in several county fairs.

A lifelong Methodist, Hubert and his family joined the Chillicothe United Methodist Church upon their arrival in 1967.  Hubert served on the church board and multiple church committees.  Hubert also joined the Chillicothe chapter of Rotary International.  He was a Paul Harris Fellow and regular attendee at the Friday luncheons until his health declined.

Hubert retired from University Extension in 1983.  He was recognized by the University of Missouri for 30 years of excellence and dedication to public service. Hubert also received the gracious thanks of his colleagues and community members in the counties of the Green Hills Region, at the University of Missouri, and by a resolution from the Missouri House of Representatives.  Refusing to completely stop working, Hubert held several jobs before fulling retiring in the early 1990s. He worked on farm loans for 2 local banks; assisted farmers through the Missouri Seed Improvement Association; and worked for Connecting Computers, one of Chillicothe’s first computer stores.  An “early adopter” of Apple’s Mac computer, Hubert’s computer expertise was called upon by a number of local organizations and residents throughout the 1980s and into the early 1990s.  Hubert was also the Headquarters Building Coordinator for the Chillicothe Sesquicentennial Celebration in 1987.

Hubert’s first wife Ethel died in 1994.  However, God’s grace brought him a second great love in Virginia Byrd Griffith of Dawn, Mo.  They married on May 27, 1995, at the Dawn Federated Church. The wedding was only 10 days after Hubert had heart bypass surgery.  Hubert’s family firmly believes that his marriage to Virginia saved his life as he scheduled a stress test because she insisted that his symptoms of heart pain needed to be addressed.  Virginia’s six children greatly expanded Hubert’s family and added exponentially to the joy of his second marriage. 

Hubert and Virginia spent many years traveling by trailer, cruise ship, and plane to numerous spots in the U.S., Mexico, and the Caribbean.  They were also active volunteers for the Retired Seniors Volunteer Program (RSVP) and the House of Prayer.  Hubert was honored as RSVP’s Male Volunteer of the Year in 1997. Hubert greatly enjoyed their days on the Griffith Family farm outside of Dawn where he could be found making repairs, mowing the lawn and just enjoying a walk in the countryside.  Hubert and Virginia sustained their active life with routine workouts at the Grand River Area Family YMCA. These shared activities ended for Hubert and Virginia with his diagnosis of Alzheimer’s more than ten years ago.  The disease robbed him of many memories, but never his faith in God or his love for Virginia or any of his family members.

Hubert Headrick was preceded in death by his parents, his older brother Vernon and Vernon’s wife Ethel Black Headrick Heavin, his first wife Ethel, and their first child Harold who died in infancy in 1948.

He is survived by his second wife Virginia, his five surviving children from his marriage to Ethel plus one son-in-law (David Setzer) and one daughter-in-law (Sally Headrick).   His sons Mike and Larry, and his daughter Linda blessed him with seven grandchildren (Carolyn Headrick Kohler, Matthew Headrick, Elizabeth (Betsy) Headrick, Julie Headrick, Daniel Setzer, Rachael Headrick, and Jessica Headrick).  Hubert is also survived by his niece Beverly Good and his six stepchildren (known affectionally as “the steps”) and their spouses from his marriage to Virginia. (Ben and Melinda Griffith, Phil and Vickie Griffith, Jeanne and Kurt Wohlfarth, Becky Gohring, Patricia, and Greg Wever, and John and Deanna Griffith) They blessed him with many grandchildren and great-grandchildren. 

Services will be held at the Chillicothe United Methodist Church on June 7 with visitation at 9 am and funeral service at 11 am.  Hubert’s ashes will be interred next to his first wife Ethel at the family plot in the Anutt Missouri Cemetery at 10 am on June 9.  In lieu of flowers, donations should be made to the Grand River Area Family YMCA with a memo that it is for youth programs.

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