CAMDEN - Dr. Herrold E. Headley, 95, passed away suddenly September 16, 2014 in Camden. The elder son of Ross W. and Pearl B. Headley, he was born on January 22, 1919 in Athens, Ohio.
He is survived by his sister, Martha Jane Smith of Rich Hill, Missouri, and his daughters, Erin Headley of London, England, and Janis Trudo of Weare, New Hampshire. Their mother and his first wife was the organist, Romette Headley Arnold.
Headley was a singer, conductor, educator, musical entrepreneur, artist, fine-art bookbinder, and sailor. He received his bachelor's degree in music from Ohio State University, took his master's at Indiana University (where he studied voice with the distinguished Metropolitan opera baritone Mack Harrell), and earned his Ph.D from North Texas State University with a dissertation, "The Choral Music of Arthur Honegger," that has since been published online. He held several academic posts, notably at the University of Arkansas and at Southern Illinois University, where his chorus joined the St. Louis Symphony on a regular basis to perform Beethoven's Ninth Symphony under the baton of Edouard van Remoortel.
Headley was head of music at the University of Maine from 1963 to 1967; there he turned a small and inactive music program into a fully fledged and nationally accredited department, with an impressive newly appointed faculty in a building that had state-of-the-art facilities. His university choir, the Chorophonic Society, gave with the university orchestra such musical masterworks as Handel's "Messiah," Mendelssohn's "Elijah," and the Requiems of Verdi and Fauré. The concert series he initiated and devised presented internationally acclaimed artists, while the departmental chamber-music series featured faculty members and his statewide educational music program reached thousands of Maine's schoolchildren.
In the 1970s Headley became an avid sailor, and thoroughly explored the Penobscot Bay, the Caribbean, and the Intracoastal Waterway from Virginia to Florida. He also mastered celestial navigation, as a result of which he came to revise and edit the standard text on the subject, "The Primer of Navigation" (W. W. Norton, 1995). In his later years he continued his life-long interest in fine-art bookbinding and the study of history.
This remarkable man was also blessed by a happy, third marriage, in 2002, to Ruth Ball Paust (d. 2010), niece of the poet and Dadaist Hugo Ball. His immediate family and close friends will gather in spring 2015 to honor his memory and to celebrate a life lived to the full. Memorial donations may be made to the charity of your choice. Arrangements are with the Long Funeral Home & Cremation Service, 9 Mountain Street, Camden. Condolences may be shared with the family at www.longfuneralhomecamden.com.