Thursday, June 20, 2024
83.5 F

Iconic waterman Roy Headley

by Carol A. Muratore

“Roy Headley,” oil painting by Carol A. Muratore

Paige Headley was married to Roy for 40 years until he passed away in June 2022.

She grew up in Tappahannock and met the rough and tumble, brawny waterman at a local bar. Roy had already quit school in the 10th grade or most likely was asked to leave Northumberland High School. He didn’t really like school. And that suited him just fine as he had already “graduated” from the “Chesapeake Bay University” as many watermen jokingly refer to their “real-world” alma mater. Roy was a waterman involved in crabbing and oystering when they began dating.

Paige is light and breezy. She laughs easily. She says Roy was big and loud, the life of the party, had a good sense of humor and sometimes got into scuffles with people—mostly other watermen who put their crab pots too close. Paige also remembers he just couldn’t whisper. If he had something to say, the whole world knew. She spoke at length about his strong work ethic. However, she also worked hard during their marriage running the Fairport Marina and Restaurant. Many of these years she single-handedly kept that ship afloat.

Roy was from Village. His father, Albert, was a boat builder at Jennings Boat Yard. Roy tagged along to Fairport with his dad frequently to join him at work. Roy would catch soft crabs along the shore at….

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