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NCBA Mourns Loss of Allan Head

NCBA Mourns Loss of Allan Head

Allan Head shown in familiar territory, addressing an audience beneath the NCBA banner.

Allan B. Head, who devoted 43 years of service to the North Carolina Bar Association and the North Carolina Bar Foundation, died on Saturday, Feb. 17, at the age of 73. He joined the staff of the NCBA/NCBF as executive secretary on Dec. 1, 1973, and served as executive director from 1981 until his retirement on Dec. 31, 2016.

A memorial service will be held on Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2 p.m., at White Memorial Presbyterian Church, 1704 Oberlin Road, Raleigh. The family will receive friends following the service at the church.

A second service will be held on Wednesday, Feb. 21, 11 a.m., at Enterprise Baptist Church, 404 Enterprise Road, Littleton. The family will receive friends following the service at the church.

Click here to view the published obituary in its entirety.

“Allan Head had a profound impact on the legal profession in North Carolina,” said NCBA President Caryn McNeill. “The success of the North Carolina Bar Association is directly attributable to his vision and the degree to which he sincerely cared about our members and staff.

“He led by example, always working to leave the campsite better than he found it. He also led with joy, affirming others and celebrating our good fortune at having the opportunity to work together. Allan will live on in our hearts and memories and in our shared work on behalf of our profession and the citizens of our state.”

A native of Atlanta, Head was a 1966 graduate of Wake Forest University and a 1969 graduate of the Wake Forest University School of Law. Following law school he served four years as a lawyer assigned to the U.S. Army Security Agency in Kassel and Augsburg, Germany.

At the time of his retirement, Head ranked as one of the longest-serving bar executives in the nation. His many accomplishments included oversight of the construction of the N.C. Bar Center in Cary, home of the NCBA and NCBF since 1994. He also played a prominent role in the growth of the NCBA, establishment of the NCBF Endowment, implementation of NCBA Sections, the addition of the Senior Lawyers and Paralegal Divisions, and ongoing recognition of the NCBA as one of the finest bar organizations in the nation.

“Allan was a leader, a mentor to generations of attorneys, and a friend to all who met him,” said NCBA Executive Director Jason Hensley. “He left this world a better place than he found it. As an Association we are deeply saddened by his passing and profoundly grateful for his dedication, his care for others and his legacy that continues forward in the work of the NCBA.”

Allan Head displays his familiar smile at the dedication of his portrait at the N.C. Bar Center.

Head served as president of the National Association of Bar Executives in 2006-07 and received the organization’s highest honor, the Bolton Award, in 2010. He also served on the ABA’s Hurricane Katrina Task Force and chaired the ABA’s Standing Committee for Bar Activities and Services.

Additional awards bestowed upon Head included the Father of the Year Award (2014), selected by the Raleigh Father’s Day Council; the James Iredell Award (2015), presented by Campbell Law School’s Phi Alpha Delta law fraternity for contributions to the legal profession and Campbell Law School; the N.C. State Bar’s Distinguished Service Award (2015); the Order of the Long Leaf Pine, presented by Gov. Pat McCrory at the NCBA Annual Meeting (2015); and the Pete Moffitt Courage Award (2016), presented annually to a Wake Forest University student-athlete, coach or alumnus who has displayed tremendous courage in the face of adversity. 

Head served as a member of the board of directors of the YMCA of the USA; as president and member of the board of directors of YMCA of the Triangle; as a member of the Wells Fargo (formerly Wachovia) Board of Directors (Cary); as chair of the Camp Kanata (YMCA) Advisory Board; and as stadium announcer for Wake Forest University and Broughton High School football games. The Allan and Patti Head Family was inducted into the Broughton High School Athletic Hall of Fame in 2007.

In addition, Head served more than three decades as treasurer and officer of the Wake County Bar Association, and was a member of the Chief Justice’s Commission on Professionalism at the time of his death. He served for more than two decades as an advisor for the Presbyterian Church’s Appalachian Service Project, leading senior high mission trips (home repair ministry) to the impoverished coal-mining regions of Virginia, West Virginia and Kentucky.

Survivors include his wife of more than 50 years, Patti; their son David Head and his wife Marti, and their children Carlyn, Charli, Clara and Chandler, of Charlotte; their son Darryl Head and his wife Karin, and their children Reed and Hayden, of Winston-Salem; their daughter Jayme Sanchez and her husband Arturo, and their children Arturo and Danielle, of Houston, Texas. He is also survived by his brother, Brian Head, of Falmouth, Mass.