JAMES WESLEY HEAD, 33°
A native of Nashville, TN, Jim and his mother moved to Savannah
in 1942. He attended Benedictine Military School. At the age of 17,
after his junior year, he volunteered to join the Navy while the war
with Japan was still ongoing. Following boot camp in Bainbridge, MD,
Jim attended the Navy Hospital Corps School. He received his
Honorable Discharge in September 1948.
Determined to follow a legal career, He entered Armstrong Junior
College in the Fall of 1948. He graduated in June 1950. He then
enrolled at Emory University in 1950 and graduated in 1952 with an
LLB degree. He received his Juris Doctor degree in 1970. He also
served as President of the Emory Law Alumni Assoc. from 1969-1970.
Returning to Savannah, he joined the firm of Sullivan and Maner as an
Associate. He later formed the firm of Findley, Shea, Friedman,
Gannam, Head and Buchsbaum, which later became Solms, Gannam,
Head & Buchsbaum. While in private practice, he served as an Asst.
County Attorney for Chatham County. As a member of the Savannah
Bar Assoc., he served as President, Secretary and Treasury. In 1974, he
was appointed by the judges of the Superior Court to serve as the Judge
of Juvenille Court. He was the first full time Judge of this court in
Chatham County. He remained as such until May 1975 when Gov.
George Busbee appointed him State Court Judge following the death of
Judge Edward Hester. After the General Assembly passed legislation
providing for two State Court Judges, Judge Head remained in that
position until he was elected as Judge of Superior Court. He retired as
an active trial judge in February 1995. Jim was then appointed by the
Governor to be a Senior Judge of the Superior Courts of Georgia. He
served in that capacity until he retired from active service in December
Jim enjoyed his Masonic work. He was a Life Member and Past
Master of Landrum Lodge #48 and a Life Member, 33° Scottish Rite
Freemason. He served as Chairman of the Advisory Committee in the
Valley of Savannah and as Venerable Master in 1989. He was also a
former President, past Secretary and Treasurer of the Masters, Wardens
and Secretaries Association of the local Blue Lodges. Jim was a member
of Alee Temple Shrine and a former member of the Royal Order of
Jim was formerly a member of the American Legion Post 135, the
Oglethorpe Hotel Golf Club, the Savannah Golf Club, Elks Club,
Savannah Jaycees, Savannah Chamber of Commerce, Quarterback Club,
Forest City Gun Club and the YMCA.
Judge James Wesley Head, 86, passed away after an extended illness,
on June 9, 2014 at the home of his daughter, Theresa Head Turner in
Lecanto, FL. He had been under the care of Hospice of Citrus and the
Nature Coast and previously with Gentiva Hospice in Savannah. He
was proceeded in death by his wife, Helen Vail Head and daughter,
Laura Head Thomas. He is survived by an expansive, extended family.