Gift to Provide
Professorship, Scholarship, & Renovations
Always gracious in her support for the programs of this College.
By Kathy Ibendahl
of Agriculture lost a long-time friend and supporter on October
30, 2000, when Betty Jo Denton Heick died. Heick, formerly of Paris,
Kentucky, and her late husband, John Heick (50), were strong
supporters of such campus-based programs as Partners in Agriculture,
the Good Barn renovation, and the Ag Phonathon. Betty Jo Heick set
in place a will bequest that left the College a significant gift
to be used several different ways.
Her largest gift will go toward renovating the E.S. Good Barns
entrance and creating the John H. and Betty Jo Denton Heick Alumni
Board Room in the barns south wing. Any additional monies
will be used to renovate the barns north wing.
grateful for Mrs. Heicks generous gift that will go a long
way toward completing the Good Barn, said Bill Sheets, Director
She also left
$100,000 to create the John H. Heick Professorship in Soil Science,
which will be matched by the Research Challenge Trust Fund to bring
the total to $200,000.
monies and memorial gifts from friends will go toward the John H.
Heick Scholarship Fund in Agriculture. The Heicks created this scholarship
in 1997 to assist Bourbon County students attending the College
of Agriculture. Again, a portion of John Heicks life income
trust will now go toward scholarship support for deserving students.
Betty Jo Heick
was a graduate of Paris High School and Randolph-Macon College in
Virginia, and kept close ties to both schools throughout her life.
She recently had served as chair of Randolph-Macons Planned
County citizens remember Heick as their county court clerk. For
18 years she served as the Deputy County Court Clerk and for 27
years was the County Court Clerk before her retirement in 1993.
leadership skills helped her claim several firsts among
Kentuckians. She was the first woman president of the Kentucky Association
of Counties. She was also the first female Kentuckian to serve on
the board of directors of the National Association of Counties and
the states first woman chairperson for Wendell Fords
successful campaign for the U.S. Senate. Heick was the second female
president of the Kentucky County Clerks Association.
She was active in the Democratic party and served on the Kentucky
Democratic Central Committee. Her work there led her to a term on
the Democratic National Finance Committee.
Having a heart
for the youth in her community, Betty Jo Heick dedicated a great
deal of her time to Teen Square, a youth activity center once located
in downtown Paris. Many of the centers activities took place
under her guidance and supervision.
Betty Jos deep commitment to young people reflected
in the Paris community carried over to every student in the UK College
of Agriculture. She was always gracious in her support for the programs
of this College, remembers Pam Poe, personal friend and administrative
associate for Dean Scott Smith.
A meaningful part of Heicks life was her church. A member
of the First Christian Church in Paris, she served as an elder,
board member, and trustee. At the time of her death she was the
Everyone who knew her loved her, said Mike Richey, UKs
Lexington campus Director for Development and a close friend. She
did so much good for her community and the other organizations she
so faithfully supported. I have lost a dear and long-time friend.
John Heick worked
the familys Bourbon County farm throughout his life, and from
1977 until his retirement in 1985 he served as president of the
Federal Land Bank Association of Lexington. He was active in numerous
community organizations, an elder in his church, and a member of
the Burley Co-op Board.
When asked why he was such an avid supporter of the College, John
Heick once said, My mother and father always stressed the
importance of education, and I have witnessed the importance of
education throughout my life. Through my support, if I could convince
one kid to get an education, it would make me very happy!
An active alumnus, Heick served a term as president of the Ag Alumni
Association in 1985 and received the associations Distinguished
Alumnus Award in 1987. He credited Dr. John Robertson for generating
his interest in the Ag Alumni Association. When the two men met,
Robertson was assistant county Extension agent in Oldham County;
he would later become the Associate Dean for Instruction in the
College of Agriculture.
The Heicks were Scovell Society members and UK Fellows. Betty Jo
Heick enjoyed coming to Scovell events and even attended last falls
event just weeks before her death.