Whitehead is director of Alabama National Cemetery
By PHOEBE DONALD ROBINSON / Community Columnist
Army veteran Quincy M. Whitehead was named director of the Alabama National Cemetery in December 2007 after the National Cemetery Association purchased the 479 acres site adjacent to American Village in Montevallo in July 2007.
The cemetery was dedicated on July 13, 2008, and opened for its first burials on June 25, 2009.
It became the 129th national cemetery administered by the Department of Veterans Affairs. Whitehead has served as the Alabama National Cemetery’s only director.
Whitehead grew up in Baltimore, Md., the daughter of Pentecostal preachers.
She enlisted in the U.S. Army after her high school graduation and began her military career as a patient administration, including work at the 97th General Hospital in Germany.
After completing her tour of duty, Whitehead accepted a civilian position with the Department of the Army in Frankfurt, Germany, from 1985-1989.
After returning to the states, she worked from 1990-1997 at Munson Army Community Hospital in Leavenworth, Kansas, until she joined the Department of Veterans Affairs in 1997.
In December 2000, Whitehead received her Bachelor of Science in Business Management from Park University, Mo. She entered the Cemetery Director Intern Program in January 2002 and received her Master of Science in Human Resource Management from Central Michigan University in 2005.
She was director of Wood National Cemetery, Milwaukee, Wis., and director of Barrancas National Cemetery in Pensacola, Fla., before coming to Alabama.
“When I was trained at Leavenworth, I did everything,” said Whitehead. “I dug graves, I painted, I repaired vehicles and I learned every aspect of taking care of a cemetery from the ground up. As the director of the Alabama National Cemetery, I am chief of everything.
“This is a calling for me. I feel that everyone is meant to do something and I am meant to do this. All the people who work here are veterans and we are a family. We want to treat people as we would like to be treated. Our work is all about the veterans and their families. We want the families to know we are here for them.”
For more information, go to Cem.va.gov or call Whitehead at (205) 665-9039.