Helping others is something Willis Hensley, 68 of Gulston, has always felt was an important part of life. He and his wife, Rosella, stay busy volunteering their time to help those in need.
“In about 2007, I retired from the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, after working in the highway department for about 16 years,” said Hensley. “Since that time I have been working part-time as a night watchman. My wife and I live near the Gulston Church of God and she spends a lot of time volunteering at the church.”
An avid hunter and fisherman, Hensley said he doesn’t get to do much of that now because of his age.
“I love being in the mountains and watching the night sky,” said Hensley. “I’ve always had a fascination with astronomy and I spend a lot of time on my front porch looking at the stars.”
Designated as one of the top pool players in Harlan County, Rosella said her husband won numerous tournaments in this sport in years past.
“I wish there was still a place to play pool in the county for those of us who love the sport,” said Hensley. “It’s a type of sport that you can continue to play even as you age. A lot of the kids today haven’t had the chance to learn the game of pool because they haven’t had a place to go and participate in tournaments.”
Volunteering a lot of his time to help those who need to go to doctor appointments or the grocery, Hensley said helping others is something that is very fulfilling to his life.
“You can’t go wrong by helping others,” said Hensley. “It’s not something my wife and I do to gain attention, it’s how we were taught and it comes naturally.”
Rozella said her husband “never sees a stranger and is a great story teller.”
“Willis loves to sit and tell people about the history of the county and stories about things that have happened,” said Rosella. “He’s a country man with a heart of gold. He loves it when people stop by and sit on the porch with him so he can talk for hours about the mountains and the county he loves so much. You can always depend on Willis because it doesn’t matter who it is, if someone needs a way to the doctor or some other type of help, he’ll be the first to volunteer to help. That’s just the type of kindness he possesses.”
Hensley has two daughters and two step-children. He has four grandchildren and three step-grandchildren.