Alma Haggin Dead

Alma Haggin, First Lady of Keeneland, Dead

Alma Haggin, wife of former Keeneland president Louis Lee Haggin II and the creator of Keeneland’s distinctive ambiance, died Jan. 23. She was 96.

For more than 60 years, Mrs. Haggin was quietly active behind-the-scenes at Keeneland, volunteering her time and energy to develop what became known as "the Keeneland look."

"Alma had a perceptive and instinctive eye for what is artistically and aesthetically correct for the Keeneland image,” said former Keeneland chairman and president James E. "Ted" Bassett. “Whether the décor, landscaping, or the floral arrangements--that unique sense of grace and elegance has been what has made Keeneland so special and so memorable."

Mrs. Haggin's father, Hal Price Headley, was a founder of Keeneland and the track's first president. Mrs. Haggin's husband, Louis Lee Haggin II, took over as president from Headley and also served as chairman of Keeneland Association. Their son, Louis Lee Haggin III, is a Keeneland Association director and trustee.

"Mrs. Haggin created a living legacy that horsemen and guests can enjoy every time they visit Keeneland," said Keeneland president and CEO Nick Nicholson. “So much of Keeneland’s beauty is a tribute to her quiet activism. For more than 60 years, she volunteered her time and considerable sense of style to perfect what today has become known as 'the Keeneland look.' "

In additon to her son, Mrs. Haggin's survivors include daughters Alma, Anne, and Martha; a brother, Hal Price Headley Jr.; and sisters Alice Chandler and Patricia Headley Green. Alice Chandler owns Mill Ridge Farm near Lexington with her husband, Dr. John Chandler.

Services will be at 11 a.m. Jan. 25 at First Presbyterian Church. Memorial gifts are suggested to the First Presbyterian Church Memorial Fund or Hospice of the Bluegrass. W.R. Milward Mortuary--Broadway is handling arrangements.