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‘My job is just to build’


Volunteer electrician Bill Whitehead has been with Knoxville HFH since its first house.

Bill Whitehead is known for many things, not the least of which is his famous peach cobbler. He has been with Knoxville Habitat for Humanity for the last sixteen years, and he has worked on every part of a house at one time or another, from the foundation to the shingles. He is also proud to spend his retirement years volunteering to help others acquire simple, decent shelter.

But he does not wax analytical about his contribution. He sees the work simply as something that needs to be done.

”My job is just to build,” he says.

When the affiliate lost its licensed electrician, Whitehead stepped in, earning his electrician’s license at age 75, and now he leads a crew of eleven electrical workers. This is a source of pride for Whitehead, who is seeing to the wiring for the future home of the Kouassi-Harper family.

”My crew is so good,” he says. “We could wire a three-bedroom home by noon.”

The five-bedroom home on South Chestnut Street is a bigger challenge than Whitehead and his crew normally deal with, but he looks forward to the work and to the chance to help with the revival of the Five Points neighborhood.

”It’s good to see some of these kids getting out of the projects,” he says.