Eugene Howard “Gene” Massey, Sr., age 82, of Greensboro, Georgia, died Sunday, December 28, 2008 at Athens Regional Medical Center. He was born on June 18, 1926 in Jackson County, Georgia to the late Fleming Massey and Ella Whitehead Massey. In 1940 he earned his Eagle Scout at the First Christian Church in Athens. In 1941 he graduated from Athens High School and from North Georgia College in 1943. He then served his country in the United States Navy during World War II as a Photographer’s Mate Second Class. After the war he graduated from Emory University in 1946, where he was a member of the Sigma Chi Fraternity. He was the manager over the Athens, Macon and Jacksonville, Florida offices of Southern Bell, before starting his own business, Chem-a-Cleen, Inc. from which he retired in 1986. While running his own business, he travelled extensively selling chemicals to dairy farmers. He was a respected collector of southern handmade furniture, placing many pieces in the Georgia High Museum. He especially enjoyed buying and selling antiques and collecting old coins. For thirty-five years he was an active member of the First Baptist Church of Greensboro where he was a member and teacher of Hamp’s Sunday School Class. Mr. Massey was also a member of the American Numismatist Association, past president of Blueridge Numismatic Association and a member and past president of Toastmasters Public Speaking. He was a devoted husband, father and grandfather, a competitive bass fisherman and was said by many to have been a “Gentlemen’s gentleman.”
He is survived by his wife, Lucille Coleman Massey, who he married in March of 1973; two daughters; Roselle Massey Holmes and husband Tom of Athens, GA and Joanna Massey of Atlanta, GA; two sons, Eugene Howard Massey, Jr. of Los Angeles, CA, John Keywood Massey, wife Stephanie Cooper Massey, formerly of Alexandria, Virginia, and now of Atlanta, GA; a sister, Mary Zimmer of Albuquerque, New Mexico; a stepdaughter, Laura Anna Reynolds of Watkinsville, GA; three grandchildren, Catherine Roselle Holmes of Augusta, GA, David Steven Holmes of Athens, GA, and Lily Kathrine Massey of Atlanta, GA; two step-grandchildren, Suzanne Cook of Atlanta, GA and Lucy Cook of Los Angeles, CA. He was preceded in death by a sister, Dorine Taubitz.
Funeral Services will be held Wednesday, December 31, 2008 at 11:00 a.m. at the First Baptist Church in Greensboro with Rev. Michael Hardy and Rev. Dr. Norman Waldrip officiating. Interment services will follow at Greenview Cemetery with military honors. Serving as pallbearers are Jimmy Finch, Charles Copelan, Alvin Dowdy, Bobby Durham, Bobby Duvall and Mell Marchman. Honorary pallbearers will be the members of Hamp’s Sunday School Class. The family will receive friends from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Tuesday night at the funeral home. The family requests that any memorials be made to The First Baptist Church Building Fund or the Church Music Program, 203 S. Main Street, Greensboro, GA 30642. McCommons Funeral Home, 109 W. Broad St., Greensboro, GA, (706) 453-2626, is in charge of arrangements. Visit us at www.mccommonsfuneralhome.com to sign the online guest register.