Larry Walter Massey died peacefully at Phoebe North Hospital on February 17, 2021, surrounded by family. Larry is survived by his three sons, David Massey (Vicki) of Marietta, Richard Massey (Wendy) of Buford, and Kevin Massey (Anna) of Dawson; five grandchildren William, Madeline, Annalea, Mary Catherine, and Kate Massey; brother Tom Massey (Jill) of Dawson; two brothers-in-law Robert Elliott of Young Harris and Billy Sellers (Marla) of Perry; and nieces and nephews Kristin Walters (Rantz) of Columbus, and Brian Massey (Lynn), Brock Massey (Khristina), Mark Massey, and Sherrer Hester (John), all of Dawson; and several grand-nephews. He is also survived by his loving companion Rebecca "Becky" Dusterdieck of Albany and loved and was loved by her children and grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his wife Mary Sellers Massey, his parents E.L Massey Jr. and Virginia Brock Massey, his brother Edward Massey, his father-in-law and mother-in-law Bill and Lola Sellers, and his sisters-in-law Marsha Elliott and Susan Olivia Sellers.
Larry was born April 4th, 1949 and grew up in Bronwood, Georgia. He graduated from Terrell High School in 1967, and first went to Middle Georgia College. He married Mary Coleman Sellers August 30, 1969 before they went to the University of Georgia, from where they both graduated. Larry also served in the Georgia National Guard. Larry and Mary settled in Dawson, Georgia where they lived and raised three boys. Along with his brothers, Larry ran and expanded the family business Massey Wholesale Company and founded Southeastern Fumigants; the companies won awards in the peanut and distribution industries. During his career he served on numerous boards and committees. He served as chairman of the Associates Board of the American Peanut Shellers Association. He traveled to China with a U.S. trade delegation and served on the advisory council of the University of Georgia’s Small Business Development Center. He was a member and past president of the Terrell County Chamber of Commerce and many other civic organizations.
Larry was a very supportive father and loved being around young people, teaching Sunday School, leading the Dawson Presbyterian Church’s youth group, and coaching little league teams. He chaired the board of the Terrell County Recreation Department for 17 years. Many of his sons’ friends considered Larry a friend and a significant influence. He was a tremendous supporter of Terrell Academy, where the boys went to school and played sports. He served on the school’s Board of Trustees and its Athletic Booster Club in a number of roles, including as the chairman of each. He filmed Terrell Academy’s high school football games for almost 10 years. He was an athletic booster of Presbyterian College, where two of his sons played football. He was also asked to serve on Presbyterian College’s Board of Directors for almost 15 years, first as an elected delegate from Flint River Presbytery and then as an at large board member.
He was a loving husband to Mary - raising the boys together, working side by side for many years at Massey Wholesale, and supporting countless causes and helping organize numerous events including the Relay for Life and Flint River Presbytery’s Celebration of Faith. They were pillars of the Dawson Presbyterian Church, where Larry served as both Deacon and Elder, represented the church in the Flint River Presbytery where he served in many capacities including moderator, and where he was honored as Elder Emeritus on January 3, 2021. They were active in Terrell County and the larger Southwest Georgia community, where they had many cherished friends. He lost Mary May 27, 2014 to complications related to emphysema, nearly 8 years after her lung transplant. They took advantage of those years to make wonderful memories with friends and family and especially their grandchildren.
Later in life Larry and Becky were loving companions, and while Larry continued to run the businesses they found time to travel, enjoy time with friends, and follow and spoil their grandchildren. They continued to be active in his Dawson Presbyterian Church and her First Presbyterian Church of Albany.
Larry had a wealth of stories to tell and he could match one (or several) of them to almost any occasion. Many of them came from his father, others from friends, and still more from his vast experiences. He could add something meaningful to nearly every situation or conversation. He loved God and his extended family, which included his church family, his work family, and the many other dear friends he had. His passing leaves a significant hole in the lives of many, but his influence leaves a number of people capable of filling the void.
Graveside services will be held at the Bronwood Cemetery on Saturday, February 20, 2021 at 2:00 PM. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you support Terrell Academy or the Dawson Presbyterian Church.
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Dawson Presbyterian Church
P.O. Box 424, Dawson GA 39842
602 Academy Drive, SE, Dawson GA 39842