Ronny Massey, 60, of Huntsville died Tuesday, August 17, 2010 at his home. Ronny is survived by his wife of 38 years, Helen “Ace”; daughter, Katie; son, Matt and his wife, Jenny, and their children, Cooper, Tucker, and Jessie. Ronny was born in Mobile to Ralph and Ovida Massey. Ronny, the fifth sibling, is also survived by his siblings, Edward, James, Larry, Royce, Betty, Rita, Joe, and Arthur and brothers and sisters–in–law, nieces, nephews, great nieces, and great nephews.
Ronny was a fearless competitor, a passionate husband, a loving father, a silly Papa, the favorite uncle, and a father-figure coach.
Football was a passion of Ronny’s since childhood, in Chatom. He played at Livingston University for Mickey Andrews on the 1971 National Championship Team and quarterbacked the 1972 team to the semifinals. While at Livingston, he met and married the love of his life, “Ace”, and truly lived a love story.
Ronny began his football coaching career in Huntsville, as an assistant for Larrie Robinson at Grissom High School in 1974. Two years later their first child, Matt, was born and months later Ronny accepted his first head coaching job at Thomasville High School. After four successful years, the family moved to Citronelle where Ronny coached for 17 years for Citronelle, where he became the most successful coach in the school’s history. In 1982, their second child, Katie, was born. In 1999 Ronny returned to Grissom as the head coach for 10 years. Last year Ronny enjoyed coaching with his son Matt at Buckhorn High School, where they communicated via headset from the press box to the field. This spring he accepted the head-coaching job at Richland High School in Tennessee until he was diagnosed with cancer in June.
Though Ronny’s passion and love for the game of football was great, it never compared to the love and commitment he had for his family and Jesus Christ. He impacted countless lives of athletes, students, and any who came in contact with him. He taught Sunday School and served as a deacon for Willowbrook Baptist, though his favorite role was rocking babies in the nursery. His passions were faith, family, football, and fishing.
Visitation will be from 10:00 to 1:00 p.m. Thursday at Willowbrook Baptist Church. The funeral service will follow at 1:30 with Pastor Mark McClelland and the Rev. Johnny Tucker officiating. Burial will be at Maple Hill Cemetery. Laughlin Service Funeral Home is assisting the family.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Massey Scholarship Donation, c/o Coach Jack Wood, AFCA, PO Box 262,Clay, AL 35048, OR Coach Ronny Massey Scholarship Fund, c/o Citronelle Quarterback Club, PO Box 845, Citronelle, AL 36522.