Samuel Aaron Massingill was born Oct. 19, 1952, in El Paso, Texas. He died at his home in Opelika, after a brief illness on Friday, July 16, 2021, surrounded by his beloved family. Sam was laid to rest in Rosemere Cemetery on July 17, 2021, surrounded by family and friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents, James H. Massingill Sr., and Martha Plant Massingill, and his brother, Byron “Breck” Massingill.
Having grown up in Opelika and attended Marion Institute for high school, Sam retired after 22 years of Army National Guard service. In addition to serving in the US, he served in Germany, Honduras, and Desert Storm. Sam thought of Delilah Marshall and her daughters, Liberty M. Powell, and Deanna F. E. Marshall as family. For 23 years, we spent holidays, family events, the births of five grandchildren, and one great-grandchild together as a family. Sam was known for his sarcasm (he had a Ph.D. in it), his odd sense of humor, mumbling under his breath and his collection of quirky treasures and keepsakes (mostly junk and things someone “might need”). Every piece had a story. He could tell you where he got it, what he paid for it, what it was worth and why it was special to him (and likely nobody else). Sam meant a lot to my mother. They fought and carried on like an old married couple. Sam was always available to carry groceries inside, and all of my mom’s “amazing” yard sale finds (while rolling his eyes and complaining under his breath). He also cared for Mom’s dog, Ryder. Sam “hated” that dog, but he always made sure Ryder was ok. Sam didn’t like hospitals, so when Mom was sick, he would stay home, watch Ryder, bring in the mail, and call Mom 100 times about every detail. Sam wasn’t overly affectionate, but we knew he loved us. He had to love us to put up with us.
Sam is survived by his beloved Delilah, her daughters, Liberty M. (Anthony) Powell, Deanna (Keri) Marshall. Five grandchildren and one great-grandchild; & brother, James Massingill, Jr. He also leaves behind many friends at the VFW 5404 and the Opelika American Legion Post 18. Max J. Marshall was so supportive and helpful during Sam’s illness; we couldn’t have gotten it all done without his help.
Sam enjoyed one last Coors Light on Thursday morning at 10 a.m. (it’s 5 o’clock somewhere?). He told me it was “the best beer ever.” When Sam gets to heaven, please tell him not to argue with Marilyn, to go smoke a cigarette, and have a cold beer. Sam was loved and appreciated more than we told him; I genuinely hope he knew it.
In lieu of flowers, if you feel so led, donate to The American Cancer Society, the VFW 5404, or the American Legion Post 18.