Charles “Charlie” Darius Massey ’59

Charles “Charlie” Darius Massey of Davidson, NC passed away peacefully on May 14, 2024, at S. Mitchell Mack Hospice House. He was 87 years old. Born and raised in Waxhaw, NC, Charlie is remembered as a man who served God, his family, his community, and all of mankind faithfully, as well as being a people person who loved to listen, give advice, and tell stories.

Growing up, he loved riding his horse Whiteflash with his cousin Fefe in the woods of Waxhaw, playing with his brother Henry and their dog Bobby, his paper route, and the game of basketball, which he played when he attended Waxhaw Senior High School.
Charlie grew up in the Waxhaw Presbyterian Church which impressed upon him the importance of serving, leading him to eventually serve as an elder at the First Presbyterian Church in Mt. Holly, the First Presbyterian Church in Gastonia, and at Davidson College Presbyterian Church in Davidson. Additionally, he taught Sunday school, served on numerous committees, and served as a delegate to the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church USA.

Charlie’s strong Presbyterian roots led him to Davidson College where his love of basketball grew as he cheered on the Wildcats. He was a member of Beta Theta Pi fraternity, graduating with a degree in English and a minor in history. Charlie honored his alma mater by serving as president of the Wildcat Club, the Davidson Athletic Foundation, and holding numerous alumni and volunteer positions.

Upon graduating from Davidson, Charlie spent time in New Orleans, taking classes at Tulane followed by a two-year stint in the U.S. Army. Subsequently, he began his career in his family business, The Massey Company, where he worked with his brother Henry for 40 years until they both retired on December 31, 2000.

In addition to his business career, Charlie was an active volunteer, serving on many boards, including several trade associations, numerous non-profit organizations including chambers of commerce, the United Way, and the American Red Cross, as well as numerous banks, including an almost 20-year run on the board of First Union Bank.

He served as president of Gaston Skills, a work center for people with disabilities, as chair of the Gaston County Heart Association, on the Gaston Regional Planning Commission, and was a founder and original board member of Covenant Village, Inc. a church-related retirement facility. Lastly, he served as president of the Residents’ Association at The Pines at Davidson. Charlie’s outstanding acts of service led him to receive the Alumni Service Award from Davidson College in 2019.

Along with Davidson College basketball, Charlie loved jazz music, dancing, good food and red wine, all things lemon and grape, key lime pie, searching for and collecting golf balls, and being at his vacation home on Seabrook Island with his family.

He had a passion for golf and was a member of the Southern Seniors Golf Association, the Senior Golfers of America, and the American Seniors Golf Association. Charlie got a hole in one at Pebble Beach and won the Senior Golfers of America Pebble Beach Championship in 2002.

Charlie is survived by his wife of 62 years, Sue Nance Massey; his son and son-in-law, Charles Chan Massey and Joseph Chan; his daughters, Susan Chesson and Katherine Noble; his grandchildren, Charlie Chesson and wife Melinda, Jake Chesson, Sarah Wunsch and husband Mike, Annie Echols, and Julia Noble; his great grandchildren, Addie Chesson, Ophelia Wunsch, and Ezra Chesson; his brother, Henry Heath Massey, Jr. and wife Emily; his cousins, Esther Prince, Fefe Booth and husband Richard; and numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins.

Charlie was preceded in death by his parents, Henry Heath Massey, Sr. and Bessie Smith Massey; his parents-in-law, Earl VanBuren Nance and Vondola Biggs Nance; his son-in-law, Thad Chesson; and many beloved aunts, uncles, and cousins.

A celebration of Charlie’s life will be held on June 1, 2024, at 2:00 pm at The Pines at Davidson in the Davidson Room.

Memorials may be made to The Pines at Davidson Resident Support Fund, 400 Avinger Lane Davidson, NC 28036, 704-896-1489 and the S. Mitchell Mack Hospice House, Hospice & Palliative Care of Iredell County at or 704-873-4719.
Online condolences can be made at James Funeral Home, of Huntersville, is serving the family and obituary lovingly written by the family.