‘A collector of friendship and memories’

The public got its chance to say “goodbye” Monday to Georgia poultry icon Abit Massey, who died recently at the age of 96, at a Celebration of Life at Gainesville High School attended by several hundred friends, family, public and educational officials, and others.

In addition to his children and several grandchildren, the speakers included Gov. Brian Kemp and University of Georgia President Jere Moorehead.

Kemp said Massey was in many ways “an ideal Georgian, a devoted husband, father and grandfather. A man of service and character. Moorehead said Massey, a UGA graduate and longtime major booster of the university, “played the central role in the University of Georgia’s special relationship with the poultry industry for over 60 years.”

His son, Lewis, called his father a “collector,” adding that what he meant my that is he was a collector of friendship and memories, while daughter Camille said she thinks of him “as having enough love that he’s given us to last throughout our lifetime.”

At the time of his death, Massey was President-Emeritus of the Gainesville-based Georgia Poultry Federation which he headed for more than 60 years.