Born in Pettus TX to Louis W. Massengale and Fannie Copeland, Samuel Ernest lived in the South Texas ranch country until his family moved to San Antonio. He graduated from high school here in 1934, and the family soon moved to Beeville. Samuel only moved back to San Antonio permanently in 1964 after retiring from the U.S. Navy; he stayed here until he passed away on Monday, 16 Oct., after a long illness. He is predeceased by his wife of 57 years, Barbara Ann Massengale.
Survivors include his daughters Patricia A. Ireland and Doris D. Kinsey, both of San Antonio, and his grandchildren Josette L. Sims of Florida, Wayne E. Burnett of San Antonio, Kathryn E. Burnett of Arizona, and Vanessa G. Ireland of San Antonio. He leaves two brothers, L. Wayne Massengale of Beeville, and Van Emerson Massengale of Henderson TX. His eldest brother, Max Massengale, and his sister, F. Mavis Chapman, predeceased him.
Sam and Barbara were married in 1937, after which they moved to Washington DC where he worked as a civilian mail clerk. Barbara visited the Smithsonian Museum every day of the two years they lived there. They moved back to San Antonio where he worked at the Railway Express until 16 Nov 1942 when he dropped Barbara off at the hospital to have their second daughter and Sam went on to San Diego to boot camp as a naval recruit. He spent a few years in the Pacific Theater of War, some on the Island of Guadalcanal, some as part of the occupying force in Japan after the bomb had been dropped. He then came back to the US and his future duty stations included the following. His wife and daughters followed him to each duty station. Pearl Harbor and Midway Island from 1946 to 1950 New Orleans LA from 1950 to 1952 where he got into cryptological school Cruise of the Mediterranean Sea for 18 months Istanbul, Turkey from 1953 to 1955 Norfolk VA from 1956 to 1958 Yokohama, Japan from 1958 to 1960 Subic Bay, Philippines from 1960 to 1962 Ft. Meade MD from 1962 until retirement when he moved back to San Antonio
During his naval career, Sam made it his business to start baseball leagues in almost all of his duty stations. He would organize and manage the teams, and he would even play as catcher on the men’s team. Barbara would organize the woman’s softball leagues and even bowling leagues. These leagues earned top awards for the men and women involved and helped to keep morale high. When Sam came back to San Antonio permanently, he joined the Umpires Association here and umpired teams at every level, well into his 70s: Little League, high school, college, and semipro teams. Some of the players Sam umpired went pro, like Walter Payton, and he carefully followed each of their careers with great interest.
A Full Military Honors Service will be held at Ft. Sam Houston on 23rd of Oct 2006 at 11 a.m.
In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the local chapter of the American Heart Association at 8415 Wurzbach, San Antonio, TX. 78229.
San Antonio, Adkins, Bulverde, Canyon Lake, Cibolo, Kirby, Live Oak, Marion, New Braunfels, Schertz, Selma, Seguin, Spring Branch, Universal City, Bandera County, Blanco County, Gillespie County, Guadalupe County, Kerr County, Medina County, Wilson County