Harvey Massey, founder of Massey Services, dies at 81

Massey remembered as pillar of community

Harvey Massey, courtesy of Massey Services ("Chairman and CEO Harvey L. Massey To Receive 2016 Horatio Alger Award," Cropped) (Massey Services)

WINTER PARK, Fla. – Harvey L. Massey — who founded, led and later retired from the well-known Central Florida pest control company of his namesake — has died, according to Massey Services, Inc.

Massey, a long-time resident of Winter Park, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, a news release states. He was 81 years old.

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Massey’s early life took place in Melville, Louisiana, among a family of Italian immigrants and Missouri farmers. He joined the U.S. Army Security Agency when he was 18 years old, meeting his wife Carol during his three years in the service; the two married on August 24, 1963, eventually welcoming their three children — Angela Rignanese, Tony Massey and Andrea Massey-Farrell — who now survive Massey, along with Carol and the couple’s ten grandchildren.

The business itself came to be in 1985, purchased by Massey after a stint working for Orkin and Terminix International. Two of Massey’s children were in college at the time, with the other in high school, yet Massey moved to Orlando where he spent $3.9 million purchasing “a stagnant 50-year-old pest and termite company” that would grow to a $350 million business under his leadership, the release states.

Massey made wake as a philanthropist, professing faith as his compass and forming the Harvey and Carol Massey Foundation with his wife in 2014 “to solidify their commitment to being contributing members of their community,” the release states. A visit to the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, for example, will no doubt incorporate a walk up the “Harvey and Carol Massey Family Grand Staircase,” named so in commemoration of $5 million the foundation had contributed to the center as of 2018.

“Philanthropy, at its best, is about caring, sharing, and giving back. When you think about it, aren’t these the attributes and qualities we all respect and admire?” Massey would say, according to the release.

Funeral services are scheduled at 10 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 28, at St. Margaret Mary Catholic Church in Winter Park.

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Brandon, a UCF grad, joined the ClickOrlando team in November 2021. Before joining News 6, Brandon worked at WDBO.