William Massengale Obituary

OBITUARIES

William Fitzhugh Williams Massengale, known to those who loved him as Bill or Willie, died December 31st 2023 at the age of 73 from heart disease. Born in Texas, Bill moved to Chapel Hill at the age of two where he was raised, and later returned to raise his own family.

Preceded in death by his father Robert Massengale, mother Rosalie Massengale and older brother Bob Massengale; Bill is survived by his wife of 45 years Sally McLaughlin Massengale, his sons Bob, Johnny and Billy, his daughters-in-law Lily Barberich, Ashley Massengale, Ginny Kirk Andrews, granddaughter Campbell and older brother Tom Massengale.

Bill was an engaged Chapel Hillian, growing up at 7 Cobb Terrace, following the early death of his father in Texas. Bill attended Christ School in Arden, NC where he excelled, and earned a scholarship to Williams College in Massachusetts. After delivering a graduation speech in his inimitable style, Bill sought out adventure, traveling across the country and the globe.

For five years Bill taught history at Hotchkiss School in Lakeville, Connecticut, where he met the love of his life, Sally McLaughlin Massengale. He loved that she worked for 25 years at Glenwood Elementary, the school their beloved sons attended. After graduating from UNC Law School, he was hired as an Assistant District Attorney by his dear friend Wade Barber, Jr. Bill later worked in private practice with Barry Winston and Marilyn Ozer.

Marilyn and Bill remained law partners until his retirement in 2022, focusing on criminal defense in support of folks from all walks of life. His work ranged from death penalty appellate work across the state, to local cases in Chapel Hill and Orange County. He had an abiding love of friends, family, the wider community, and his dog Ladybug. He met people where and as they were, and frequently left them feeling better for their meeting.

A commemoration to honor Bill will be held Sunday, January 8th, outdoors, at the Forest Theater in Chapel Hill at 2:00 pm. If you would like to, send an email with your favorite memories, photos or thoughts about Bill to rememberingbillmassengale@gmail.com

In lieu of flowers or gifts, donations can be made to Club Nova in Carrboro.


As a community service, The Local Reporter publishes obituaries of local residents free of charge. Send to editor@thelocalreporter.press.

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