Massey Services founder and chairman Harvey L. Massey died peacefully Tuesday.
The longtime Winter Park resident was born in the small town of Melville, Louisiana. He was the grandson of Italian immigrants and Missouri farmers.
At age 18, Massey joined the United States Army Security Agency, where he served for three years before being honorably discharged.
He met his wife, Carol Nisula, while serving in the military, and they married in 1963.
Harvey, who previously worked for Orkin and Terminix, purchased his own business in 1985.
“With two kids in college and one entering high school, he moved to Orlando and bought a stagnant 50-year-old pest and termite company for $3.9 million, which, under his leadership, has grown to a $350 million business in 2023,” the company said in a news release about Massey’s life.
In the early 90s, he was the first in the industry to offer a money back guarantee, the company said.
“He believed that if you told the customer you were going to do something, you did it -- if not, they deserved their money back,” the company said. “He was accessible to any and all customers who contacted Massey Services with a concern and elected to keep his telephone number public.”
Massey was also known for his philanthropy, forming the Harvey and Carol Massey Foundation in 2014, to help their community.
“Philanthropy, at its best, is about caring, sharing and giving back,” Massey once said. “When you think about it, aren’t these the attributes and qualities we all respect and admire?”
The company said Massey also had a deep faith that helped guide his giving.
Massey served on the Board of Directors of the National Pest Management Association and was the first Chairman of the Professional Pest Management Alliance.
He was awarded the Pinnacle Award, which recognizes outstanding contributions to the industry, in 2018.
Massey also served on the Stetson University Board of Governors and on the Board of Directors for Florida Citrus Sports; the Orlando Chamber of Commerce; Enterprise, Florida; and the Edyth Bush Charitable Foundation.