Alyne Queener Massey, philanthropist and community leader, dies at 85

Tuesday, September 11, 2012 at 4:22pm
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Alyne Queener Armistead Massey

Community leader and philanthropist Alyne Queener Armistead Massey, of Nashville, died Tuesday surrounded by family at her home. She was 85.

Massey is survived by her sons, Leonard Hearne Armistead III and Robert Hunter Frierson Armistead, and her sister, Elizabeth Myers Queener.

She also is survived by her grandchildren: Stephanie Alyne Armistead, Massey Frierson Armistead, Anne Parkes Armistead and Lewis Addison Armistead V; her nieces and nephews: Richard Gordon Courtney, Elizabeth Currey Courtney, Gale Courtney Moore, Father Robin S. Courtney Jr., Hunter Armistead Jr. and Benjamin C. Armistead and her sister-in-law Claire C. Armistead.

Massey was preceded in death by her husband Jack Carroll Massey and her sister, Lucille Frierson Queener Courtney. 

Massey served as a former reporter for the Nashville Banner and went on to serve as the director of the Womens’ Division of Commerce Union Bank. She was the first woman to be elected to the board of trust of Third National Bank and also served on the board of Volunteer Capital Corporation.

She was known for her philanthropic work as well as service on numerous boards and charitable organizations.

Massey was born in New Haven, Conn., to Millard E. Queener and Adeline Frierson Armstrong Queener. Massey was raised in Columbia, Tenn., educated at Ward-Belmont Preparatory School and graduated from Vanderbilt University where she was a member of the Delta Delta Delta sorority. In addition to Nashville, she had resided in Franklin, Tenn., and Palm Beach, Fla.

She was married to the late Leonard Hearne Armistead Jr. and then to Jack Massey, who established the Alyne Queener Massey Library at Vanderbilt University in her honor.

Vanderbilt University Chancellor Nicholas S. Zeppos said of Massey, “Through her devoted leadership and keen philanthropic vision, Alyne brought joy and hope to many. I will be eternally grateful for her deep love of Vanderbilt and for the myriad ways she empowered the university and lifted up our wider community.”

Massey served on the Vanderbilt University Board of Trust and on the boards of the Vanderbilt Heart Institute, the Kennedy Center at Vanderbilt, the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., Cheekwood Botanical Gardens and Museum of Art, the Preservation Society of Palm Beach, the Society of the Four Arts in Palm Beach and the Blair House in Washington, D.C.

Massey was a founder of the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee and the Tennessee Performing Arts Center. She was an avid supporter of Battle Ground Academy, Planned Parenthood and of the Mental Health Association of Middle Tennessee where she established the Jack. C. Massey Leadership Award dinner. She was also a member of the Colonial Dames of America, the Garden Club of America, the Garden Club of Nashville, the Belle Meade Country Club, the Centennial Club, the Bath and Tennis Club of Palm Beach, the Everglades Club of Palm Beach, the Meadow Club of Southampton, N.Y., the Bathing Club of Southampton and the Colony Club of New York.

Visitation will be held from 1-3 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 14, at Cheek Hall at First Presbyterian Church on Franklin Road in Nashville. A memorial service will immediately follow at 3 p.m. at the church, conducted by Rev. Todd B. Jones.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Vanderbilt University School of Law or the Cheekwood Botanical Gardens and Museum of Art.

3 Comments on this post:

By: Rasputin72 on 9/12/12 at 8:25

Her parties in Palm Beach were the creme of all parties. Well respected on the island.

By: budlight on 9/12/12 at 9:24

Rasp, I once was called by a friend of mine who asked if I knew anyone who could work temp for Ms. Massey for three days cleaning house. I said I'm off work and can do it. It was in the 90's. The pay was excellent! The home was already spotless. What stands out in my mind was not only how wealthy she was, yet how humble and caring about others she was. The 99% crowd would not understand that wealth does not necessarily make people ugly and mean. People are who they are regardless of their net worth. She was a beautiful human being -- both outside and inside. I'm sure her family will miss her.

By: bfra on 9/13/12 at 3:10

Raspy - Couldn't you have paid the Lady a compliment, without copying it off of the internet. You didn't even do a cut & past, just posted it like your own words. Shame! Shame! She was in every way a Lady & deserved better.