Charles A. Saye, Sr., Sonny, was a man about family and team. Sweet, kind, and humble in most environments, he would become a fierce competitor on the court or on the field. As a 1953 graduate of Athens High, he went on to be a member and captain of the Georgia Bulldog baseball team that would win SEC championships and beat Georgia Tech on a regular basis.
The next 40 years though are what earned him titles like “All-Sports Coach.”
Sonny began his coaching career at Oconee County High School in 1957 as the girls’ basketball coach. His role quickly expanded to include the boys’ basketball team (along with the sub-varsity teams), the baseball team, the track teams, the golf team, the tennis teams, and even the first football team for the school. Upon his departure from Oconee County in 1968, Lewis Grizzard (then sports writer for the Athens-Banner Herald) wrote, “Anything that has to do with Oconee County needs Sonny Saye close by to make it official.”
From there, Sonny continued his career with Fulton County Schools at Sandy Springs , Campbell Fairburn, Palmetta, and finally, Milton. Those years, again, would reflect his love of sport and its players through the wide range of roles he took on as a coach in both boys and girls athletics including basketball, baseball, football, track, tennis, softball, and golf. He also, of course, coached and inspired his children in their athletic endeavors.
What began at Oconee and ended at Milton (where he met Marilyn, his wife of 30 years), remained forever a part of his heart. His competitive nature would continue, too, mostly on the golf course, sometimes in the stands, and often with a tv remote in hand.
His family, friends, and players have been touched, inspired, and so loved by him.
Sonny is predeceased by his parents Joseph and Ethel (Richards) Saye and siblings Richard, Martha Malinowski, and Harry.
He is survived by his wife Marilyn McQueeney Saye; his daughter Dottie (Jo Beth Weaver); his son Chuck (Michelle); his stepsons Mark (Caroline) McQueeney and Scott McQueeney; and his beloved grandchildren Malcolm, Schuyler, and Maya McQueeney; he is also survived by his children’s mother, Ann W. Saye, in-laws (Frank Malinowski and Betty Jo Saye), nieces, and nephews.
Funeral Services will be held on Wednesday, November 13, 2013 at 11:00 a.m. at the McDonald and Son Chapel, interment will follow at 3:00 p.m. at Oconee Hill Cemetery, Athens, GA. The family will receive friends on Tuesday, November 12, 2013 from 4:30 – 7:30 p.m. at the funeral home.
In Lieu of flowers the family asks that donations be made to the Michael J. Fox Foundations, American Cancer Society or the American Heart Association.
Condolences may be expressed on-line at www.mcdonaldandson.com. Arrangements by McDonald and Son Funeral Home & Crematory, 150 Sawnee Drive, Cumming, GA 30040 (770) 886-9899