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 ìAll-Sports Coach.î
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Sonny began his coaching career at Oconee County High School in 1957 as the girlsí basketball coach. His role quickly expanded to include the boysí 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, ìAnything that has to do with Oconee County needs Sonny Saye close by to make it official.î
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 was 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; daughter, Dottie (Jo Beth Weaver); son, Chuck (Michelle); stepsons, Mark (Caroline) McQueeney and Scott McQueeney; beloved grandchildren, Malcolm, Schuyler, and Maya McQueeney; his childrenís mother, Ann W. Saye; in-laws, Frank Malinowski and Betty Jo Saye; nieces and nephews also survive.
Funeral services will be held Wednesday, Nov. 13, at 11 a.m. at the McDonald and Son Chapel. Interment will follow at 3 p.m. at Oconee Hill Cemetery in Athens. The family will receive friends at the funeral home Tuesday, Nov. 12, from 4:30–7:30 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the Michael J. Fox Foundation (Parkinsonís),
, or the
Condolences may be expressed online at www.mcdonaldandson.com.
McDonald and Son Funeral Home and Crematory is in charge of arrangements.
McDonald and Son Funeral Home and Crematory - Cumming
150 Sawnee Drive Cumming, GA 30040
Published in Forsyth County News from Nov. 11 to Nov. 14, 2013