Friday’s Roanoke, Va., Times, includes a story about H. Odell “Fuzzy” Minnix, a member of the Ghent Grace Brethren Church in Roanoke (Christian Beuggert, pastor) and husband of Janet Minnix, who served as president of Women of Grace USA for 17 years until she stepped down in 2014. Odell, a former air traffic controller, has continued to be active into his 80s, including officiating athletic events and serving in public office. A portion of the story appears below. Click here for the complete article.
Retirement not in the plans for Fuzzy Minnix
As he continued to officiate football and basketball games into his late 70s, Fuzzy Minnix frequently was asked if he had any plans to retire.
“I hope to call games till I’m 80,” he would tell people.
Now that he’s 82, all bets are off.
He has served as a football line judge this fall in the Virginia High School League and expects to have an active schedule in basketball, baseball and softball.
“I’ve been commissioner of the [Western Virginia] association for 20 years,” officiating supervisor Steve Fleshman said. “I’ve known [Minnix] about 28 years. I think he’s in phenomenal shape for somebody in his upper 70s.”
So, what does that say for an 82-year-old?
“I didn’t even know that,” said Fleshman, previously unaware of Minnix’s age. “That’s just unreal. It’s phenomenal. What’s more, I think Fuzzy’s good for another five years.”
Minnix didn’t start officiating until he was 43, “when most guys are ready to quit,” he said. At the time, he was well into a career as an air traffic controller.
Minnix was born in Salem but spent most of his youth on Buck Mountain Road on the other side of Roanoke. Andrew Lewis was the only Roanoke County high school at the time, requiring a 45-minute bus ride from his home.
He was on the football team at Lewis, where he describes his role as “tackling dummy.” He didn’t play any sports as a senior, when he worked odd jobs to help support his family. After that, he spent four years in the Air Force.
He trained to become a control tower operator, with stops in Japan and Iwo Jima, and that became his career when he returned stateside.
“I knew I could make a lot more money as a civilian controller than I could in the military,” said Minnix, who retired in Roanoke in 1989 but took a job in the Lynchburg tower from 1995-2007.
Minnix had played softball and baseball in a variety of leagues and formats and helped found the softball program at Cave Spring High School, serving as head coach from 1988-95.
Click here for the complete article.