Life Story Visitation
Tuesday, October 26, 2021
1:00 PM EDT
At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
All who knew Mary Massey would agree that she was truly beautiful on the inside and out. With faith as her constant companion, she exemplified what it means to be the hands and feet of the Lord she loved. Although she treasured her roles as a wife and mother, Mary just might have argued that nothing was better than becoming a grandmother and great-grandmother later in life. She treated everyone with selfless compassion, and she was a warm, welcoming, and positive influence on all who were near. Deeply loved, Mary will be forever missed.
Although the 1930s were some of the most trying days we have ever faced as a nation, the American spirit remained. Despite the trials around them, Lee Ulysses and Esther Rebecca (Richardson) Tucker were able to focus on a time of great joy in their lives as they announced the birth of the baby girl they named Mary Ellen on December 1, 1934, in Lansing, Michigan. Raised in the family home on Pin Street for seven years, her father worked as a mechanic at a trucking company while her mother was a florist. When Mary was seven, she and her family moved to the family farm on Winifred Street just outside of Blanchard, Michigan. There, her father worked the farm and drove the school bus.
Joined in her family by her sister, JoAnne, and her brother, Allan, Mary was a typical young girl in many ways. When her mother became ill, she became responsible for running the home, taking care of the cooking, cleaning, and laundry in addition to babysitting her siblings. They were very close with Mary’s extended family and saw them often. She attended local schools including Blanchard High School where she was a baton twirler, co-salutatorian, vice-president of the senior class and active in basketball, band, chorus, operetta, Future Homemakers of America, and in the senior play.
Not to be forgotten during her years in high school was Mary’s introduction to the man of her dreams. His name was Wilbur Massey, and they met in 11th grade at school. Sparks flew right from the start, and it didn’t take them long to fall deeply in love. One of the most loved stories in the family was the first time Bill came to meet Mary’s family. As the story goes, all of the cows on their family dairy farm were named after members of their family. Imagine Bill’s confusion when five year old Allan suggested that Bill have the opportunity to milk Mary, not understanding he was talking about Mary the cow! Mary and Bill were high school sweethearts when they graduated in 1953, and they became husband and wife not long after they graduated on August 8, 1954, in Blanchard.
Together Mary and Bill were blessed with four sons, William, Jeff, Steven, and Brad, and one daughter, Diane. Both Mary and her husband were there to support their children in all their events and activities, and watching their children and later their grandchildren perform brought them such joy. Watching their children and grandchildren graduate at all different levels was also among their favorite moments. When their children and grandchildren married, Mary loved welcoming the new spouses into the family and showering them with the same love they gave their children.
The only thing that was more important to Mary than her family was her faith. She was baptized at the Pine River Methodist Church, and her life was forever changed. Mary trusted in the words of Scripture that assured her of her place in Heaven, along with all the other believers. Her life was a reflection of her steadfast faith, and the joy that can only be found in Him was the greatest gift she gave to her children and grandchildren. Mary’s favorite job during her empty nest years was as church secretary for St. Johns Lutheran Church in St. Johns. There, Mary could serve the Lord and share her faith with both church members and anyone coming to the church for help or support.
There were so many things that kept Mary busy over the years. Once her kids were grown she worked at Willis Dairy Delight for several years before working at the church. In everything she did, Mary was very meticulous. One of the things Mary was most gifted in was quilting. She always credited her Grandmother Richardson for teaching her, and she was so thrilled to pass her love of quilting on to her daughter, Diane, and her granddaughters, Andria and Jennifer. Mary spent several years volunteering at an elementary school in Mecosta where she helped fourth graders learn how to quilt. After the events of September 11, the class she was working with created an American Heritage Quilt that was presented to President George W. Bush at the White House. As her family and friends can attest, Mary was a die-hard hockey fan from the time her son introduced her to the sport when he was in college. She quickly learned every player on the Red Wings roster. In addition to her love for sports was her love for laughter. Mary had a great sense of humor and understood the need for laughter to be a regular part of life - even if it was at her own expense. In the last years of her life, Mary’s favorite saying was, “You’re doing a good job.” She shared this with others whenever she could including with those who were caring for her in her final days.
Of great significance in Mary’s life was the celebration when she and Bill renewed their wedding vows on their 50th wedding anniversary. Their whole family was there, and they joined together in presenting a special anthem in their honor. That was especially meaningful to both Mary and Bill since it reflected the importance of music in not only their lives but also in the lives of their children.
When reflecting on the life of Mary Massey, words like loving, caring, and generous come to mind, but perhaps what she was best known for was her unwavering and vibrant faith. She treasured her family, and as the rock of her family she fostered strong family relationships among all her loved ones. Mary enjoyed music, hockey, and using her gifts and talents to bless others in whatever way she could. Life will never be the same without Mary here, but she leaves behind a timeless legacy that her loved ones will proudly carry on in her footsteps.
To carry on her legacy are her children: William (Gail), Jeff (Nita), Diane (Robert) Hunt, Steven, and Brad (Alaine); 8 grandchildren; 7 great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by husband Wilbur, a daughter-in-law Jill, and a sister Joanne.
Mary Massey died peacefully on Tuesday, October 19, 2021. Funeral services will be held at 1 pm on Tuesday, October 26, 2021 at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Midland. The family will receive friends one hour prior to the service. Burial will be in the Pine River Cemetery in Blanchard Michigan.