John Robert Massey passed away peacefully during the early morning hours on Tuesday, September 3, 2013 at the age of 85 years old. This was only three months shy of his celebrating his 86th birthday on November 29, 2013. An extremely beloved, brilliant, and handsome man has departed from his earthly body and is now watching over his family and countless friends and adored colleagues in Heaven.
Dr. Massey was born in Houston, Texas on November 29, 1927. He was the youngest of eight children born to the late Mr. and Mrs. Calvin Winifrede Massey, Senior of Pearland, Texas. He was the last surviving sibling. Upon graduating from Pearland High School in 1945, Dr. Massey was awarded his Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Houston in June of 1949 and his Master of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Texas A & M University in August of 1952. On May 24, 1958, Dr. Massey was awarded the Doctor of Philosophy degree also from Texas A & M University. He was employed as an engineer with Shell Oil Company until November of 1952 at which time he was inducted into the United States Army. Upon completion of his military commitment, he returned to Texas A & M for his doctorate work in Mechanical Engineering.
For his outstanding academic record, he was awarded the Humble Oil Company Fellowship for the 1944-1945 school year and the Shell Oil Company Fellowship for the 1956-1957 school year. Dr. Massey taught part-time at Texas A & M while completing his graduate work. His was only the third Ph. D. degree awarded at Texas A & M in the School of Mechanical Engineering.
He was a Life Member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and the Houston Engineering and Scientific Society also known as HESS. Dr. Massey was a Registered Professional Engineer in the State of Texas from 1962 through 2005 and a member of the American Petroleum Institute, Mechanical Equipment Committee.
His professional success led him to be a globally respected expert in his chosen field travelling to five of the seven continents in the world. He worked at Shell Oil Company both at its headquarters in Rockefeller Center in New York City and in Deer Park, Texas, at McDermott Hudson Engineering, at Crawford Enterprises, and at his own independent consulting firm of John R. Massey and Associates. In his retirement, Dr. Massey was still a valued and well respected colleague and was called upon to provide depositions to widely known legal cases in the oil and gas industries.
In 1962, Dr. Massey met his beloved and devoted wife Glois Gay Edmonds. On July 6, 1965, they married in Pearland, Texas in the original sanctuary of the Pearland United Methodist Church. On June 9, 1968, he became a father to his greatest gift of all, his cherished daughter Lisa Michele Massey Padget. He loved his daughter "more than a bushel and a peck and a hug around the neck and a lot more than that." On March 4, 2000, Dr. Massey gained the son that he never had when he became a father-in-law to David Charles Padget.
Predeceasing him were his parents and his seven siblings, Gertrude Massey, Sherman Massey, Calvin Winifrede Massey, Junior, Lydia Jane Massey Resoft, Laura Massey Arnold, Myrtlee Massey Meade, and Marguerite Massey Smith.
Dr. Massey is survived by his wife of 48 years, Glois Edmonds Massey, his daughter Lisa Michele Massey Padget, his son-in-law David Charles Padget, his nieces and nephews who were treated and loved as his own, and all his friends and colleagues. Even those people that did not know Dr. Massey very well adored him. Dr. Massey enjoyed telling stories about being at the 1968 Grand Opening of Madison Square Garden in New York City and "I can remember when the Esperson Building was the tallest building in Houston and the Astrodome was not even built yet." He was a "Texans Texan" and loved the State of Texas.
At the time of his passing, he was a longtime member of the First United Methodist Church in Downtown Houston. He valued education, being one's self, and remaining optimistic to a fault. There will never be another man like Dr. John Robert Massey. His is the persona that we all strive to become. Dr. Massey leaves a wonderful legacy in the Pearland, Texas community always striving to make his original home better. He lived to see his beloved Pearland, Texas to be considered part of the Greater Houston Metropolitan Area. Massey Ranch Elementary School, Massey Highway, and Massey Memorial Field are all named in honor of the great generosity of Dr. Massey and the entire C. W. Massey Family who helped to settle Pearland, Texas. Whether Dr. Massey was a son, brother, uncle, husband, "Daddy," father-in-law, friend, and colleague, he was successful in all aspects of his life.
Arrangements have been entrusted to South Park Funeral Home and Cemetery located at 1310 North Main Street in Pearland, Texas. Friends are invited to a visitation with the family one hour prior to the gravesite service on Friday, September 6, 2013. Visitation will be at ten o'clock in the morning with the gravesite service beginning at eleven o'clock in the morning, officiated by Mr. David Smith who has known Dr. Massey for over eighty years.
For those that desire, the family requests with gratitude and much appreciation that contributions may be made to the National Parkinson's Foundation (www.parkinson.org) or the Houston Area Parkinson Society (www.hapsonline.org) in memory of Dr. John Robert Massey.
Published in Houston Chronicle on Sept. 5, 2013