Willie Belton "Bill" Massey, 81, passed away peacefully at home Jan. 11, 2014.
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He was born April 13, 1932, in Lancaster, to John and Carrie Massey and grew up in a family with eight siblings. He graduated from Lancaster Training High School in the class of 1950.
Willie enlisted in the U.S. Air Force in 1952 where he did tours of duty in Korea and Vietnam.
On Jan. 4, 1956, he was united in marriage to Mae Trapps and they were blessed with two children, Adrienne and Gregory.
After his discharge from the Air Force in 1972, Willie lived in Palo Alto, Calif. In 1974, he earned an A.A. degree in communications media from Consumnes River College in Sacramento. He then completed his bachelor's of arts magna cum laude in Broadcast Communication Arts from San Francisco State University in 1976. While there he was appointed program manager for the campus TV station KSFS from 1975 to 1976. In 1979, he earned a master's degree in the same field, graduating first in his class and earning the prestigious Albert A. Johnson Award for academic excellence in broadcasting.
In 1982, he began work as the house manager for the Circle Star Theater in San Carlos, Calif. For the next four years he met many of the world's greatest entertainers in the music industry. Willie enjoyed a productive career as a freelance photographer for ABC Sports, where he could be seen on the sidelines of many Rose Bowl and San Francisco 49ers games taking pictures.
In 1986 Bill began a 20 year career of service with the U.S. Department of Justice, Immigration and Naturalization Service as a district adjudication officer in San Jose, Calif.
Willie Massey was preceded in death by his son, Gregory (Hampton, Va.) and by his sisters, Orafina, Edwina and Gwendolyn, as well as by brothers, Robert and Lloyd, all of Lancaster. He was also preceded by brothers, Thomas of Plattsburg, N.Y., and John of Roanoke, Va.
He leaves to cherish his memories his daughter, Adrienne S. Jackson (Ron); a brother, William "Bunchie" (Madeline) of Montreal; two grandsons, Karlos Massey and Joshua Jackson; and a host of loving nieces, nephews, relatives and friends from his extended family in the Carolinas.
The family would like to thank everyone for their prayers, condolences and expressions of sympathy during this very difficult time and would especially like the thank the staff at Bayada Home Health Care.
The funeral is 1 p.m. Friday, Jan. 17, at Whiting's Chapel, Williamsburg, Va.
Burial will take place at 3:15 p.m. at Hampton Memorial Gardens, 155 Butler Farm Road, Hampton, VA 23666.
For more information, go to www.whitingsfuneralhome.com.
Funeral arrangements are being entrusted to the staff of Whiting's Funeral Home, Williamsburg, Va.
Whiting's Funeral Home - Williamsburg
7005 Pocahontas Trail P.O. Box HB
Williamsburg, VA 23185
Published in The Lancaster News on Jan. 15, 2014