John Y. Massey Jr., 61, of Galveston, passed away Wednesday, July 18, 2007 at John Sealy Hospital in Galveston. John was born in Kansas City, Kansas, on December 31, 1945, and grew up in Kansas City and Milwaukee. He completed high school at Cauldey Grange Grammar School in England, where his family lived while his father served as president of Del Monte Foods International in London.
Upon his return to the United States, John entered Rockhurst University in Kansas City, then enlisted in the United States Air Force in 1966. After completing Air Force assignments in San Antonio, England and Labrador, John resumed his college education and earned his bachelor’s degree in biology at the University of Wisconsin at LaCrosse.
John began his business career in Kansas City, and moved to Galveston with his young family in 1978. John served in a variety of executive positions during a career of nearly a decade with the Port of Galveston. He was Assistant General Manager of the Port when he left to establish his own consulting firm in 1987, specializing in port master plans and the creation and operation of foreign trade zones.
John touched countless lives through his commitment to local youth soccer. He learned the sport as a teenager in England, played soccer during his first year of college in the United States, and served as a coach, referee, enthusiastic parent, board member and eventually president in the Galveston Youth Soccer Association. He was honored as the Volunteer of the Year this year by the South Texas Youth Soccer Association.
John and Betty had set a goal of climbing the highest point in every state in the country; they ultimately reached 31 of those summits. In recent years, he and his family established a second home near Buena Vista, Colorado, where he set out to climb the state's “Fourteeners” – mountains towering over 14,000 feet in height.
John enjoyed hiking, birding, biking, storytelling and photography. He was an enthusiastic Dickens on The Strand volunteer, a longstanding supporter of the Galveston Symphony Orchestra, and a board member and treasurer of his local neighborhood association in Colorado.
Preceded in death by his father, John Y. Massey Sr., John is survived by his mother, Mary, of Gladstone, MO; wife, Betty, daughter Jennifer of Austin, son Dane and his wife, Jennifer, of Dallas, and son Brian of Galveston; sister Carole and her husband, Mike Littlejohn of Liberty, MO; sister Jane and her husband Shawn Spady of Steamboat Springs, CO; and sister Patricia Massey of Sabetha, KS.
John thought of Betty’s family as his own, and at the time of his death he was looking forward to attending the biennial Dutch Family Reunion, which he had long ago dubbed, “Dutchfest.” From Betty’s side of the family, John is survived by his sister-in-law Barb and her husband Bob Wesle of Spencer, WI; brother-in-law Bill and his wife Brenda Dutch of Tampa, FL; and brother-in-law David and his wife Barbara Dutch of Downers Grove, IL. He also will be fondly remembered by numerous aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and friends.
A memorial service will be held at 10:30 a.m. Monday, July 23, 2007, at J. Levy and Termini Funeral Home, 2128 Broadway, Galveston, with Reverend Asa Hunt officiating. A reception and visitation with the family will follow at Moody Mansion, 2618 Broadway, Galveston. Additional memorial services for the family will be held in Kansas City and Colorado. The family suggests donations to either the Galveston County Youth Soccer Club, c/o 25 Adler Circle, Galveston, TX 77551, or the Sunshine Center, 1726 21st Street, Galveston, TX 77550, in lieu of flowers.
J. LEVY & TERMINI FUNERAL HOME