Richard J. Massey died November 30, 2019 at the age of 74.
He was born in King and Queen County, VA, June 2, 1945, the 6th of seven children. He is survived by five siblings: Bob Massey of Mechanicsville, VA; Betty Newton of Salisbury, NC; Sam Massey of West Point, VA; Bill Massey of Urbanna, VA; and Charles Massey of Buffalo, NY. His parents, Samuel and Elizabeth Massey, and a sister, Arlene Rutherford, preceded him in death.
Numerous in-laws, nieces, nephews, cousins, and a wonderful eclectic collection of friends also survive him.
Richard was self-described as “a retired educator who enjoys traveling, reading, spring training baseball, craft beer, and single malt Scotch.” He served in the United States Air Force, held degrees from Virginia Commonwealth University and the University of Virginia, and retired after a career as a teacher and school administrator with the Virginia Department of Corrections.
In retirement, his continuing educational pursuits included participation in the U.Va. at Oxford Seminar in 2013 and the Jefferson in Paris Seminar in 2017. These Lifetime Learning opportunities combined his love of history, travel, and U.Va.
His travels took him to all 50 States in the U.S., as well as Canada, Mexico, Iceland, and most of the nations of Europe. He was planning to celebrate his 75th birthday back in Ireland, one of his favorite travel destinations.
This past June, Richard attended a baseball game at Yankee Stadium that completed his visits to all 30 Major League Baseball parks. (Note: The Yankees were last because they were his least favorite team.)
Having been born and raised in the Virginia flatlands (east of Richmond), Richard adapted well to life in Staunton – Augusta County – the Valley. The more than 30 years in his adopted home was enriched by his favorite eating and drinking establishments, performances at the American Shakespeare Center’s Blackfriars Playhouse, and music.
While enjoying most genres of music, Richard was especially fond of the bluegrass, folk, country and rock he found at places like Redwing, Merlefest and Wolftrap. He could also enjoy a good classical concert and a little jazz.
Within the past year, Richard had added this quote to his refrigerator collection: “Among those whom I like or admire I can find no common denominator, but among those whom I love, I can; all of them make me laugh.” (W. H. Auden, The Dyer’s Hand).
Following Richard’s wishes, there will not be a memorial service. However, memorials may be made to American Shakespeare Center or Valley Mission in Staunton.
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