In the life of Massie

Published 11:33 am Thursday, September 15, 2016

“I’ve had a good life in a lot of ways. I’ve had a lot of setbacks,” recalled Edwin Massie. The 82-year-old said he has lived his life by the motto of “always doing the right thing.”

The Victoria native’s most recent setback is the death of his wife, Sandra “Sandy” Massie.

“I stay busy. I have done a lot of projects just because I like doing them,” Massie said.

Massie has worked hard to make his home exactly as he likes it. These projects reflect that.

He adds that doing these projects “keeps my mind off the sadness” and allows him to grieve.

One of these projects is adding a bridge to a trail that weaves through his property. Massie has modified his John Deere into a shift pipe loader to transport pipes down the trail to the bridge. He’s also created a cart to transport concrete bases for the pipe.

First though, he had to remove rocks from the base of the creek which will flows under the bridge.

Massie said he would like to complete the bridge project by November. Massie and his wife used to love riding around the trail that he’s created behind their home, he said.

He’s also converted an old chicken coop into storage, adding electricity and a new deck. Soon, once it’s cooler, he will repaint the deck behind his house. Massie also works on restoring and improving old cars, many of which can be found around his property.

“I love living in the country,” Massie said. He grew up in Victoria, not far from where he lives now, and attended school in the town.

When he was 9 he joined the U.S. Air Force Ground Observer Corps, as the youngest member. This was during World War II when everyone was scared airplanes would drop bombs on the United States, so there were individuals who would watch for passing airplanes and call in what they saw, Massie said.

At this time, young Massie was “heavy into building model planes.” He knew what all the planes were, he said, and had no trouble passing the exam required to be a part of the Corps.

“I was just young, but I wanted to do my part,” Massie said.

Throughout his life, Massie would continue to do his part. When he finished school in 1952, he signed up for the United States Naval Reserve. “I had a good job there,” he said, of his communications technician position which granted him top secret security clearance. He lived in Washington, D.C., during that time, marrying his first wife.

The two had four children together — Karen, Renee, Monica and Eddie. Later, they divorced and Massie continued raising the four kids on his own. Then, Massie said, “I met Sandra and realized we were just right for each other.”

They talked about four months on the phone, before meeting and then dated three years before marrying, Massie said. Sandra’s daughter, Amy, became just as much a part of his life as Sandra did. “I had Sandra by one hand and Amy by the other.”

“(Sandra) was big on handicrafts, flowers, butterflies and birds and cats. She liked going for a ride on the trail through the farm. She liked all of that,” Massie remembered.

From 1957 till 2008, Massie worked as an engineer for Norfolk Southern railroad company. He won several awards for his attention to safety.

Nowadays, Massie can be found working on one of his several projects, spending time with his children and grandchildren, or feeding the kittens that live behind his house.