Beatrice B. Massey passed away in the early hours of Tuesday morning, September 20, 2016, just weeks shy of her 90th birthday. She passed quietly and peacefully in her home per her wishes. She was born in Wilson County, North Carolina, where she grew up with a large extended family of the Bunns and the Barbees. She graduated from Rock Ridge High School with the class of 1945 that still holds their annual class reunions in Wilson. Following graduation, she, like many others of her time, moved to Washington, DC in the position of Civil Service clerk with the Social Security Office to process the soldiers returning home from the war. During this time her family migrated to Newport News for the promise of jobs and a new future. Her dad told her it was time to come home and join the family in their new house. A young man she had known in North Carolina was assigned to Fort Eustis, Virginia at this time. Dick Massey and Beatrice, having known each other in Carolina, rekindled their relationship and married in 1947. Dick was still in the Army and they both worked at Fort Eustis, she as a bookkeeper and he as a heavy equipment mechanic. They worked and saved and in 1954 they purchased a small family grocery business on Big Bethel Road, then a small two-lane oyster shell covered roadway. The business was renamed Massey’s Grocery and Gulf and would provide the grocery, gas, feed, and seed needs, as well as barber services and auto servicing and apartments for the neighborhood for nearly three decades. Later the business became a resource for light farm equipment and trailers. In later years Bea worked as a bookkeeper for Rose’s Department Stores. While growing their business they also managed to raise their four children and be an influence in their neighborhood. Bea and Dick lived on Big Bethel Road for over 70 years. Bea was a friend to all the children of the neighborhood ¿ she always supplied the ‘goodies’ at neighborhood rodeos and gatherings. She was a longtime member of Abundant Life Tabernacle. She was a long standing member of the Bible Class Sunday School, a member of the choir and Ladies Auxiliary, and served as the Secretary-Treasurer for many years. Her longtime friend and teacher Pastor Glen Jones will officiate her service. She was preceded in death by her parents, Johnny and Mamie Bunn; her husband, Dick Massey; son, Terry Massey; brother, Eugene Bunn; and son-in-law, CW4 Raymond Frank. She is survived by her sister, Rachel Richards of Williamsburg; her daughters, Wilma Frank and Peggy Weaver of Clarksville, TN; her son, Gary Massey and his daughter, Racheal Massey of Hampton, VA; and three other grandchildren, Sally Garret (Curtis), Darrell Adkins (Jill), and Brett Adkins (Whitney), all of the Gloucester area. In addition, she leaves eight great-grandchildren; five great-great-grandchildren; as well as numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins. She was ‘Aunt Bea’, ‘Mom’, and ‘Granny’ to many ¿ she was a great friend to all. At her death she was attended by her loving caregiver, Gwen Bridges, who filled her with much joy. In her passing she will be loved and honored by all who knew her. Love you, Mom. The family will receive friends 6:00 to 8:00 pm, Friday, September 23, 2016 at Parklawn-Wood Funeral Home. A celebration of Bea’s life will be held at 12:30 pm on Saturday, September 24, at Abundant Life Tabernacle, 101 Blackburn Lane, in Hampton, with visitation from 10:00 am to 12:30 pm. Interment will be held privately at Hampton-Veterans Memorial Gardens. Friends are encouraged to visit www.parklawn-woodfh.com to share memories and words of condolence with the family. Arrangements are under the care of Parklawn-Wood Funeral Home, 2551 N. Armistead Ave., Hampton, VA 23666.
Bea Massey – We will miss you!
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