Waynesville — Emil Massaro, 93, passed away Sunday, Sept. 8, 2013.
He was born July 20, 1920 in L’Aquila, Italy. Emil was the third child born to Madelena and Ferdinando Massaro. He came to America in 1939 and served in the U.S. Army during World War II. He was a visionary with an entrepreneurial spirit from a young age. He started his first business, a grocery store in Youngstown, Ohio in his early 20s. In the years that followed, he started a wholesale paper company and discount stores in Michigan. In the late 60s, he moved to Florida and was a real estate developer of office buildings, shopping centers and a hotel. Emil moved to Waynesville in the late 70s and continued to work as a real estate developer. He created Whispering Woods At Sanctuary Cove and The Smoky Mountain Sanctuary. Emil was one-of-a-kind, a self–made, charismatic man who made a lasting impression on everyone who met him. He was a loving husband and father to his five children, seven grandchildren and two great-grand daughters.
Those left to cherish his memory are his wife of 67 years, Nina Fiocca Massaro; five children, Fred Massaro, Susan Massaro McFarland and husband Sam, Emil Massaro Jr. and wife Carol, Laura Massaro and husband David Myers, and Payton Beutler; seven grandchildren, Emile Massaro, Shane McFarland and wife Autumn, Amanda McFarland, Chloe Massaro Beutler, Kyle McFarland, Anna McFarland, and Anthony Massaro; and two great-granddaughters, Emersyn Lilly Massaro Beutler and Della Rose McFarland.
A funeral mass will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, Sept. 13 at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church. Burial will follow at St. John’s Cemetery. The family will receive friends from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 12 at Wells Funeral Home of Waynesville.
In lieu of flowers, a fund that will help provide education and a service dog for Emil’s great-granddaughter Emersyn Lilly Massaro Beutler has been set up in his honor and memory. Checks can be sent to Edward Jones in Waynesville, 15 Woodland Drive, Waynesville, NC 28786. (828) 452-4048.
An online memorial register is available at www.wellsfuneralhome.com.