Mary S. Massie

Aug 21, 2014

Beautiful, Loving Woman

WAYNESVILLE — Mary Elizabeth Smathers Massie died early Wednesday morning at the age of 86.

Mary was a beautiful, vibrant, sparkling gem of a woman who was a credit to her family, her friends and the town of Waynesville.  She touched many lives. She was an excellent student, excelling particularly in language and grammar, and was valedictorian of her high school class. During World War II she met Joseph Edward Massie at a party for returning soldiers. The two fell in love at first sight and were married in March 1946. They had a daughter and two sons. Together and later, Mary single-handedly operated the Strand Theater and numerous real estate investments.

She was an inspiration to everyone who knew her, never failing to have insight from either intellectual wisdom or personal experience. She loved her country and was intensely patriotic, holding strong political convictions throughout her life. She believed that education was the most important thing a person could do for himself, and to this end, she constantly read to become and remain knowledgeable on a plethora of subjects, especially human health and nutrition. She always insisted upon the very best from both herself and the world around her. She was a member of the Waynesville Country Club and served as president of the Ladies Golf Association. Mary loved to dance, play bridge and enjoyed the company of the friends and family.  Her family affectionately called her “Yummy.”  She was active socially in Waynesville and Vero Beach, Florida, and yet she always said what she loved most was a rainy day to stay at home with a cup of coffee and a good book.

She is survived by two sons, Joseph Edward Massie Jr. and James Thomas Massie (Joyce), all of Waynesville; a daughter, Cathey Massie Bailey, of Asheville; six grandchildren, Joseph Edward Massie III, Patrick Eugene Massie (Erin), Jonathan Asbury Massie, Caroline (Lisa) Newman Francisco (George), Natalie Massie Clark (Jason) and Mary Caitlin Massie; and six great-grandchildren, Tucker Brooks Massie, Anna Caitlin Massie, Emily Grace Massie, James Massie Clark, Samuel Charles Massie and Claira Joyce Massie.

Donations may be made to the Arthritis Foundation at

A time of remembrance will be held from 3 to 5 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 23, at the Wells Events and Reception Center to celebrate the life of Mary Massie.

For those who desire, an online memorial register is available at