Marie Teresa Jennings Massie, 86, died January 28, 2010 at her home, surrounded by her loving family.
She was born July 10, 1923 in Martindale, Texas, the second of four children born to Mamie Marie Lindsey and Robert Harvey Jennings. The children lived near her grandparents’ farm and enjoyed the farm life of riding horses through the peach orchards and observing the farm traditions. In 1933 the family was hard hit by the Depression and she moved to a small farm outside Hot Springs, Arkansas with her parents, brothers Bob and John, and sister Sarah. The children had to take on a lot of responsibility for the home and the farm animals.
Mrs. Massie graduated second in her class in high school. She then went on to Arkansas Tech University where she planned to study architecture. Due to the war in Europe she began to study drafting, and after the attack on Pearl Harbor she worked in an Army ordinance plant where she drew weapons to scale for models and made blueprints for the machine shop.
Teresa Jennings met Joseph A. Massie, Jr. at the naval base at Pensacola, Florida, where he was stationed in the same squadron with her brother Bob. Teresa and Joe were married September 16, 1944, in Magnolia Springs, Alabama. After World War II, Mr. Massie began to practice law in Winchester and Mrs. Massie dedicated her life to raising their two daughters, taking care of his mother, known to all as “Mom Bess” and to her church and the community of Winchester.
From her first days in Winchester, Mrs. Massie was an active member of Christ Episcopal Church. She was a member of the Altar Guild to the present day. She was choir mother for 52 children during the term of Rector John Baden. She attended Properties Committee meetings to provide information on the history of the buildings and was extremely committed to the upcoming restoration to be performed on the bell tower. Teresa provided donations and leadership. In addition she was responsible for the redecoration and furnishings in the two parlors of the Old Rectory during the remodeling of 2000-2001. Mrs. Massie served on the Diocese of Virginia committee for the creation of the Roselyn Chapel in Richmond in honor of Bishop Peter James Lee through early 2009. In her last years she dedicated herself to the restoration and preservation of her beloved Christ Episcopal Church, to the point of climbing up into the bell tower to see what work needed to be done there.
As a part of her commitment to the community Mrs. Massie was chairman of the City of Winchester Welfare Board, and served as a member of the board for many years. She also was very involved in serving the children of the Evans Home in Winchester.
The fellowship of the Century Club in Winchester meant a great deal to Mrs. Massie. She served in various leadership positions, including president at one time. She loved the community of women in the club and felt most enriched by their friendship and by the educational papers they presented.
An active member of The Little Garden Club for many years, Mrs. Massie worked in every capacity for the club, and won the Virginia Boyd Barr Award for outstanding service in 1983. She was an amazing artist in flower arranging and opened her home for Historic Garden Week. She was appointed to the Virginia Cultural Development Study Commission by Governor Mills Godwin.
In her work for the Winchester Apple Blossom Festival, Mrs. Massie served as chaperone for Luci Baines Johnson, hosted the queen and other visitors in her home and served as Chairman of the Queen and her Court for the Festival in 1963.
Mrs. Massie is survived by her two daughters and sons-in-law Lindsey M. and David R. Huddle of Burlington, Vermont and Elizabeth M. and Peter L. Wyeth of Richmond, Virginia; four grandchildren, Elizabeth R. Malson-Huddle of Madison, Wisconsin, Mary M. Huddle Coffey of Winooski, Vermont, Lindsey F. Wyeth of Richmond, Virginia and Carolyn L. Wyeth of Wilmington, North Carolina; her brother John L. Jennings of Tampa, Florida, her sister Sarah J. MacLellan of Richmond; her sister-in-law Elizabeth F. Massie of San Francisco, California; and seven beloved nieces. She is pre-deceased by her husband Joseph Anderson Massie, Jr. and her brother Robert Harvey Jennings, Jr.
The family will receive friends from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. Monday, February 1, 2010, at Jones Funeral Home in Winchester. A Committal Service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, February 2, 2010 at Mt. Hebron Cemetery. A Memorial Service will follow at 12:00 noon at Christ Episcopal Church with the Reverend Webster Gibson officiating.
Pallbearers are Harry F. Byrd, III, Robert T. Mitchell, Jr., Dr. John Armstrong, Dr. Thomas W. Daugherty, Benjamin B. Dutton, Dr. Gerald Gildersleeve, and Donald William Pearson, Jr.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Christ Episcopal Church Building Fund, 114 W. Boscowan St., Winchester, VA 22601 or to Episcopal Relief and Development, Haiti Relief, 815 Second Avenue, New York, New York 10017.
via Jones Funeral Home.