September 22, 1932 – August 2, 2018
Joel was born in Bear Creek, Arkansas to Charles and Alpha Massey. When he was a boy, Joel’s extended family packed their belongings into a pair of cars and moved to the west coast, eventually settling in Washington state. He worked the fields of Eastern Washington from a young age, and as a young man joined the Coast Guard, where he served for three years.
After his service, he attended Linfield College in McMinnville, Oregon where he earned a degree in physics and began pursuing a career in the new field of computing. Back in Washington, he met and married Bonnie Triebwasser.
In 1964 Joel, Bonnie, and their new son Mike moved to Daytona Beach, Florida where second son Jim was soon born. The family moved to Daytona so Joel could contribute his computer skills to NASA’s Apollo program. He was rightly proud of his work with the Apollo project in the 1960s and 1970s, helping put the first men on the moon.
They always thought of Washington as their home, and in 1976 they made their way back to the state. Joel continued working with computers in the aerospace field, having a long career with Boeing, from which he retired in 1993. Their Federal Way home, which they’ve lived in since 1984, became the regular holiday destination for their children, and eventually their grandchildren.
Joel was a man of both science and faith. He engaged in bible study his whole life, and held the post of deacon at several churches.
Joel is survived by his loving wife of 58 years Bonnie; sons Mike and Jim; daughters-in-law Kate Massey and Karen Beattie Massey; grandchildren Anne, Tim, Derartu, and Dinke; sister Carolyn Sue Weldon; and numerous extended family members and friends. He was preceded in death by his older brother Frank.
A memorial service will be held at Marine View Presbyterian Church, 8469 Eastside Dr. NE, Tacoma, WA 98422, Saturday August 25, at 1 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his memory to Franciscan Hospice House, 2901 Bridgeport Way West, University Place, WA 98466 or Federal Way Community Caregiving Network, P. O. Box 4717 Federal Way, WA 98063.