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Paul C Massee Jr.

September 9, 1932 ~ May 10, 2022 (age 89)


Paul Clebern Massee Jr.


Paul C. Massee Jr of Gig Harbor, Washington passed away on Tuesday May 10, 2022 at the age of 89.  He was in declining health for several years.  He was surrounded by his children in his last days and will be greatly missed. 

Paul “Skip” Massee was born on September 9 , 1932 to Paul and Stella Massee in Portland Oregon.  He spent much of his youth and teen years at his parent’s cabin on Mt Hood where he enjoyed skiing in the winter and fishing and hiking in the summers.  He attended Central Catholic High School in Portland and after graduation in 1950 he went on to study business at Oregon State University. He graduated with a bachelor's degree in business administration in 1954 and then entered the Air force and was stationed in Japan.  While in Japan he spent his free time on the golf course or exploring the countryside taking pictures. He was proud of the fact he could tell time in Japanese, something his family was always reminded of.  He retired from the air force in 1957 with the rank of captain.

After leaving the military he went to work for the JC Penney company in Seattle Washington.  It was in Seattle that he met his future wife E. Margaret VanDruff.  They married in February of 1959 and went on to have 5 children; Ken, Mike, Anne, Jim and Paul. The family moved to Gig Harbor in 1971, purchasing an 11 acre farm in the Ray Nash valley.  Shortly afterwards the JC Penney company wanted to transfer him to Los Angeles, California so he decided to leave the company. which he ran for many years.  He eventually sold that business in the 1980s and moved into the real estate profession, which he did until retirement.

He was always involved in the community and the first to volunteer where help was needed.

This included coaching youth sports, boy scouts and Indian guides as well as various community events. He was very active in Saint Nicholas church and served on many committees as well as serving as a Lay Eucharistic minister.  His faith was an important part of his life and even when he could no longer physically volunteer or attend church at Saint Nicholas, he volunteered to do scripture studies at his assisted living facility.

His hobbies included skiing, gardening and Oregon history.  He was an avid skier and skied for most of his life.  He was a member of his high school ski team that won a series of Oregon state championships in the late 40s and early 50s.  He originally competed in slalom but after breaking his leg in a fall he switched to ski jumping (of all things!).  He continued to compete in skiing in college at OSU on the ski club team.  He pursued his love of skiing into his early 70s and over the years volunteered with the ski patrol and the Gig Harbor ski school.

Paul was also an active gardener and went through the WSU master gardener program and was active in the gardens at Sehmel park for many years.  He volunteered at numerous clinics and was always willing to advise and help anyone with a gardening question.  If he didn’t know the answer initially to a gardening question, he would research it and do his best to find it out.

Paul also spent time traveling and fishing. He enjoyed traveling with his daughter over the years. Time spent in Greece, Italy and France were some of his favorites. He even took a cooking class in Tuscany!  He was an avid fly fisherman in his youth and later in life made an annual trip to Alaska to fish for salmon.  His sons still continue the trip he initiated to the Ketchikan area each year that falls on or close to his birthday each year.  Paul was very active in the Oregon trails association serving in various positions including vice president.  He documented much of the trail and drove or walked most or all of it through Oregon.  He was still active in planning volunteer trips to document the trail up until his death.  

He was preceded in death by his wife Margaret, his parents and sister Natalie Thompson, and his grandson Alex Massee. He is survived by his 5 children; daughter Anne Garnaas, and sons Ken Massee, Mike Massee, Jim Massee and Paul Massee, 13 grandchildren and 1 great grandchild.

Funeral services will be held on May 26th at 10:00 a.m. at Saint Nicholas church followed by internment at Haven of Rest and a celebration of life afterwards at the “The Club at the Boatyard” in downtown Gig Harbor.

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