2015-06-11 / Obituaries

Fredric Massena


Fredric Massena Fredric Massena Fredric Massena, 90, of Cedarville, died peacefully Friday, June 5, 2015, at Cedar Cove Assisted Living in Cedarville.

He was born November 9, 1924, to Frederick and Martha (nee Hazzard) Swallow in Washington, D.C.

Mr. Massena was orphaned during the Depression, and his first opportunity to attend school was the last two months of third grade in Illinois. He was forever grateful to his caseworker, Miss Price, and his teacher, Miss Robinson, who became the center of his world. They loaded him up with books to read during summer vacation, including the book “Tom Swift and His Aeroplane,” which ignited his passion for flying and his dream of becoming an airplane pilot. He felt that if you don’t have a passion for something and you don’t have dreams, you don’t have much of a life. His caseworker found him a loving home with his very own bed in his very own room and an unused workshop, which enabled him to become a serious airplane modeler. Mr. Massena’s adoptive parents, Roy and Mabel Massena, allowed him to dream, and they provided him tools to achieve those dreams. He grew up in the golden age of aviation and rode the wave of flying history. In 1942, after three years of college, he signed up for the Naval Aviation Cadet program, where he earned his Navy Wings of Gold. World War II ended and he transferred to the U.S. Marine Corps, where he continued flight training and flying. Mr. Massena later served with the U.S. Army National Guard. In all, he served his country for 20 years.

He was an astute businessman who participated in various successful businesses and investments over the years. In the early 1980s Mr. Massena moved to Cedarville, where he enjoyed living simply and appreciating the nature around him. He continued flying, and he also enjoyed golfing, amateur radio, sailing, kayaking, cross-country skiing, and philanthropy. He and his dear friend, Vesta Knuth, enjoyed dancing and attending athletic events and fundraisers at area schools.

He is survived by his adopted son and his family, Richard and Shelly Paulsen of Spokane, Washington; two daughters and their families, Pamela and James Knight of Bainbridge Island, Washington, and Patricia and David Krueger of Davis, California; a son and his family, Roy Massena and Vickie Mc- Connell of Spokane, Washington; grandchildren, Anthony Mattingly, Tyler Larsen, Morgan Massena, Hans Greiner, Megan Koontz, Eric Greiner, and Molly Massena, and one great-grandson, Arlin Larsen.

He was preceded in death by a sister, Patricia (nee Swallow) Hord; his former wife, Betty (nee Frobish) Massena, and his longtime companion, Vesta Knuth.

A memorial service will be Wednesday, June 10, at 7 p.m. at R. Galer Funeral Home in Pickford. Visitation will be from 6 p.m. to time of the service.

Memorial contributions may be directed to the Les Cheneaux Community Schools Athletic Department, P.O. Box 366, Cedarville, MI 49719.

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