Joseph Anthony Massa, M.D. passed away on April 17, 2017, at the age of 90. Joseph is survived by his loving wife of 64 years, Shirley Biffle Massa; daughter, Shana Massa Slaughter and her husband Tommy of Austin; son, Joseph (Jay) Massa and his wife, Lauris Brown Massa; and his granddaughters, Kate Massa and Elizabeth Massa all of Dallas; and numerous beloved cousins.
Joseph was preceded in death by his parents, Sadie Venza Massa and Joseph Massa, Jr.
Joseph was a "born on the island" Galvestonian on December 23, 1926.
From a very early age Joseph had a love of music and learned to play the piano and violin. He loved going to Beaumont to spend time with his Italian cousins at holidays and in the summer. In fact, he always referred to them as his brothers and sisters.
After graduating from Ball High School in Galveston he then served his country honorably as a radio operator in the US Army in World War II and was stationed in Germany. Following service he attended Texas A & M University and then graduated from the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston. He was a member of the Phi Beta Pi Medical Fraternity. At Thanksgiving in 1949 he was at a dance at the Hotel Galvez when he met his future wife, Shirley Ann Biffle. They were married on September 6, 1952 at St. Mary's Cathedral in Galveston. He completed his internship at Harris Hospital in Ft .Worth and then went into family practice in Seymour, Texas until 1970. While in Seymour he also served as the Health Officer for Baylor County.
In 1970 he took a fellowship in internal medicine at Baylor Memorial Hospital in Oklahoma City and in 1973 specialized in internal medicine with a sub-specialty in pulmonary diseases at the University of Texas Health Science Center in Tyler, Texas. He was the Associate Professor of Internal Medicine upon his retirement in 1985. Joseph was also a member of county and state medical societies.
His real love and interest in life was baseball. He was introduced by his uncle to the early Texas League baseball in Galveston in 1937 and his interest continued through the years with the Colt 45s who became the Houston Astros. Later in life he became a die- hard Cubs fan. He was thrilled when he got to shake hands with the famous Cubs sportscaster, Harry Caray. Joseph had 2 dreams come true when he got to see a double header at Wrigley Field and then when the Cubs finally won the World Series last year. He also enjoyed being a little league baseball coach.
Joseph had the best time being with his granddaughters and they always insisted that he be the teacher when playing school. He taught them that the dictionary and mathematics were their best friends.
His Catholic faith was a guiding force in his life. He was a generous man and always a champion of the underdog. He is remembered fondly by his family and his cousins as having a great sense of humor.
May the choir of angels come to greet you.
May they speed you to paradise.
May the Lord enfold you in his mercy.
May you find eternal life.
Memorial contributions may be made to The Settlement Home for Children, 1600 Peyton Gin Road, Austin, TX 78758.