Eileen A. Massie, 84, of Roscoe, passed away on Tuesday, October 2, 2012 surrounded by her loving children, Tom Massie and Judy Kennedy, after a short illness. She was born January 2, 1928 in Galena, the daughter of William R. and Marie O. (Taylor) Lewis. She was married to George T. Massie on February 24, 1946 in Fort Worth, Texas. They were married for 64 loving years until his passing on September 31, 2009.
Eileen loved working on her parent's farm as a young girl. After high school, she loved working with the public. She was employed by Top Hat Restaurant in Loves Park for 26 years. Later she worked at Royal Car Wash for 11 years before retiring to her home and her passion of working in her many flower gardens, which she was so proud of. She also loved displaying her Christmas lights which included as many as 14,500 LED lights which, people came from all over to view her display and decorations to honor the birth of Christ.
In 1968, her son Tom was captured by hostile armed forces from North Korea while serving onboard the USS Pueblo AGER-2. He was held captive in a Prisoner of War camp where he had to endure malnutrition and severe beatings daily. During these 11 months, Eileens hair turned from dark brown to a beautiful silver/white. While her son was a P.O.W., she walked for miles and door to door getting petitions signed so that the crew of 83 sailors, marines and oceanographers of the USS Pueblo would be released. During this time, she started her Christmas displays, which she did on her own until the age of 80.
Survivors include her children, William Thomas Massie, Judy Kennedy, Zachary Massie, and Darlene Maness; her loving and departed pets, Bruno and Stevie.
She had 11 grandchildren, Rick (Kim) Grover, Michael, Tyler, Jonathon (Rachel), Daniel (Crystal), and Ziarah Massie, Jason, Jennifer (Wiljohn), and Justin (Jenny) Kennedy, Sasha and Jacob Maness; 12 great grandchildren, Zoe Grover, Tesa and Nichole Massie, Alexes, Brianna and Lelund Massie, Darius, Juanisha, Angelique, and Mikalah Kennedy, Uriyah and Rylan Rhynes; brothers, Glenn, Elmer, and Dale Lewis.
She was predeceased by her husaband, George T. Massie; her parents, William R. and Marie O. Lewis; grandson, Zachary D. Massie, Jr.; son-in-law, James W. Kennedy; brothers, Carl, Bert, and Ray Lewis.
Our family deeply grieves her death but we know she is in heaven and God's hands. We want to thank all of our family and friends for their help and prayers during this trying time.
Funeral services Friday, October 5, 2012 at Sunset Funeral Home, 8800 N. Alpine Road, Machesney Park. Visitation, 1 p.m. till time of service at 2 p.m. at the funeral home. Officiated by Pastor Lisa Abb. Interment in Sunset Memorial Gardens. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the family. Online condolences can be expressed at www.sunsetfhmemgardens.com.