Robert W. Massa, 94

Oct. 13, 1922 - Sept. 19, 2017
Robert W. Massa, Oct. 13, 1922 - Sept. 19, 2017

Robert W. Massa of East Hampton, who served on the battleship U.S.S. Nevada as a seaman first class during World War II, died at home of respiratory failure on Sept. 19. He was 94 and had been ill for about two months.

Mr. Massa met his future wife, Kathryn Tobin, at Doubleday in Garden City, where both worked. After leaving Doubleday, he was employed as a machinist for the New York Central Railroad for 17 years, later working for the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company and the Bowery Savings Bank.

The couple were married on June 26, 1948, and were able to make use of a G.I. loan to buy a house in Westbury, where they raised four children. Mr. Massa retired in 1987 and, in 1989, he and his wife moved to Wesley Chapel, Fla. In 1995, they moved to East Hampton to be closer to family. Mrs. Massa died in 1999.  

“My whole family followed me out here,” Deborah Donohue, one of his daughters, said, first when she went camping at Hither Hills and then when she got a summer job in Montauk.

Mr. Massa’s favorite pastime in East Hampton was surfcasting. He was a member of the Holy Name Society and St. Brigid’s Catholic Church of Westbury, and was a parishioner at Most Holy Trinity Catholic Church in East Hampton. 

He was born in Ridgewood, Queens, on Oct. 13, 1922, one of two children of the former Elizabeth Frick and Christopher Massa. He grew up in Mineola, graduating from Mineola High School. He attended Farmingdale State College, where he earned a certificate in technology. 

In addition to his daughter Deborah Donohue, he is survived by another daughter, Carol Link, who lives in East Hampton. Two sons survive, Robert L. Massa of Woodinville, Wash., and Doug­las Massa of East Hampton, as do a sister, Florence Klemm of Bethpage, six grandchildren, and eight nieces and nephews. 

Ms. Donohue said her father was devoted to his grandchildren. He not only would have celebrated his 95th birthday in October, he would have met his first great-grandchild, who is due in November, she said.

Mr. Massa was cremated. The family will hold a private service at a later date. Memorial contributions have been suggested to the Montauk Lighthouse, P.O. Box 943, Montauk 11954, or East End Hospice, P.O. Box 1048, Westhampton Beach 11978.