Johnnie Lee Massey was born on July 18, 1931, in Durham, North Carolina, to Annie Bell Massey of Dunn, North Carolina, and Johnnie Lane of Florida. He was raised in Dunn until the age of 15. He traveled to Durham and joined the United States Navy but was released when they realized his age. He later returned to Durham and joined the United States Army as soon as he was eligible.
Johnnie served in the US Army for 23 years and continued to serve his country as a civil service master carpenter at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, where he worked for 20 years until he retired. While stationed in Korea during the Korean War, Johnnie married the love of his life, Young Suk "Sue" Shim, on February 28, 1962. The two remained united in holy matrimony until his transition.
Johnnie was an excellent chef. He honed his cooking skills when he was in the Army. His family and friends loved his cooking, especially his banana pudding and peanut butter cake. Although not formally educated, Johnnie Lee was also an avid reader and history buff.
Those left to cherish precious memories include his loving wife of 60 wonderful years, Young Suk "Sue" Massey of McKinney, Texas; four children - Ann (Taoreed) Badmus of Plano, Texas, Tammie (Robert) Phifer of Mt. Vernon, New York, Shim (Yvette) Massey of San Antonio, Texas, and Kay (Robert) Ryals of Lucama, North Carolina; nine grandchildren - Jonna, Morenike, Ayomide, Shimmy, D’Andrah, Aziza, Karmen, Yemisi, and Gabbie; six great-grandchildren - Cayden, Kendall, Ayden, Jordan, Omani, and Surayya; and a host of other relatives and friends.
Johnnie wants you all to know, “It’s in the Blood.”
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