Ruth Farley Massey
Ruth Farley Massey, 99, of Winchester died Tuesday, August 2, 2022.
Farley was born in 1922, in the original Winchester Memorial Hospital, the youngest child of William Protzman Massey and Ruth Farley Massey. A sister, Mrs. Hugh (Helen Judd Massey) Aitken, a brother, William Protzman Massey, Jr., and a half sister, Mrs. Ralph (Edith Massey) Pifer preceded her in death.
mrs. Ralph Pifer’s family living in the Winchester area includes Betty Alden Duncan, Roland and Becky Bush, Seth and Liza Coffman, Henry Anderson Coffman, Eleanor Massey Coffman, Larry Duncan, and Alex Bush.
New England relatives include: Susan Getchell of Crystal, Maine; Natacha MacGregor of Clinton, Massachusetts, Linda Melon of Acton Massachusetts; Pierre and Tamara Pellerin of Quebec, Canada.
After graduating from Handley High School, Farley received a BS Degree in Physical Therapy from Boston University, Sargent College and was employed at Harper Hospital in Detroit, Michigan, followed by a position at the Sunbeam School for Crippled Children in Cleveland, Ohio.
Farley was an ardent Girl Scout and was one of two local girls to earn the “Golden Eaglet” award – the highest achievement awarded at the time.
Summers in her teen years were spent attending camps in the northeast, an activity she thoroughly enjoyed. So much so, in fact, that she became a Girl Scout Professional committed to enrolling in training for day, trips, troop, and established camping the National Organization offered.
In 1950, Farley was one of ten Girl Scouts in the USA selected to spend the summer as an exchange camp counselor as a guest of European Girl Guide Organizations. Farley spent six weeks enjoying assorted camping experiences with Guides in Great Britain.
In 1952, Farley and her family realized a “dream come true” when they purchased property and opened Camp Rim Rock for girls ages 7-17 at Yellow Spring, West Virginia. Josephine Kelly of Morgantown, West Virginia, was Co-Director and Business Manager. Rim Rock has since become one of the premier camps for girls in the eastern area of the USA with campers and staff coming from all over the world. Camp Rim Rock celebrated its 69th season in 2021.
In twelve years, Camp Rim Rock’s enrollment reached their original goal of 140 campers and 35 counselors, which meant feeding nearly 200 individuals three times each day, providing daily activities, staff training and supervision, health, etc., etc. Both Farley and Josephine envisioned additional personal challenges and when the opportunity arose in 1967, sold the camp to the Reverend James Matheson, a Methodist minister from North Carolina who continued to operate the camp for the next 38 years until selling it to Joe Greitzer, the present owner-director .
For the next 7 years Farley was Director of Christian Education at the Christ Episcopal Church in Winchester. When Reverend John A Baden, Rector, became Suffragan Bishop of the Diocese of Virginia, this required all staff to submit their resignations.
Farley then enrolled in the Counseling Department of James Madison University, Harrisonburg, Virginia, receiving her Master’s in Education two years later which led to her employment as Director of Residents at St. Catherine’s School in Richmond, Virginia where she remained for four years before retiring and returning to Winchester.
During the later years of her life, when asked what she “did” Farley replied, “I’m a professional volunteer, and I travel when I can,” which proved to be true for the rest of her life.
For many years Farley volunteered with the local chapter of the American Red Cross as Chairman of the Blood Donor Program, a Board Member, and a recipient of the Clara Barton Volunteer Exceptional Service Award during the organization’s 75th Anniversary.
She served as a member of the founding Blue Ridge Hospice Board and in 2010 received their Shining Light Award for Volunteerism.
Farley served two terms as Senior Warden for the Vestry of Christ Episcopal Church, and also participated for many years as a member of the first Shenandoah Valley Westminster Canterbury Board of Trustees, and later, as a resident served as President of the Residents Association for two terms.
Miss Massey remained active throughout her life, as exemplified in many of her travel experiences: such as, a Safari in East Africa; hiking the Swiss Alps; for a week, heli-hiking in the Bugaboo and Cariboo mountains in the Canadian Rockies; in a ten day archaeological dig participating in Tahiti and Easter Island, and a week rafting trip down the Colorado River rapids within the Grand Canyon.
Six generations ago, Farley’s grandparents were sent as missionaries from the Congregational Church in New Haven, Connecticut, to Hawaii. At five years of age, Farley was part of a family group from New England attending the 100th year celebration of that event. This was the first of many trips to visit cousins and friends, plus her brother, Bill and his wife Mary, who retired to Kauai.
In 1996, Farley was given a two-year-old Lhasa Apso dog named “Julie.” Soon the two were qualified to become members and participants in the animal Assisted Therapy Program, operated under the auspices of the Winchester Medical Center. Ten years’ involvement was a blessed event for them both as well as the patients. With Farley’s help, “Julie” wrote and published a book titled, “Living in a Continuing Care Retirement Community from the Group Up” (an advice, how-to book for prospective residents.)
In her later more sedentary years, Farley enjoyed table games and a rousing game of back-yard croquet.
A funeral service will be conducted at 1:00 pm on Saturday, August 20, 2022 at Christ Episcopal Church with The Rev. Webster S. Gibson and The Rev. Doug McCaleb officiating. Interment will be privately conducted at Mount Hebron Cemetery, Winchester. Memorial donations may be made to the Residents Fellowship Fund at SVWC.
Online condolence may be left at www.jonesfuneral