Military veteran

Dearl Leonard Massey, 86, son of Albert and Dora (Key) Massey, was born Oct. 11, 1924, in Huggins, Mo. He passed away on February 15, 2011 at the Christian North East Hospital, St. Louis, MO.

Dearl was preceded in death by his parents; three sisters, Ina, Vivian and Erma; three brothers, Orville, Claude and Lyle; and his beloved daughter, Derith Ann Massey Hurst.

He is survived by his wife, Ruth (Smyer) Massey of their home in Houston, Mo.; two grandchildren, Shane Hurst and wife, Sarah, of Webster Groves, Mo., and Keeli Hyde and husband, Greg, of Bend, Ore.; two great-grandchildren, Chase and Lily; as well as many nieces and nephews.

Dearl grew up in the Houston area and graduated from Houston High School in 1943.

Shortly after graduation, Dearl enlisted in the United States Navy. He fearlessly served his country for close to three years aboard a minesweeper in the South Pacific.

Following his service, Dearl returned to Houston and married Ruth Smyer on March 6, 1948. Dearl and Ruth farmed for the next 10 years and had their only child, Derith Ann, and moved to Kansas City in 1956.

Over the next 25 years, he worked as a construction superintendent specializing in building houses, apartments and refining his craft of drywall finishing.

At retirement, Dearl and Ruth fulfilled their lifelong dream of coming home to Houston and living in the home he built. Anyone who knew him was always welcomed into his home with open arms.

Dearl found enjoyment in hunting, fishing, baseball and maintaining the most perfectly manicured property, full of fruit and vegetables.

His true loves were his family, friends and church. Dearl and Ruth had a love that was unparalleled. Ruth once said in 1993 that they were still in love after 45 years, which they make known to each other in some way every day. They inspired us with their devotion for each other and unconditional love to their family. Dearl faithfully served his church and community as long time elder and member of the Houston First Christian Church.

Dearl’s kindness, honesty, faith, character and dependability were manifested in all he did and to all who knew him.

Because of Dearl, all of us have, in so many ways, been made better.

Services were 10 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 19, 2011, at Houston First Christian Church with Pastor’s Matthew Anderson and John Frakes officiating. Burial with full military honors followed in Bado Cemetery. Pallbearers were Dennis Bartlett, Joe Mainer, Don Massey, Gary Massey, Steve Hurst and Shane Hurst. Services were under the direction of Evans Funeral Home.

Memorials may be made to the First Christian Church or the Parkinson’s Group of the Ozarks, P.O. Box 50595 Springfield, Mo., 65805. Online condolences may be sent to

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