After visiting the Bonney Lake area in 1962, Florence Massey and her husband Joseph knew they would one day make it their home.
Thirteen road trips later, the couple moved from central Kansas, purchased a lot in the Prairie Ridge community and built their home.
Florence said the couple decided to move after their daughter and son-in-law came to the area after being hired by Boeing in 1962.
“We knew what the weather could be like after several visits,” Massey said. “I had never been away from my mother because I was an only child.”
The Masseys moved here in 1976 after her husband retired and suffered a heart attack.
At age 59 and in a new state, Massey found employment a week after moving. She went to work as a surgical nurse at Enumclaw Regional Hospital.
Shortly after moving into their Prairie Ridge home, Massey and her husband started attending the Bonney Lake Senior Center.
“When we found out about the senior center when they were meeting at the park,” she said. “We started going to get acquainted with people.”
Today, the 92-year-old Massey greets the center’s members and guests with a friendly smile and “hello.” She’s been a greeter for eight years.
She said the best part of the job is “meeting and being with people.”
Since joining the center 28 years ago, Massey was away for a couple of years to take care of her husband after he became ill.
After her husband’s death in 1996, Massey returned to the center and resumed her activities with her friends and fellow members.
She suffered an heart attack in May and, after her recovery, returned to her greeter’s post.
“The doctor said go back and do what you’re doing,” she said. “He said it must be agreeing with me.”
Florence believes being active has helped her live into her 90s.
“I’ve been busy,” she said. “Someone asked me what would help people live longer. I told them to keep busy.”
She has a son who lives in Prairie Ridge, a daughter in nearby Graham, and another son in New Mexico. She has seven grandchildren, 10 great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren.
In her spare time, she enjoys crocheting, quilting and traveling.
In earlier years, Massey and her husband began camping on their road trips. She said she has driven a motorhome cross-country twice.
“We fell in love with camping,” she said. “We plenty a lot of time traveling and traveling in our motorhomes.”
She owned a motorhome until six years ago when she sold it.
Massey can’t do the type of yard work she once enjoyed, but still likes meeting and being around people.
“I don’t like sitting around and talking to people,” she added. “I like to keep moving around.”
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