Hearts Love 22

Elizabeth "Betty" Joan Massman

1929 ~ 2021 (age 91)


Elizabeth “Betty” Joan Massman of Poway, California passed away on January 13, 2021 from complications related to COVID-19.  She was born to Dr. Wallace Maxwell and Edith Marie Chapman in Glendale, California.  As a child, she moved frequently due to her father’s career in the US Public Health Service.  She shared positive memories from many of the places her family was posted, particularly Charlevoix, Michigan.  Raised in a medical family where the men were all doctors and the women all nurses, Betty remained true to the family tradition and graduated in 1950 from the Samuel Merritt School of Nursing.  She continued her medical education by completing a BS in Nursing and MS in health education from San Diego State University.  In 1976 she became one of the first graduates of the joint UCSD-UCLA Primary Care Nurse Practitioner Program, with specialization in pediatrics.  Always interested in child health, she became a nurse for the Poway Unified School System in 1972, initially located at Pomerado Elementary and then throughout the district. When the school district modified the school nursing program Betty and her colleagues Nita Howe and Margorie Smith incorporated ‘Child Health’ and continued to provide child health nursing services to the district and elsewhere in San Diego County.  When Betty retired from Child Health, Inc. in 1985, she volunteered for several years as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) for abused, abandoned, or neglected children in San Diego County.   

For the past 70 years, Betty shared her life with her husband, Rudy Massman.  Married in 1951 during the Korean War, she became a Navy wife and was stationed in Honolulu, HI during Rudy’s deployment.  After the war she and Rudy returned to California, moving to Poway in 1961.  She and Rudy continued to travel extensively around the US and the world, including many trips organized by the Road Scholar program.  A highlight of their travels was a trip to a remote region of Turkey to meet the family of Cemil Turhan who lived with the Massman’s in 1971-1972 when he was an AFS student at Poway High School. In addition to their travels, Betty was an avid genealogist and traced her Irish and Scottish ancestors back to the late 1600’s.  She was an active member of the Stoneridge Tennis Club, playing tennis well into her 80’s. Betty also enjoyed hiking in the Sierra Nevada mountains.  Betty was an active member of the League of Women Voters and the American Association of University Women until vascular dementia curtailed those activities in recent years.  A very friendly and welcoming person, Betty had close and supportive friends all her life. 

Betty is survived by her husband and two children, Lynn Massman Rose, (Tim) and Mark Massman (Paula).  She is also the honorary second “mom” to Cemil Turhan and Teresa Aguado de Ros, a close friend of daughter Lynn.  Betty enjoyed visiting with her three grandchildren, Rudi Massman and Max and Eric Rose, and her four great grandchildren Tyler and Lauren Rose (Max and Kristin) and Adelaide and William Rose (Eric and Sarah). A graveside memorial at Dearborn Cemetery is planned for March 5, 2021. 

Remembrances in her honor can be made to CASA (californiacasa.org). 

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