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Massie; Paul Arthur

Posted By Obits On June 12, 2011 @ 7:18 pm In Obituaries | 19 Comments


Paul Massie, at 78 years of age, died peacefully at Queens General Hospital in Liverpool, NS on June 8th, 2011, after being increasingly ill in his beloved home on Eagle Head Point for some months. He was much loved by his family and friends, two of whom were with him when he died.
He was born Arthur Dickinson Masse in 1932 in St. Catharine’s, Ontario, the son of Rev. Emile Masse and Helen Masse (nee Dickinson). His older brother Godfrey Masse “Bud” of Ottawa, Ont. predeceased him, but he is survived by his three sisters: Frances (Mrs. Ruben Nikkel), Jacqueline (the wife of Dr. David Gray), all of Ottawa, Ont. and Dorothy Poole of Milton, NS, who has been of great assistance during his illness. He also leaves several nieces and nephews in Ottawa. In the last year his niece Nan with her two beautiful daughters, and only weeks ago his nephew Ted and his wife Tanya with their four wonderful young children, have visited with him.
After studying at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario he attended the Central School of Drama in London. He remained in England after drama school and had a successful acting career in television, film and on the stage, winning a British Academy Award for his role in “Orders to Kill”, directed by his friend Anthony Asquith. He acted in the United States and at the Royal Shakespearian Festival in Stratford, Ontario. Following his appointment as guest lecturer at the University of South Florida, he became first an Associate, and then full Professor of Theatre there for some twenty years, during which he continued to act on stage and to direct. He was made Professor Emeritus and retired to Eagle Head, Nova Scotia where he worked at his writing with great zeal. During his retirement he enjoyed a social life among many good friends, both locally and electronically, and he contributed both enjoyment and usefulness to many people.
There will be a gathering at his home on June 19th at 2:00 p.m. to celebrate his life. Cremation has taken place under the direction of Chandlers’ Funeral Service. Online condolences may be made to www.chandlersfuneral.com.

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Condolence from Brian/Pamela Foley on June 13th, 2011 3:14 am

Dorothy, our thoughts are with you at this difficult time. Take care

Condolence from Art MacLeod on June 13th, 2011 4:14 am

So sorry to hear of the loss of your brother, I know how close you were to him. Warmest regards, Art

Condolence from Peter/Joanie Davies on June 13th, 2011 6:15 am

Dorothy, we are thinking of you, may God bless and see you through this hard time.

Condolence from Nancy Davis Loy on June 13th, 2011 2:49 pm

To Paul Massie’s family and friends:
I am so sorry for your loss … really, a loss to hundreds who knew Paul at USF through the years … I was 18 when I started school there, and 22 when I left… Paul was one of my acting teachers and a director as well… through his sharing and caring and demanding and expecting, I learned to be in touch with my emotions and bring a written character to life through my being, my body, my emotions … a wondrous craft, to be able to live someone else’s life for a few hours each day and yet suffer no ramifications personally! Paul was a very interesting person and I am proud to say his influence helped shape me into becoming the woman I am today – confident, strong, articulate, empathetic… God bless you and keep you. Be well and have peace in knowing that your brother, uncle, etc. was so valuable to so many in so great a way as he was, because he lived! Best regards, Nancy Loy, Jacksonville, FL USF 1978-1982

Condolence from Guy Mack on June 13th, 2011 3:13 pm

My condolences and prayers to you and your family over the loss of your brother, family member and my friend, Paul. I studied and worked with Paul at the University of South Florida in the early 80’s. He was a remarkable man who left an indelible impression on my life. There are only a handful of people I can say that about from a positive perspective. Paul has never been far from my thoughts in all of my professional career. Whenever I would hesitate to take action on something I would always hear Paul’s voice challenging me with.”What are you afraid of?” Which I would promptly and defiantly say, “Nothing!” And then I would take action, scared to death. My heart is deeply saddened by Paul’s passing and the shedding of his mortal coil. But I firmly live in denial as he lives with me everyday in my memories and my character. Goodnight my friend.

Condolence from Marjorie Veenstra on June 13th, 2011 3:37 pm

i was very fortunate to have been one of Paul’s students at USF during the early 1980s. I also served as his production coordinator/stage manager for the opera The Magic Flute at USF and the musicals Jesus Christ Superstar and Company for the Playmakers Theatre Group in Ybor City, Tampa. I have many wonderful memories of our partnership and theatre collaboration during their production periods.
During the strike for one of these plays, I confided to him my deep sadness for the destruction of all the parts and pieces that had once been an outstanding stage production; Paul replied that all these parts and pieces would soon become part of a new outstanding production and would once again be appreciated by their re-creation! A very talented and creative gentleman…he will be sorely missed but his influence upon his theatre students and collaborative partners will live on in their rich and treasured memories. With sympathy, Marge Veenstra

Condolence from Darren Whynot on June 13th, 2011 5:58 pm

My Deepest Sympathy goes out to the Family or Paul Massie .I had first met paul when he started to build his home in eagle head i delivered lumber there as it was being constructed and in the later years we reconnected as i supplied paul with his winters fire wood . I thought of Paul as very nice man and a valued customer .You are Home at last Paul may you R.I.P My friend

Condolence from PeggyHatt on June 14th, 2011 8:11 am

Dorothy . We are sorry to hear about your brother .We know you were a great comfort to him ..The boys will miss him at the Garage .In sympathy —–Peggy and Richard Hatt

Condolence from Nancy Cole on June 14th, 2011 11:33 am

Please know that he was a brilliant comet in our midst. Generations of students profited by his bold and innovative approach to teaching and his great humanity. I grieve for all who
knew him and miss him in the world.

Condolence from Ruby Reis Wade on June 14th, 2011 3:11 pm

I loved Paul Massie. I came to USF as a transfer student in the early 80’s and auditioned for a spot in an acting class. To my great luck I was placed in Paul’s class. He was such a caring and giving soul. In the many years since graduating from USF, I had often thought of Paul always with a smile and warm feeling. I feel blessed to have known him. “You will always be in my heart, Paul…”

Condolence from clyde stoddart on June 16th, 2011 2:28 am

16 june, hi dorothy and sisters

sorry to hear about the passing of paul


Condolence from Carol Jollimore on June 16th, 2011 5:17 am

Dorothy…sincere sympathy to you and your family. It was obvious when you spoke of your brother that you loved him very much. We hope to see you soon on Wednesday mornings in Milton. Take care.

Condolence from Abra Bigham on June 16th, 2011 11:34 am

Dear Dorothy and family,

Please allow me to extend my deepest sympathies to you on the passing of your brother. I was his student at USF in the 70s, and later a collaborator as well; a long-time friend and admirer. Paul’s talents were legion, but most striking among them, I thought, was his ability to see people (and his students) so clearly and honestly. He could always be counted on to tell us, his students, the truth we needed to hear, the one that would make us better artists and better people. He was an incredibly kind and decent man, in addition to being an intellectual and artistic light for so many. Please know that your dear brother was much beloved, and is sorely missed by so many of us who were fortunate enough to grow up under his guidance.

With warmest regards and hopes for your comfort and peace,

Abra Bigham
New York City

Condolence from Geraldine Stevens Williams on June 16th, 2011 3:48 pm

Dorothy : So sorry to hear of the passing of your brother Paul.


Condolence from Phyllis Tutty on June 16th, 2011 5:16 pm


Sincerest sympathy on the loss of your brother.

Condolence from Don Briggs on June 18th, 2011 9:20 am

To the family of Paul Massie

I would like to take this opportunity to tell you about Paul’s impact on my life. Paul made me a better actor, a better artist and, most importantly, a better human being. My first real acting class was with Paul and my work with him gave me the opportunity for growth that I have rarely experienced in my life since. One always felt a little bit more alive when you were around him. His boundless energy, curiosity, impish enthusiasm as well as his patience and tenacity are legendary. He knew what you had inside you when you often did not. His refusal to impose a “line reading” – just say it like this… upon his students, forcing them to find the life inside, will be one of the gifts that I will always carry with me. Many times, he would answer your exasperated question with a look or a gesture, tossing the question back at you and forcing you to figure out the answer, allowing you to make the discovery for yourself, never imposing his preconcieved ideas for your internal truth.

Years after graduation, I was fortunate enough to experience Paul as a colleague and friend when we worked together at an opera school in North Carolina. I was amazed that he found it so easy to make the transition from mentor to friend, but I guess I shouldn’t have been as he was always to eager to learn, to acquire new experiences.

A phone conversation with a friend prompted me to look Paul up on the internet and I learned the sad news. I am only including my comments with the other remembrances on this page because, when my father died, I took so much comfort from all the people who told me how much he had impacted their lives and I knew that his memory would live on, not just in my heart, but in the hearts of all those who knew and were touched by him. I hope that knowing this will allow you some measure of peace that will ease his passing.

Condolence from Donna Roberts on June 21st, 2011 10:12 am

So sorry to hear of the passing of your brother,Dorothy.
I know you will miss him very much.


Condolence from Joshua Goff on August 24th, 2011 7:55 am

He will be missed.

Condolence from Richard Philpot on January 31st, 2012 10:39 am

I am so sorry for your loss. I was a student in the early 70’s and prospered under Paul’s tutelage. He was brilliant man to be around and I felt lucky to be in the presence of someone so devoted to digging for truth and finding pure joy in the act of doing. I believe it was Dorothy I met in NYC in 1974? when Paul drove up from USF to visit but wound up in a car crash and severely hurt his back. I remember the tenderness , love and family you two brought to each other and appreciated the caring you gave him. I miss him and love him.

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