Sequim Mayor Candace Pratt

Sequim Mayor Candace Pratt

‘Classy Bob Massey,’ KSQM radio cornerstone, dies at age 90

SEQUIM — Robert Alan Massey, celebrated this spring as the oldest active on-air radio personality in the U.S., died early Sunday morning.

Massey, 90, known as “Classy Bob Massey,” had been ill since mid-June and seemed to be improving, but his condition worsened a week ago and he died just after midnight Sunday at Olympic Medical Center, said Jeff Bankston, vice president of Sequim Community Broadcasting, which owns Sequim-based KSQM FM 91.5.

The nature of Massey’s illness has not been made public.

“Bob fought the good fight and never stopped sharing his love nor his great smile. He proved beyond a doubt that he was, in fact, nothing less than classy,” Bankston said.

Plans for a memorial or services will be announced as soon as arrangements are made, he said.

Susan Trumble, Massey’s daughter, asked that in lieu of flowers, friends and fans make donations to KSQM, the nonprofit public broadcast station where Massey worked.

“His passion was the radio station,” Trumble said.

Massey was a 23-year resident of Sequim and a radio broadcaster from 1945 through this June when he fell ill.

His most recent radio show, “The Best Music Ever Made” ran from 9 a.m. to noon, Mondays through Fridays on KSQM and was streamed live on

Family members said Massey planned to return to the show once he recovered from his illness.

“He wanted to go back to work,” said his son, Phillip Massey, adding that his father intended to defy doctors’ expectations.

Massey is survived by six children; Linda Higgins, 66, of Chicago, Ill.; Laura Massey, 63, of West Palm Beach, Fla.; Julie Meek, 61, of Richland; Trumble, 67, of Mill Creek; Robert Massey, Jr., 55, of Marysville; and Phillip Massey, 53, of Lake Forest Park.

He is also survived by stepchildren and grandchildren.

As of his 90th birthday in March, there were no known active broadcasters older than Massey in the U.S., according to Bruce DuMont, founder and president of the Museum of Broadcast Communications and Radio Hall of Fame in Chicago.

Massey was raised in Nashville, Tenn., and when he graduated from high school in 1943, he was drafted into the Army and was initially assigned as an “infantry replacement” in General George S. Patton’s Third Army in Germany.

He was later transferred to an Armed Forces Radio station in Frankfurt, Germany, to provide American-style entertainment to troops stationed in Northern Europe.

In 1947 Massey completed his enlistment, departed Armed Forces Radio and was hired by WJNO in Palm Beach, Fla.

He spent seven years in Florida at five radio stations before relocating to the Pacific Northwest.

In 1963 Massey moved to Anchorage, Alaska, where he landed a job as a broadcaster at KHAR Radio.

A year later, on March 27, 1964, the city was hit by one of the largest earthquakes ever recorded, a 9.2 magnitude “megathrust” temblor that destroyed much of the city.

The radio station was knocked off the air by the quake, and it was about a day before power was restored and the station could begin broadcasting notices to area residents.

He remained in Anchorage until 1970, when the Massey family moved to Yakima for a job at KIT Radio then on to Tacoma to work at KBRD.

Massey retired to Sequim in 1992 to care for his wife, Margaret Massey, during a long illness, but after her death in 2006, he returned to radio.

He was the very first on the air for KSQM on the afternoon of Dec. 7, 2008 and continued broadcasting until his illness in June.


Reporter Arwyn Rice can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5070, or at

More in News

Tim Morland, front, and Rich Lear of Tualatin, Ore.-based Field Turf USA add fill to the playing surface at the new Monroe Athletic Field on Tuesday at the site of the former Monroe School near Roosevelt Elementary School in Port Angeles. The synthetic turf field, which is expected to be completed by mid-autumn, is being developed by the Port Angeles School District and will be available for community athletic events. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)
Monroe field prep

Tim Morland, front, and Rich Lear of Tualatin, Ore.-based Field Turf USA… Continue reading

Petitions developed by local citizens seek to keep the “new” Towne Road unpaved and open to hikers and walkers. (Michael Dashiell/Olympic Peninsula News Group)
Public comment sought about Sequim’s Towne Road future

Meeting for residents scheduled for Tuesday

Eran Kennedy.
Sound regional publisher stresses local connections

Partnerships offer lifeline despite struggling industry

A crew from Port Townsend Public Works watches as a backhoe removes water-logged timber from a sinkhole on Kearney Street outside the Food Co-op on Tuesday at the start of construction of a traffic circle at the intersection of state Highway 20/East Sims Way and Kearney Street in Port Townsend. Traffic heading eastbound toward Port Townsend will detour at Benedict Street and turn left on Washington Street to return to Highway 20/East Sims Way. Traffic going westbound away from Port Townsend will turn right at Kearney Street and left onto Jefferson Street to continue on Highway 20. The detour configuration will last about four weeks, according to the state Department of Transportation. (Steve Mullensky/for Peninsula Daily News)
Roundabout construction

A crew from Port Townsend Public Works watches as a backhoe removes… Continue reading

Members of the Bagley family of Forsyth, Ill., from left, parents Jessica and Cameron Bagley, and children Cody, 10, Addie, 12, and C.J., 7, look at an information kiosk on the Olympic National Park wildfires on Tuesday in front of the park visitor center in Port Angeles. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)
Blazes spread in center of Olympic National Park

Large helicopters requested to keep fires at bay

Wreck shuts down US 101 south of Brinnon for five hours

A semitrailer driver accused of falling asleep at the wheel… Continue reading

Peninsula College sophomores Ian Coughran, left, and Ciera Skelly were two of seven students participating in the inaugural Pathway Summer School at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory this summer that focused on education and career development in STEM fields. Both Coughran and Skelly plan to pursue degrees in environmental science. (Paula Hunt/Peninsula Daily News)
Internship through college presents career pathways

Students part of inaugural class at Sequim laboratory

Bathrooms possible at Ridge in November

Utility project may allow winter access

Most Read