Known for her infectious smile, vivacious personality, and strong work ethic, Patreice A. Massey, 37, Detroit, passed on December 5th from what is thought to be natural causes, her mother, Sybrina Bradley confirmed in a phone interview with the Michigan Chronicle.
At her young age, the beloved wife and mother’s death comes as a shock to those who loved her deeply on and off the job.
Massey was a creative tsunami. Bradley said that her daughter was nothing short of amazing and a people person through and through.
“She loved people,” Bradley said. “She loved helping people. She inspired people she didn’t even know. She was a loving mother, daughter, sister, aunt — she has a load of nieces and nephews. She left an imprint on all of them.”
She leaves behind her husband and three children: Jovon Massey, 16, Brooklyn Massey, 8, and Prince Massey, 3.
“They all just loved her so much,” Bradley said, adding that her “bright, beautiful” daughter had “so much to give” and “so much to do.”
The creative soul also made it her calling to make people laugh, whether under a deadline or not.
“On her worst day, she would make you laugh even though she wasn’t feeling it. She was comical; she was just amazing,” Bradley said, adding that her daughter loved to cook, was a great baker, and fashionista in her own right. “She had her own style of dress. We used to clash so much about that. What I thought was hip, she thought was old. Just an amazing person.”
Bradley said that a cherished memory of hers is when the family gathered around the Thanksgiving table a couple of weeks ago.
“We had an amazing time not knowing it was going to be the last time,” Bradley said, choking back tears.
Her gifts made room for her at the Michigan Chronicle. Bradley recalled many times Massey would take her and Brooklyn to work-related events where the trio would help at publication-sponsored concerts, black-tie affairs, and more.
“She was very passionate and she was dedicated to putting out the best she knew how. She was very particular about whatever she did and wanted it to be the very best. She was amazing, especially getting interviews from people that didn’t want to talk to nobody else,” she said, adding that she is in awe of her daughter’s talents. Patreice snagged interviews from the likes of Chanté Moore, Tony! Toni! Toné! and more.
Massey served as managing editor at the Michigan Chronicle from 2017 to 2019. She was a Who’s Who designer, feature writer and covered several notable stories including the editorial direction of Aretha Franklin’s death in an impressive collection of stories, a commemorative edition, and creative direction.
In a previous Facebook post, Massey said that covering “Rere” [Franklin’s nickname] was one of her “proudest moments” as managing editor.
Massey covered countless other stories that impacted the Black community in and around Detroit, and even the nation. She wrote about everything from “Detroit’s Black McDonald’s Owners Facing A Whopper of a Dilemma” to “No Policy, No Peace: It’s Time For Police Policy Reform.”
RTM360 President Tanisha Leonard bids her farewell to a good friend and colleague.
“It is almost impossible to gather words that truly express how deeply saddened we are to learn of the passing of Patreice Massey. More than a colleague, Patreice was family and an invaluable member of the Real Times Media team. Her death represents an enormous personal loss to every one of us,” said Leonard.
“Our deepest sympathies go out to her family, friends, and the countless others who were lucky enough to have been impacted by this wildly creative, talented, and beautiful soul,” she said.
“The Michigan Chronicle was privileged to be a platform for Patreice’s talents as she served in several roles within the organization. Her contributions to the community and our publication have left an imprint and she will be missed,” said Michigan Chronicle Publisher, Hiram E. Jackson.
Massey touched a lot of lives and a lot of hearts in her community, neighborhood, and beyond. Her talents will live on in the next generation of writers she mentored. She will be missed.