Pierre Pascal Massion
March 28, 1963 – April 4, 2021
Pierre was born on March 28, 1963 in Brussels, Belgium, from the love of Claire Capron and Jacques Massion, his proud parents. He grew up happily in the Brussels district of Stockel, avenue des jockeys 13, the third of five children including his two older sisters Anne and Brigitte, followed by his sister Catherine and brother Paul. An impressive baby, strong and smiling boy, Pierre soon developed an incredible sense of humor and an affinity for sports. Pierre was both a force of nature and a lover of nature, with his heart in the mountains. He had peaceful and humanitarian qualities, sensitive to the social injustices in our world. He became involved with Amnesty International fighting for human rights in his high school years and went on a transformative trip to Rwanda that shaped his desire to lend a medical hand to all walks of life.
With a scientific mind and dedication to helping people, he began medical school in 1980 at the Catholic University of Louvain in Brussels. A hard worker, bright, enthusiastic and caring medical student, he was president of the medical students association. He earned his Doctor of Medicine with the highest distinction in 1987. He specialized in Internal Medicine and developed a passion for pulmonology under his mentors Drs. Stanescu and Sybille. In 1991, he took advantage of an opportunity to expand his pulmonary research interests at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) with Dr. Nadel, that was initially intended to last no more than a year. However, this experience would change his life forever.
Invited by a mutual friend, he attended a dinner party where he immediately fell for the Love of his life, Tebeb. They were married a couple years after they met. Tebeb and Pierre welcomed their three wonderful sons Samuel, Thomas and Elias in San Francisco prior to moving to Nashville in 2000. Pierre worked at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, caring for his patients, particularly the Veterans at the VA hospital. He dedicated himself to advancing research in early detection of lung cancer, while weaving in his clinical work, teaching, and mentoring (https://news.vumc.org/2021/04/06/vanderbilt-mourns-the-passing-of-pierre-massion/).
Pierre and his family attended Holy Family Catholic Church. He gave his time generously volunteering at mission trips, Shade Tree and Siloam clinics, and Room at the Inn. Pierre loved hiking, running, gardening, soccer-coaching, tennis, and, most especially, skiing. Enthralled by the beauty of nature, the outdoors and sports invigorated him with a fearless sense of adventure and sheer joy. In every stage of his life, he was committed to nurturing his lifelong friendships.
When Pierre and Tebeb wed in San Francisco, CA, in July 1993, they bridged together two completely different worlds, setting the stage for a unique and enriching cultural exchange between their Belgian and Ethiopian families. Less than two weeks before his passing, he celebrated his 58th birthday. Last summer, Pierre and Tebeb celebrated 27 blessed and tremendously cherished years of marriage.
Above all, Pierre was endlessly devoted to his family. Although Pierre has passed away, his abundant love and gift of making everyone feel that they are heard will stay with us forever.
As Pierre would say: God is Love.
Gathering of Family and Friends
Monday, April 12, 2021
Mass of Christian Burial
Monday, April 12, 2021