The body of Dr. Lashun Massey, 38, a wife and mother of two, who was an environmental engineer and the reigning Mrs. Dallas, was recovered from a lake near her family’s home on April 29. Her death has sent shockwaves through her family, community and the nation’s community of Black engineers. (Courtesy photo)

By Sean Yoes
AFRO Senior Reporter
syoes@afro.com

For many in the family of Black American engineers, Lashun Massey was a shining example of excellence in her field. Perhaps more importantly she was also a wife and a mother of two.

That’s why her family and community had been gripped in fear since she was reported missing by her husband on April 27. Tragically her body was recovered on April 29, from the lake in the Dallas community where she and her family lived.

Her husband Jeff Massey reported her missing around 7:30 the morning of April 27, when Lashun Massey, 38, an engineer, small business owner and author did not return from her morning exercise routine of walking around lake Lago de Claire. According to her husband Lashun’s keys, purse and two elementary school-aged children were at home.

According to police witnesses reported seeing Massey, who is the reigning Mrs. Dallas beauty competition winner walking at the edge of the lake, which is 90 feet deep in some sections. Others reported seeing Massey, who was allegedly wearing a black hoodie and checkered pajama pants exiting the water and that they asked if she was okay. She allegedly replied that she was. On April 29, she was scheduled to compete in the Mrs. Texas beauty competition. 

On May 1, the Dallas County Medical Examiner’s Office confirmed that Massey was the deceased woman pulled from Lake Lago de Claire on April 29.

Her husband allegedly told local media that he did not want to talk to them about his wife’s demise.

As her family grieves the death of their wife, mother and loved one, Lashun Massey’s death has sent shock waves through the community where she lived as well as the tight-knit family of Black American engineers.

The owner of  Lashun King Environmental Group, PLLC, an environmental engineering firm in Dallas, Massey earned her bachelor’s degree in civil engineering and a master’s degree in engineering from Tennessee State University (an HBCU) in 2004 and 2006, respectively according to US Black Engineer magazine.

“Her March 7 interview with us was very positive,” said Tyrone Taborn, the magazine’s founder of the magazine. “US Black Engineer has been following her career for many years.”

She seemed to understand her role as a woman of color in the world of engineering. Earlier in her career she was the program coordinator for the environmental engineering program at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, one of only 70 such programs in the United States.

“I am one of the few women of color here in the U.S. that oversee such programs,” she told the magazine in an email years ago. 

Massey recently wrote a book called, The Face of the New Engineer, focused on motivating underserved communities and communities of color to pursue engineering careers.

 

Sean Yoes

AFRO Baltimore Editor