U.S. Rep. Thomas Massie announces sudden death of his wife of 30 years, Rhonda

By Jack Brammer
NKyTribune reporter

U.S. Rep. Thomas Massie says Rhonda Howard Massie was the love of his life, his high school sweetheart and prom date, his college classmate, his wife of more than 30 years and the mother of his four children.

On Friday morning, the Republican congressman from Lewis County who has represented Kentucky’s 4th Congressional District in Northern Kentucky since 2012 posted on social media that his wife had died.

“Yesterday my high school sweetheart, the love of my life for over 35 years, the loving mother of our 4 children, the smartest kindest woman I ever, my beautiful and wise queen forever, Rhonda went to Heaven,” said Massie, 53, who is believed to be about two years older than his wife.

Rhonda and Thomas Massie (Facebook photo)

He did not mention cause or location of death. They were touring Mt. Rainier in Washington last week in a social post Massie made later Friday to memorialize her.

During a moment of silence in the U.S. Capitol Friday to honor Rhonda Massie, Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas, said, “Mr. Speaker, we were all saddened today to learn of the passing of the spouse of one of our members, Thomas Massie, the gentleman from Kentucky.”

He said Massie had driven home to Kentucky from Washington after learning about the sudden passing of his wife.

“I would ask everybody around the chamber and everybody around the complex to please rise and observe a moment of silence and offer your prayers and thoughts and condolences for our good friend from Kentucky,” Roy told his fellow House members before members bowed their heads for a few moments.

Thomas Massie and Rhonda Howard had met at Lewis County High School and were prom dates. Both attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Boston and received engineering degrees. In college, they launched a technology company called SensAble Devices and sold it in 2003. The company allowed users to feel digital objects that appeared on a screen.

The two got married Aug. 28, 1993, at the Methodist church in Vanceburg.

The Massies lived in Garrison in a home with a cattle farm that he built for his wife and their children Justin, Mason, Sarah and Elizabeth. The off-the-grid home is powered by solar panels and a salvaged Tesla Model S battery he retrofitted for the home’s electrical system. Massie has referred to himself as the “greenest member of Congress.”

Before joining Congress, Massie was county-judge executive of Lewis County.

Fellow politicians and friends shared their condolences with him on social media and through statements to the media.

Kentucky Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear said, “Britainy and I are deeply saddened for U.S. Congressman Thomas Massie and his family at the tragic news of the passing of his wife, Rhonda. Please join us in sending prayers of peace and comfort.”

U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell of Louisville said, “Elaine and I are devastated to learn of the passing of Congressman Massie’s beloved wife, Rhonda.

“The entire Commonwealth stands behind the Massie family and holds in our prayers Thomas, their four children and all those grieving her loss.”

Kelly Paul, the wife of Kentucky Republican U.S. Sen. Rand Paul of Bowling Green, said, “Rhonda was a brilliant woman and a beautiful soul. She brought love and joy to all who knew her. Rand and I are praying for you and your family Thomas.”

U.S. Rep. Andy Barr, R-Lexington, said, “I am deeply saddened by the passing of Rhonda Massie, the beloved wife of my friend and colleague, Thomas Massie. Rhonda’s warmth, kindness, and dedication to her family and community touched everyone who had the privilege of knowing her,”
Barr’s wife died unexpectedly in 2020.

Kentucky House Speaker David Osborne, R-Prospect, said, “We are deeply saddened by the loss of Rhonda Massie. Rhonda was a beloved wife, mother, and grandmother, as well as a successful businesswoman and proud Kentuckian. In this difficult time, our thoughts and prayers are with her family. May they find comfort in cherished memories and the prayers that surround them.”

Kentucky Senate President Robert Stivers, R-Manchester, said, “Our caucus joins in mourning the loss of a wonderful woman and long-time Kentuckian, Rhonda Massie. We offer our most sincere prayers for comfort and peace to Representative Thomas Massey and his entire family.”
State Sen. Chris McDaniel, R-Ryland Heights, said, “It is with profound sorrow that I extend my deepest condolences to Congressman Thomas Massie and his family on the heartbreaking loss of his beloved wife, Rhonda.

“Rhonda Massie was a woman of charitable spirit, grace, strength, and unwavering support whose contributions to her family and community will be forever cherished and remembered.I always enjoyed talking with Rhonda, as she was one of the kindest and most genuine people I’ve ever met.

“During this challenging time, our thoughts and prayers are with Congressman Massie and his loved ones. Rhonda’s legacy of kindness and dedication will live on in the hearts of those who had the blessing of knowing her. We stand in solidarity with the Massie family, offering our support and heartfelt sympathies.”

Kentucky Senate Majority Floor Leader Damon Thayer, R-Georgetown, said, “I am deeply saddened by the passing of Rhonda Massie. She was a lovely person, known for her warmth and generosity.
“Many of us remember the high bids her homemade pies would fetch at Lincoln Day Dinners, a testament to the joy she brought to our communities. Rhonda was a devoted wife and mother and Thomas’s intellectual equal. Together, they were a remarkable team, and their partnership was truly inspiring.
“My thoughts and prayers are with Thomas and the entire Massie family during this difficult time.”

State Sen. Shelley Funke Frommeyer, R-Alexandria, said, “ “Rhonda Massie was an extraordinary woman, wife, mother, and grandmother. Her commitment to Thomas was evident throughout their decades together and in the family they shared. Her legacy lives on in their family and the community she was a large part of.

 “We never know when our time here is finished.  Everyone whose lives she touched deeply feels her departure from this world, and we share in Thomas’ grief. I extend my heartfelt condolences to the entire family.”

State Sen. John Schickel, R-Union, said, “I am shocked and devastated to hear that a great person and friend has passed away. Rhonda was a fantastic human being, and her loving marriage with Congressman Massie was among the most beautiful you could imagine. It was a true love story.

“My heart breaks for my friend Thomas Massie and their children,. My prayers are and will remain with them in the difficult days ahead. I will forever be grateful to have known Rhonda. May she rest in eternal peace.” 

14 thoughts on “U.S. Rep. Thomas Massie announces sudden death of his wife of 30 years, Rhonda

  1. I am so sorry for your loss Thomas. Rhonda was beautiful, kind and loving. May God give you peace, comfort and strength. As a believer, God will wipe away every tear from your eyes and you will see Rhonda again one day, in a place more beautiful than you can imagine.
    You are truly a “Champion of Liberty” and we appreciate you so much.

  2. So very sorry to hear of the lost to you and your family. We take comfort in knowing that Rhonda is now in Heaven. MAY GOD, THE HOLY SPIRIT COMFORT EACH OF YOU !!
    JAN and I send our and prayers. ❤️ ❤️

  3. From a HUGE fan of yours in NE Georgia: May God’s Light shine upon you and your family. May He grant peace, comfort and healing to you, sir. This is beyond sad.

  4. Dear Congressman Thomas Massie and your precious family, We are so heartbroken and want you to know how loved you and your family are and we feel we have known you and your family for years. Even though we are from PA, you are everyone’s representative!
    Deuteronomy 31:8. He will never leave you nor forsake you. Keeping you and your precious family in prayer, Bruce Barb and Lynette Campbell ❤️

  5. Sincerest condolences on the death of your beautiful wife. Reading about her, she is inspiring. God bless your family

  6. A GF told me to watch your Tucker interview. I am in awe of U! I kind of lived off grid on Little Gasparilla Isl. 20 Yrs. (No Bridge to isl.)
    I am So Sorry to hear about the loss of your beautiful wife Rhonda.
    I’m praying for you & your family.
    We need More like you in our Govt.

  7. I have never met you, but I’m so very sorry for your loss. I am inspired by your ideas – you are a wonderful man, Much love and God bless you.

  8. I’m so deeply sorry for your loss Rep. Massie. You and your better half have inspired many in my generation and we will be forever grateful to you both for setting an example to strive after. Thank you and God bless you and your family.

  9. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. I feel like you also represent me even though I’m from Ohio. Please take care of yourself and your family.

    1. Congressman Massie, To have been your wife, Rhonda Massie had to have been an extraordinary individual. Here in Texas, you are our kind of guy! Please find comfort in our condolences.

  10. To Thomas Massie & family:
    Today, 7/9/24, I first heard about you, while watching a presentation by Tucker Carlson (12/13/23). I’m so sorry to learn that your precious Rhonda has passed at such a young age.
    God bless & comfort you,
    Judith Jakab, Toronto

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