Kimberly “Kim” Maassen

Kimberly "Kim" Maassen of Santa Rosa, a longtime advocate for the developmentally disabled and mentally ill, died April 24. He was 53.

Born April 10, 1957, Maassen was the second of three boys born to Shirley and Ed Maassen in New York.

After graduating from Southern Cayuga High School, Maassen joined the U.S. Navy. His first job was cleaning the interiors of massive oil tanks, said his wife, Marion Maassen.

"He was one of the guys they lowered into the tank to clean the oil," she said. He immediately requested to be re-assigned to chef.

"He said, &‘I'd rather get up at four in the morning and crack 2,000 eggs than be lowered into an oil tank,'" she said.

After three years in the Navy, Maassen enrolled at Lockhaven State College on the G.I. Bill. He eventually earned his master's degree in social work at the University of Georgia.

When he returned home to New York, he met Marion Holley. The couple was together nearly 10 years before they were married in 1993.

Maassen's father was his best man and his two brothers served as ushers.

"Family was incredibly important to him," Marion Maassen said. "His dad was really a very good friend."

The Maassens moved to Arizona where Kim Maassen worked at an outpatient program for people struggling with mental health issues.

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