UPDATED TUESDAY, Feb. 18: The pastor of Laurey Masterton’s church congregation reports that Masterton died early Tuesday morning.
SUNDAY, Feb. 16: Laurey Masterton, the owner of a popular downtown cafe who has publicly battled cancer for years and is known for living her life by the catchphrase “Don’t postpone joy,” is facing declining health.
Masterton’s church announced that she has hospice care. Masterton’s page on Facebook is active with dozens of postings from people wishing her love and support.
Cancer has been an ever-present factor in 59-year-old Masterton’s life. She was diagnosed with ovarian cancer more than 20 years ago. At age 12, she lost both her parents to cancer. She moved to Asheville with a degree in theater design and lighting, intent on creating classes for cancer survivors. But a love of food and cooking took hold, and Masterton opened her cafe in downtown Asheville in 1990. Today, Laurey’s is a popular stop on Biltmore Avenue.
A few years ago, Masterton rode her bicycle across country to raise money for ovarian cancer. In 2010, she and several hundred other chefs from around the U.S. joined Michelle Obama at the White House to help the First Lady launch “Chefs Move to Schools,” a project to end childhood obesity.
Also in 2010, Masterton participated in TEDx Asheville and delivered a talk about the importance of honey bees and her love of beekeeping. She published a cookbook that same year titled “The Fresh Honey Cookbook: 84 Recipes from a Beekeeper’s Kitchen.”
But Masterton’s charisma eclipsed any of her accomplishments. She expressed endless energy, love and support for her friends and community, all of which was being reflected back to her on her Facebook page. A few examples:
Laurey Masterton, love you immensely * Honey bees and melodies * You are magic woman, inspiring in every way * Deepest gratitude and JOY *
You are a glowing drop of joy and honey and hope and gratitude in this dimension … and beyond … into the Endless Ambient, where we continue to buzz and smile:) All in a life’s work … Thank you, Laurey, from me and the bees.
Kathryn Carr Warner
As fellow Biltmore avenue pioneers, John and I have loved the nearness of special folk like you and have appreciated your positive energy these past two decades. Thanks to you so many of us will not postpone joy. Loved making the video of your bike ride across the U.S. and we have always loved your writing – your books, your newsletters – because you are always so real. Blessings, Laurey.
All of the love and light I am able to muster for the strongest, most passionate woman I think I have ever had the pleasure of knowing.
Laurey Masterton, you have touched the lives of so many and I cannot believe the great fortune I have had in being able to have spent so many wonderful moments of my life with you. You’ve watched me grow, from the tiny little seed of a girl visiting your beautiful home in the woods to treating me and my friends and family to the most fantastic college graduation shin dig I could’ve ever dreamed.
You have shown me, and everyone else on this beautiful blue planet, nothing but love and a contagious appetite for life. And I promise you, for as long I walk this earth, I will always remember to never postpone joy. Peace be with you, sweet Laurey.