On Monday, July 25, 2022, James Robert Mason, loving husband and father, surrounded by family, passed away at the age of 83.
The second of seven kids, Jim (Red to friends) was born July 28, 1938, in Peoria, Illinois to James Andrew and Roberta Cecilia (Heinz) Mason. In 1956, he graduated from Thornton Fractional Township High School, competing in swimming.
In 1957, Red joined the US Army through which he trained and worked in Germany in a small mobile unit. After honorable discharge for his service, he then enlisted in the US Air Force and moved across the country for specialized training.
In Colorado, Jim met the love of his life, a beautiful nurse from North Dakota, Doris Ann Halvorson. On August 2, 1961, Red and Doris wed. They raised three children across the USA, in Colorado, Oklahoma, Florida, New Hampshire, New York, and California. They enjoyed ballroom, square dancing, camping, and cards. Taking every opportunity, Jim completed more training and college classes. Every evaluation noted Jim’s dedication, hard work and expert skills. MSgt Mason retired from the USAF in 1978 and moved south to paradise, then home to many Masons.
Jim’s morning runs followed his idea of ”Pay Yourself First.” After moving to Hollywood, FL, he ran the 2 miles around the neighborhood golf course and then swam laps in his pool every day before heading to work. Jim loved golf, making memories with family and friends, early-morning tee-times, and cold beer. After his second retirement, he moved to a house on a golf course in Citrus Springs where he volunteered. Jim was an avid computer user, book reader, and long-time library patron. In later years, his Kindle library had hundreds of novels.
Jim and Doris traveled anywhere for family and friend reunions. They loved cruising in the Caribbean with old friends and meeting new ones. Their appreciation for travel and cruises was contagious to their children, and the family cruise for Doris and Jim’s 50th Anniversary was a highlight event.
Jim was preceded in death by his father Jim, his mother Bert, and his brother Bill (William Mason). He was survived by his wife Doris, his children Jim Mason (Christen), Kelly Gardner (Rich), and Karla Bard (Jason), sisters Marilyn McBeath, Judy White (Sonny), Patricia Nichols (Leon), and brothers Richard Mason ( Joyce), Robert Mason (Diane) and several grandchildren, great-grandchildren, cousins, nieces, and nephews.
A celebration of his life will be held on October 23 at his son’s home in Citrus Springs starting at 11 o’clock am for family and friends. In lieu of flowers, raise a toast to Red with a smile and a laugh. Hello! Well Zdrowie! Scal! Bottom up!
Published by Citrus County Chronicle on Sep. 23, 2022.
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