Wednesday, May 6, 2009

My beloved grandmother, Mildred Lee Mason

Mildred Mason, 93, of Clackamas, Oregon, passed peacefully in her home on the evening of May 4, 2009. Mildred Lee Mason was born Dec 8, 1916, in Fayetteville, Arkansas, to John Walter (Bud) and Verda Strickler. With the influenza outbreak of 1919, Mildred lost both her father and grandfather, William Strickler, within a week of each other. Mildred's mother, Verda, married a wonderful man named John Foster about 4 years later and the family moved to Washburn, Missouri.

As a child, Mildred was a very energetic, brave girl and she carried these traits with her throughout life. Mildred was fearless. She told of riding horses as fast as they could go and, at times, almost crashing into cars on narrow, winding country roads. She loved life and loved people. The friendships she made in her youth she maintained throughout her life.

Mildred met Leo Mason, who was the love of her life, down on Sugar Creek one summer day and their love grew over the next couple years. Leo went to Mitchell, Nebraska, to work in the sugar beet harvest with his father in 1936 and returned in October of that year. Upon arriving home, Leo went straight to Mildred's house and asked if she would marry him. Mildred said yes, and the couple found a Justice of the Peace and were married that day.

Over the years, Mildred and Leo did migrant work in Milton-Freewater, Oregon, and developed a love for Oregon and its beauty. The couple returned to Missouri and bought a little farm. Mildred and Leo soon built a small house where twins, Carl and Carlene, were born. While on the farm in Missouri, three more children joined the family; Ben, Betty, and Donna.

In 1948, the family of seven moved to Oregon and added three more children to the family; Anna Mae, Ronnie, and Phyllis. Life was hard with very little money, but there was never a shortage of love and good times. The year 1954 marked a low point for the family when young Anna Mae was killed in a fire in Boring, Oregon. Due to their love and a strong faith in God, the family survived and prospered. The farm in Boring produced wonderful crops of berries and lots of great memories.

Mildred was a woman of deep faith in God and loved to read His Word. Mildred's children recall kneeling in the family living room to say prayers, going from child to child until all had prayed. Mildred would faithfully take her large family to church whenever the doors were opened.

Today is a day of great joy for her children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, and great-great grandchildren as we celebrate the decades of tremendous love and blessings Mildred poured out upon each and every one of us. Pen and ink fails miserably to convey what this dear woman means to each one of us.

Mildred is survived by Carl and Sonja Mason of Roseburg, Oregon, Carlene and Claire Harstad of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, Ben and Kim Mason of Russels Point, Ohio, Betty and Chuck Morris of Clackamas, Oregon, Donna and John Rector of Woodburn, Oregon, Ron and Catherine Mason of Wichita, Kansas, and Phyllis and Don Dumont of Portland, Oregon. Mildred was Grandmother to 17, Great Grandmother to 32, and Great-Great Grandmother to 3.

A Memorial Service for Mildred Mason will be held Monday, May 18, 2:00 pm, at Lents Baptist Church. In lieu of flowers, Mildred requested that donations be made to: The Women's Missionary Fellowship of Lents Baptist Church, 5921 SE 88th Avenue, Portland, Oregon, 97266, 503-771-7379.


Rachel Clear said...

Sounds like your grandma lived a very beautiful and full life. This post was so touching.

I get chills when I think of someone going home to meet Jesus for the first time, face-to-face.

I hope you are well...

lori lls said...

You wrote a beautiful tribute, Marlene. Your grandmother sounds like one of our national treasures. I'm so sorry for your loss, and loss it is. But I'm glad she knew she was loved on earth, and now she gets to meet her Great Love in heaven.

Elizabeth said...

So sorry to hear about your grandma. I lost my grandpa about a month ago. I will keep your family in my prayers.

Elizabeth Benz

coachlita said...

Your grandmother was an amazingly gracious and kind person. I loved seeing her and talking with her every time we were up in Portland. She was always such an encouragement to us. When we lived in Portland, she even graciously helped us in our ministry, by coming on some of our retreats. She has blessed our lives in so many ways! Even though we know she has been promoted and transported to a far better place in the presence of our Lord,she will be greatly missed.
Our love and prayers go out to all of you in the family,
Lita and Galen Norsworthy

Anonymous said...

Hi Marlene,
You did such a beautiful job on the slideshow and the obituary. Your grandma was a wonderful woman and we can see it has passed to your mom and you girls as well.
Allen and Trudy