Douglas “Neil” Mason, affectionally known as “Neil”, “Dad”, “Mr. Neil”, “Pop Pop Neil” “Hey Cornelius” and “Unofficial Mayor of Pasadena,” was born January 16, 1960, in Baltimore, MD to Marion Douglas Mason and Gloria A. Mason (née Young). He attended Glenmont Elementary School, St. Jane Frances Catholic School, and Northeast High School, graduating with the Class of 1979.
In life, Neil was a man of the people. He had a knack for striking up a conversation with almost anyone who would listen. Anything from the weather, food, boats, cars, and even clothing were all potential topics of conversation. In fact, it was clothing that proved to be his most profitable topic. While at White Rocks Marina, AKA Rockies, he convinced a girl to let him try on her softball jacket, and in return she could wear his “Rock N Blues” Fishing Club jacket. The next day he invited that same girl and her best friend Kelly, to join him for a boat ride. She would eventually ask him to be her prom date and after several more years of courtship Vicki Mason (née Gorski) became his wife on November 23, 1985.
Over the next ten years their family would grow with the addition of three boys, several dogs, a parakeet, chickens, and even a cat. Neil loved his family and was a proud father to his sons, Kyle, Eric, and Brandon. He passed on to them characteristics that came to define him in life. Chief among them was his passion for boating. From a young age, Neil spent his summers at “The Shore” on Stoney Creek with his friends and family. In 1983, Neil obtained his United States Coast Guard Captain’s License.
Neil never shied away from hard work. By the age of 14, he was working at Hand Brother’s Boat Yard and later C&C Charters, as a general laborer. He was tasked with various odd jobs around the yard and his hard work and persistence paid off, as he eventually became a Charter Boat Captain.
Despite being a loyal, hardworking employee, Neil longed to be his own boss. In 1983, Neil and his brother Jim, formed “Mason Brothers Good Humor,” which was the first of several business partnerships between them. Starting with a single truck, they delivered ice cream and happiness to many across South Baltimore, Elkridge, Pasadena, and even briefly in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Over the years the business grew to include 4 trucks, one of which was a classic 1950’s model.
Ice cream gave the Mason Brothers their start, but they needed something to do in the winter months. In 1985, Neil and Jim took over the operation of a Crown Gas Station but sold it after just one year. In 1986, they started Pasadena Discount Heating Oil delivering warmth to customers for the past 36 years.
The ice cream business eventually gave way to shaved ice when Neil and Vicki started Super Cool Snowballs in 1994. It was here that Neil sat upon his favorite stool and held court with his loyal customers while selling snowballs, produce, and flowers. In all of his business ventures, Neil gave 100% effort to ensure his customers were happy, but most of all he just loved the interactions with the people he met along the way.
In servitude to his fellow man, Neil belonged to many service organizations including, Sons of the American Legion, VFW Men’s Auxiliary, Knights of Columbus, Monsignor Raymond P. Kelly Council 10966, Pope Paul Assembly (4th Degree Knight), and the Curtis Bay Athletic Club. It was at the Athletic Club, where Neil, along with his brothers-in-law Mike and Ed Gorski, established the 300 Club Raffle/Event, sold tickets and worked many other club events, and made the best oyster stew for the Annual Roast. In addition, Neil frequently served as an usher at St Jane Frances Church during the 8 am Sunday Mass and volunteered during Lent at the Knights of Columbus’ Friday Fish Fries.
Neil is preceded in death by his father, Marion “Doug” Mason and son, Brandon Mason. He is survived by his wife, Vicki, sons Kyle (Taylor) and Eric (Katelyn), grandson Zane, mother Gloria, and brother Jim.
Relatives and friends are invited to call at the family owned and operated MCCULLY-POLYNIAK FUNERAL HOME, P.A. 3204 Mountain Road PASADENA on Sunday, June 19, 2022, from 3 to 5 and 7 to 9 pm. A funeral mass will be celebrated in the St. Jane Frances Church 8499 Virginia Avenue PASADENA on Monday at 10 am. Interment Glen Haven Memorial Park Cemetery. In lieu of flowers contributions may be made to St. Jude's Children Hospital, The Knights of Columbus, American Heart Association or The American Diabetes Association.