Michael Joseph Mason Sr, passed away in Glen Burnie, Maryland, on February 8, 2023, at the age of 89.
Michael was born in New Jersey in October of 1933 and moved at a young age to Baltimore, Maryland with his family. At age 19, Michael enlisted in the Marine Corps and spent ten weeks in boot camp at Paris Island in North Carolina. During his ten day leave following boot camp, he married the love of his life, Reva Collins, in June 1953, the day before leaving for his deployment into the Korean War. Six decades later, Michael asked Reva to again marry him, and they happily renewed their vows to one another.
Michael’s early career was in auto body and fender work, and auto painting, where his skills and perfectionism made him a sought-after employee. Concern for the health risks of the chemicals used in this line of work, he changed careers and moved into the insurance claims industry for the next 32 years, retiring as a Claims Supervisor from Fireman’s Fund at the age of 65.
During these years Michael welcomed the birth of three children, the last being a daughter. He supported them with great enthusiasm in whatever they chose to pursue. His pride and delight never wavered and he actively participated in all of their activities. His daughter, however, remained the apple of his eyes until his dying day.
In addition to being a dedicated father, loving husband and loyal employee, Michael became actively involved in the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) starting in the early 70’s and took on the honor of being elected Maryland State Commander for the 1985-86 term. His love for and commitment to the organization lasted throughout the remainder of his life. During recent years Michael would spend quality time with some of his closest friends at the Brooklyn-Curtis Bay Post 187 American Legion where they would share stories and enjoy life together. In either case his knowledge was respected, and his tutelage was sought after by all that knew him. He chaired countless programs and could be counted on to assist others whenever asked. His dedication was endless, and his presence will be missed.
As a proud fellow Marine, Michael took on an active interest in the war horse, Sgt Reckless, with whom he served in the same platoon during the Korean War. He even described some of her antics in a book by Robin Hutton, ‘Sgt. Reckless America’s War Horse.’ Michael has been interviewed about her on television, and has participated in numerous parades, statue unveilings and dedications in honor of his fellow Marine. His name is even commemorated in the bricks that surround Sgt. Reckless’ statue at the National Museum of Marine Corps near Base Quantico in Virginia.
In just his last few days Michael was quoted as saying, ’If I could live my life over, I cannot say I would change a thing’. He lived a good life. May he rest in peace.
Michael was the beloved husband of the late Reva Joyce Collins, his wife of 62 years, the father of Connie J Rolf, the grandfather of Monica Mason, Michael Mason, Dennis (DJ) Mason, Michelle Mason, James Rolf Jr, and Jennifer Kolodziejski, the brother of Charles Mason, and he had numerous nieces, nephews, and fourteen great-grandchildren. He is preceded in death by his beloved sons Michael J Mason Jr, Dennis R Mason, his parents Charles Mason and Anna Munley (née Silberholtz), his brother Thomas Mason, and nieces Catherine Cuffley-Brown and Donna Cuffley.
Relatives and friends are invited to call at the family owned and operated MCCULLY-POLYNIAK and COLLINS FUNERAL HOME, 3204 Mountain Road PASADENA on Wednesday and Thursday 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 PM. Funeral services will be held on Friday at 10:00 AM. A short grave side service, including taps by the Marine National Guard, will follow at Glen Haven Memorial Gardens.