A man is loved not for how tall he stands but often how he bends to help, comfort and teach.
Just before the onset of spring on March 7, 1930, Charles Leland Mason was born in Harrisburg to the late educator Frank Mason Sr. and Almeda Winston Mason.
Charles began his education at Lincoln School where his father Frank was the superintendent. He finished his education at Harrisburg High School, where he excelled in track and field, breaking records that stood for many years. He graduated in 1946 and then began his journey attending college at Southern Illinois University Carbondale while continuing his love for track and field to where he would train for the 1947 Olympics.
During this time, he would marry his lifetime love Betty Lewis Pringle whom he met when they were the tender ages of 14 and 17. Their love would last decades, exhibiting what we call true love, a love that has stood the test of time for 75 years. The love Charles had for Betty exemplifies who he was as a husband and father to six beautiful children who were the beacon of his life.
Over the course of his life he lived in Flint, Michigan but returned back to his forever home and final resting place in Harrisburg. Upon his return, he worked several jobs where he was highly regarded and retired in 1993 after two decades from Harrisburg High School as a custodian. However, he was much more than a custodian; he was a trusted adviser to students and teachers, so much so that he won Teacher of the Year. The love he exhibited transcended beyond Walnut Street. It was felt by his neighbors, longtime friends and, most importantly, his family.
If you knew anything about him, you knew he loved God, was an avid lover of animals, had a green thumb like no other and would often be seen sitting on the porch, as he would say, "sitting here looking silly."
This would get a laugh and smile but we know he was never silly, just a well-dressed man with a heart of gold.
His love for God was omnipresent and to be in his presence truly is a reflection of what a man of God exhibits.
While our hearts are not ready, the sun went down on his life May 3, 2021 and he has taken his wings. We find solace that he is reunited in heaven with his loving parents; brothers Frank Jr., Winston and Dahl; his sisters, Marcia Carter and Charlotte Taborn; and daughter, Lynda Jean Mason and many friends.
His survivors are his of wife 75 years, Betty, and his children, Vickie, Charles Jr. (Mary), Gregg, Tony (Dee) and Shirley Walda (Gary); sisters-in-law, Thaddeus Mason, Bessie Sue Anderson and Mary Pringle; a host of grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews; his lifelong friend, Joe Craig; and his beloved dog, Smokey.
Funeral services for Charles Leland Mason Sr. will be held at 1 p.m., Friday, May 7, 2021 at Reed Funeral Chapel in Harrisburg. Ray Wells, the Rev. Scott Pilkington, and the Rev. Ownly Williams will officiate and burial will follow in Sunset Garden Cemetery. Visitation will be held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Friday, May 7, 2021 at Reed Funeral Chapel in Harrisburg.