Paul Avery Mason
Lebanon, N.H. — Paul Avery Mason of Lebanon, passed quietly from this earth into the loving arms of his Savior in the late night hours of Saturday, March 1, 2014 at the Grafton County Nursing Home in Haverhill, N.H. His devoted and loving eldest daughter, Paula, was by his side. He is free now from the ravages of the Parkinson’s disease that took his body, but never his spirit.
Paul was born in Whitefield, N.H. on Nov. 20, 1932, the son of Ferdina and Stella (Dion) Mason. His family ultimately settled on Hardy Hill in Lebanon in 1940, on the farm that was to remain in his heart for the rest of his life. A 1951 graduate of Lebanon High School, Paul continued his education at the UNH Thompson School of Agriculture. He married his high school sweetheart, Mary Ann Jackson, on April 21, 1956, and they settled in Lebanon following his release from the Army in 1958. The demands of a growing family led to his employment at Split Ballbearing in Lebanon, a career that ultimately ended with his well earned retirement in 1993. During his years at Split Ball, he rose to the rank of Senior Methods Engineer, his knack for critical thinking, problem solving and fixing things making him a well respected leader in his field. The many relationships he formed with his colleagues during his tenure at Split, endured throughout his lifetime.
Paul’s truest calling though, was in his poetry, which he shared willingly and generously with everyone. He laid his heart and soul bare through his written words, his wit and profound love of life showing through every stanza and line. He shared his work with all, some of which can be seen hanging on the walls of local businesses such as West Lebanon Feed and Supply and The Fort in Lebanon. His jovial, friendly spirit usually culminated in an invitation to friends and strangers alike to visit his home to hear his player piano. A gift from his parents when he was a young boy recovering from Bright’s disease, he spent hours pumping the foot pedals and singing along to the music. His vast collection of piano rolls ensured that he could find just the right tune to suit everyone.
Paul’s gift of leadership and his spirit of giving led him to participate on various boards and committees, including the Lebanon School board during the 1990’s as well as serving as a local representative for the Catholic Campaign for Human Development at its national conference in Washington, DC. Paul was a member of the Lebanon chapter of the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks, as well as the Lebanon Chapter of the Knights of Columbus. He also served as a volunteer firefighter with the Mascoma Volunteer Fire Department and helped fight the great Lebanon fire of 1964.
In addition to his devoted wife, Mary Ann, Paul leaves his four children, Paula Smith and her husband, Doug of Enfield, N.H., Marlene Green and her husband Dan of Lyme, N.H., daughter Mary Mason-Leahey and her husband, Michael of Grafton, N.H., and son, Paul T. and wife Roberta, of Canaan, N.H. He also leaves two granddaughters whom he cherished, Courtney Mason and her fiancé, Erik Follensbee of Canaan and Mariah Lang of Lyme. He was also fondly known as Pop-Pop to a well loved group of step-grandchildren as well. Paul was predeceased by his parents, as well as a sister, Margaret Karp of Lebanon. He is survived by his brother, Charles Mason of Newport and sister, Arlene MacLeod of Lebanon as well as numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
The family is profoundly grateful to each one of his special in-home caregivers, and also to the amazing staff at the Grafton County Nursing Home in Haverhill. Though his time there was brief, he was immediately embraced with warmth and kindness, and treated like a cherished family member in the true spirit of love, laughter and an occasional dance.
Calling hours will be held at Ricker Funeral Home in Lebanon on Wednesday, March 5, from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Funeral services will be held at Sacred Heart Church on Thursday, March 6 at 11 a.m. A reception will be held at the Church following a brief interment service at Sacred Heart Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, a memorial contribution may be made to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, Grand Central Station, PO Box 4777, NY, NY 10163-4777, or to a research organization of your choice. An online guest book is available to leave a message of condolence by visiting www.rickerfuneral home.com.