Judge John David Mason (1934 - 2018)

4 entries
  • "He was a nice guy and a good judge. I wish I had known..."
    - Robert Frenz
  • "So sorry for your loss. My prayers and thoughts are with..."
    - Stacy Letourneau
  • "Ruth, reading of John tonight brought a flood of Nome..."
    - Barbara Garner
  • "Sending you blessings, Ruth. Years spent together many..."
    - Lynette Harple
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The Honorable Judge John David Mason was born Oct. 5, 1934, and courageously lost his battle with cancer on May 4, 2018, with his family at his side.
John was born in Detroit, Mich., to Harold and Lela Mason and he enjoyed a close relationship with brothers, Robert and Tom.
John had a real passion for learning and he graduated from Michigan State University, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in the Social Sciences. John also loved diving, and he represented Michigan State in the Big Ten, and Olympic trials. He later shared his expertise by coaching the West High School diving team in Anchorage, Alaska, where his children attended high school.
John entered the U.S. Navy upon graduation from college. He completed OCS as a naval Ensign, rising to the rank of Lieutenant and Executive Officer aboard the USS Conserver, ARS-39. His specialty was hard hat diving aboard this salvage ship. John was stationed at Pearl Harbor and, diving in his spare time, became the Hawaii State Springboard Diving Champion.
Years later, he was twice piped aboard the USS Conserver, in Anchorage and Pearl Harbor. John was proud of his service in the U.S. Navy, where he had many friends.
After his naval tour of duty, John entered the University of Michigan Law School, where he earned his LLB. There, he made many friends who also entered the legal profession. John practiced law in Portland, Maine, before moving westward to Nome, Alaska. He met his wife-to-be at the Nome Airport, as she was the new probation officer, fitting his criteria of short, nice and good looking. They were married for 53 years.
After Nome, John accepted the magistrate position in Kodiak, Alaska, where the family lived for five years.
He was appointed District Court Judge for the State of Alaska by the Governor. He sat primarily in Anchorage, but also traveled to other courts throughout the state. Judge John Mason remained on the Bench for 30 years. He also proudly received his 50 year Alaska Bar Association pin. John was known for his fairness, genuine interest in people and his good humor.
John had other passions, such as canoeing and camping on the Kenai Canoe Trail System, playing hockey, fly-fishing and excelling in golf, by shooting his age.
This father was particularly proud of his children, Michael, David (deceased) and Susie, and their success. He also loved spending time with his grandchildren.
He was beloved by his wife, Ruth, and the family shared many good times at their Shirley Lake cabin in Alaska and their condo in Hawaii.
The memorial service honoring John's life will be held on Thursday, May 24, 2018, at 2:30 p.m., at Wenatchee First Assembly of God Church, 1520 McKittrick Street in Wenatchee, Wash. Pastor Jerry Beebe will be officiating. Arrangements are by Chapel of the Valley, Wenatchee, Wash.
Published in Anchorage Daily News on May 15, 2018