Keith Mason(1951 - 2014)

Keith Mason, 62 of Burlington, Washington passed away on July 20, 2014 just over the westbound summit of I-90 from a massive heart attack after a wonderful 2-week road trip with his beloved wife of 40 years, Jane Mason. Keith was born September 1951 in Lancaster, Pennsylvania to Bill and Betty Mason who both proceeded him in death. He has two surviving siblings; older brother, Dave and a younger sister, Carol. Keith enjoyed a childhood in the Pennsylvania Amish country (although he was not Amish). He loved watching the fireflies come out at night and the incredible East-coast thunderstorms roll in as he counted the distance between lightning strikes and thunder claps from the hillside of his childhood home. One of his favorite boyhood memories was throwing tinsel onto the tree from his childhood home's second-story staircase with his brother to the frustration and agitation of his mom. Every Christmas he would still get a chuckle out of those boyhood shenanigans. Keith began his college career as a fresh-faced 17-year-old at the University of Rhode Island. After his first couple of years achieving Summa Cum Laude there, he took a year off to work and travel the country. He purchased an old white VW van, retrofitted it with a bed and set out for adventures on the open road as he traveled the entire US, visiting family and sites that he had always read and dreamed about visiting. One of his favorite adventures was hiking the Grand Canyon, although as a young 19-year-old he thought it was only 5 miles to the bottom... when he took his family there the following decade we teased him mercilessly about his faulty memory because it was actually 10 very long and hot miles to the bottom and not the easy jaunt he remembered. Keith eventually ended up in Seattle as he headed to the University of Washington dreaming of becoming the next Jacques Cousteau. However, the reality of spending his life on a ship did not jive with his desire to marry and create a loving family unit so he switched to the 'easy' mathematics degree program. Shortly after arriving in Seattle, Keith met his future wife, Jane. Keith and Jane were married in July 1974 after he graduated from the University of Washington with a degree in mathematics and shortly thereafter they welcomed their first daughter Michelle in 1975. Following her birth, they briefly relocated to Portland, Oregon where they welcomed their second daughter Kristi in 1977. In 1978, Keith and Jane returned to Seattle where Keith began his long and distinguished career at the University of Washington in the University Information Technology. Keith and family welcomed their 3rd child, a son, Danny in 1984 and resided in Seattle until 1985 when they relocated to Lynnwood, Washington. After all their children graduated from high school, Keith and Jane decided to take a big jump and become business owners by purchasing the H&R Block franchises in Skagit Valley and later added Whatcom County while Keith remained a valued and distinguished employee working at the University of Washington until his death. In 2005, Keith and Jane relocated back to Jane's hometown of Burlington, Washington where they have a home to this day. Days before his death, Keith and Jane were recognized at the national H&R Block conference as one of the top franchisees in the United States. We are all very proud of the work that they've done and the business, family and life they've built together. Keith is survived by his wife of 40 years, Jane K. Mason and their three children Michelle, Kristi and Danny as well as his 5 grandchildren Natalie, Joanna, Ashton, Gabriella and Mason. Keith will be buried at Green Hills Memorial Cemetery in Burlington, Washington on Saturday July 26, 2014 at 11 am. Pastor Larry Olson of Edison Lutheran Church will officiate at both the gravesite and the memorial service to follow. The pallbearers include son Danny Mason, son-in-law Jason Evans, brothers-in-law, Jeff Hiett and Rich Arendse and nephews Brad Wyman Jr and Mike Arendse. A viewing will be held at Hulbush Funeral Home in Burlington, Washington from 1 pm - 5 pm on Friday, July 25th open to all who want to pay their respects. Following his internment on July 26th at Green Hills Memorial Cemetery, a memorial and celebration of life service will be held at Edison Lutheran Church located at 14201 Church Road Bow, WA 98232 at 12:00 pm with a reception and lunch to follow. Keith and Jane were married at Edison Lutheran Church in July 1974. Flowers may be sent to either Hulbush Funeral Home or Edison Lutheran church for Keith Mason. We loved Keith and will miss him dearly. Our hearts are deeply saddened by how quickly he was taken from our lives at the end of another road trip adventure. We take comfort that he is at home with the Lord and reunited with his parents. He was a wonderful husband, father, grandfather 'papa', brother, brother-in-law, son, son-in-law, uncle, friend, handyman and consummate family man who enjoyed the call of the open road, nature, family and adventure until his final moments. We will miss his crooked smile, quick wit, bad 'dad jokes,' adoration and joy of his grandchildren, computer savvy, tinkering around the house and commitment to his family. Even in his final moments, he wanted to let his beloved wife know how much she meant and his final words, "I love you" to his wife will be cherished by his family for the rest of our lives.

Funeral Home

Hulbush Funeral Home
281 S Burlington Blvd. Burlington, WA 98233-1708
(360) 757-6055

Published in Bellingham Herald from July 24 to Aug. 22, 2014