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Robert Gunnason Mason

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BENNINGTON -- Lt. Col. Robert Gunnason Mason, U.S. Air Force, retired, a former resident of Fillmore Pond, died Friday, Dec. 16, 2005, at the Vermont Veterans Home following a long illness.

Born in Pittsfield, Mass., May 15, 1919, he was the son of the late Robert D. and Elinor (Gunnason) Mason. He received his early education in the Blackington and North Adams, Mass., schools and was a 1938 graduate of Drury High School. He later attended Weber State College in Utah. A career officer, Lt. Col. Mason served from Dec. 26, 1939 until Oct. 1, 1969 during World War II, the Korean Conflict and the Vietnam War. He was a combat pilot who also served as a squadron commander and was the recipient of both a Silver Star and the Distinguished Flying Cross.

Mr. Mason married the former Grace Cecelia Kazmierowski in New Guniea on Dec. 18, 1944 with a Dutch priest officiating. On Dec. 23, 1944 they were married by an American chaplain in Halandia, New Guinea.

Following his retirement from the Air Force he was employed as a golf pro at LaCoste Country Club in Carlsbad, Calif., and later as an automobile salesman in Santa Anna, Calif.

Survivors include his wife, Grace Mason of Bennington; two sons, Robert Gary Mason and his wife, Hope, of Baker City, Ore., and Michael Mason and his wife, Suwana, of Springfield, Ore.; two grandchildren, Robert Grey Mason of Atchison, Kan., and Reid Aaron Mason of Eudora, Kan.; five great-grandchildren, Kyle, Sean, Molly, Sadie and Jeycob; two sisters and a brother-in-law, Ruth and Jack Barnhill of Bennington and Bernice Brazeau of Williamstown, Mass.; several nieces, nephews and cousins.

The funeral will be held from All Faiths Chapel at the Vermont Veterans Home on Sunday, Dec. 18, 2005, at 9 a.m. where the Mass of resurrection will be offered by the Rev. Michael A. Demasi, chaplain, officiating.

Burial will take place in Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Va., at the convenience of the family.

Memorial contributions may be made to the activities fund at the Vermont Veterans Home through the office of the Mahar & Son Funeral Home, 628 Main St., Bennington, VT 05201.
Published in Bennington Banner on Dec. 17, 2005
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