Howard Mason was the beloved husband of Mary Mason of Stockton, the loving father of Tyler, Holly, Doyle and Rhonda, the dear brother of the late Marla and the devoted grandfather of Amanda, Taylor, Carter and Lilly. Went to local schools starting with Emerson K-3, then Needham 4-8 and Lodi Union High School 1952 to 1956. In school was a Cub Scout, Boy Scout and Explorer Scout with top rank of Life Scout. In High School, a member of Order of DeMolay and Future Farmers of America with a State Farmer Degree. Played football and was on the tennis team. When in FFA, was on the Livestock Judging Team.
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Then went to California State Polytechnic College (Cal Poly) at San Luis Obispo, California, with a major of Fruit Science, (Pomology). Was on the Boxing Team at 156# and some fights at 165#. Was a member of the Crops Club. He became a member and brother in the Delta Sigma Phi Fraternity.
In 1955 he joined the California National Guard, Lodi Unit of Battery A, 636th Artillery Battery, 49er Divison. Went to School, transferred C Company, 141th Armored Tank Battalion, in Atascadero, California, and then finishing school, transferred back to the 143th Field Artillery in Lodi, with the 8 Inch Field Artillery Gun. Discharged in 1964 after 8 years, with the rank of Staff Sergeant. Was a Scoutmaster of a local Troop for 9 years.
Howard joined Dick (Richard) Hughes in the purchase of a Bell Helicopter in 1971 to 1975, with Howard taking the pilot license in 1971. Work for Nash De Camp Company, with field work in Tokay Grapes and Cherries, growing, packing and shipping. In 1970, with loss of Howard Sr., he took over management of Nash De Camp operation, and then purchased building, land and vineyard from Glee Mason, his mother. Became President of Lodi Cold Storage, and started Howard Mason Company, shipping Grapes, Cherries, Plums, Apricots, Bell Peppers, and Juice Grape for homemade wine making as well as Colored Cherries for Maraschino used in fruit cocktail.
Just out of college, he went on the Board of Directors of the Lodi District Grape Growers Association serving for 9 years and holding offices of Vice President and President. In 1970, went on the Board of Director of the California Grape and Tree Fruit League serving for 18 years and became second and first Vice President, President and Chairman of the Board. In 1974 went on the California Table Grape Commission serving for a total of 9 years. In 1962 joined the Lodi Rotary Club serving on the Board of Directors and became President in 1982. Was a member until 1989. In 1961 became a Scoutmaster of Troop 126 of Lodi and held this post for 6 years. In 1998 went to work for M&R Packing Company, overseeing Cherry farming and harvesting operation in the Fresno area. Became one of the founding members of the Lodi Historical Society and served as President in 1993-1994.
Friends are invited to memorial services 11:00am, Thursday, September 26, 2013, at ABC Wallace Funeral Services, 445 N. American St., Stockton. Pastor Jerry Chandler, officiating. Committal: Divide Cemetery, 11300 Memorial Dr., Groveland. Please abcfh.com/ for guestbook and video tribute.
Published in Lodi News-Sentinel from Sept. 25 to Oct. 2, 2013