Homer "Lee" Talboys Mason Age 79, passed away Tuesday, December 1, 2009, in Lansing, MI. Lee was born May 13, 1930 in Stockton, IL, to the late Claude and Alice Talboys. He moved to Boyne City, MI with his family where they owned a restaurant. Lee attended grade school and graduated from Boyne City High School. Following high school, he attended Michigan State University where he also played football. He then served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War and was stationed in Germany. On July, 19, 1952, Lee was united in marriage to Margaret A. Tomkins in Boyne City, MI. In the early years of their marriage, Lee worked with Metropolitan Life Insurance. He then went on to work at Fisher Body, and with the State of Michigan where he administered the Deferred Compensation Program for state workers and retired in 1992. Lee also owned the Coventry Inn in Mason, MI from 1971-1981. He was a member of the Mason First United Methodist Church, Mason Masonic Lodge #70 F&AM, the Scottish Rite, and the Mason Optimist Club. Lee also received the 2009 Citizen of the Year award from the Mason Area Chamber of Commerce, and led the annual lighting of the Christmas tree in downtown Mason last Friday. Lee was best known as a musician and a songwriter. He began his musical career at the age of 15, playing his tenor saxophone with big bands around the Michigan area. All through his life, right up until his hospitalization in February, 2009, Lee entertained young and old alike, at venues all across Michigan, and most recently at the University Club at MSU. Lee spent several years in the early 1960's touring around the United States with the Harlem Globetrotters, entertaining crowds during halftime with Don Lee Bloomquist and "Peg Leg" Bates. Lee also co-wrote several songs with Ernie Harwell. Over the years Lee appeared on The Tonight Show, and appeared as his character "Homer T. Barfarkle" on the Merv Griffin Show and the Hee Haw Show. Lee is survived by his wife, Margaret, sons Dave and his wife Jan, Tom and his wife Jan, 1 daughter Colleen (Sutberry); 8 grandchildren and 5 great-grandchildren. A celebration of Lee's life will be held 11:00 a.m., Friday, December 4, 2009 at Mason First United Methodist Church, 210 East Ash St., Mason, MI 48854 with the Rev. Dwayne Bagley officiating. Interment will follow at Hawley Cemetery with military honors provided by the American Legion Browne-Cavender Post #148. The family will receive friends at the church Thursday from 5 - 8:00 p.m.. Those desiring may make contributions to the Keith L. Hayes Scholarship Fund, 210 East Ash Street, Mason, MI 48854. The family is being served by the Gorsline Runciman Funeral Homes, 621 S. Jefferson, Mason, MI. On-line condolences to the family at www.gorslineruncimanfuneralhomes.com
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Published in Lansing State Journal on Dec. 3, 2009