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Susan Bailey Pegues Mason

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Susan Bailey Pegues Mason Sue Mason passed away on April 26, 2012 at the age of 89. She was born December 7, 1922 in New York City to George and Marjorie Cannon Bailey. She was raised in Englewood, New Jersey and moved to California after her marriage. She was a resident of Marin County for 61 years. Sue was the oldest of three children and is survived by her sister, Carol Bailey Green, and her brother-in-law, Jess Green. She was preceded in death by her parents, her brother, George Raney Bailey II, and nephews Steve and Terry Bailey. Although the family lived in the northeast, both her parents were born and raised in Florida and the family spent many summer holidays there with their extended family. Sue always considered Florida her home away from home. After graduation from the Dwight School for Girls where she was a second generation student, she studied at both Barnard College and Florida State College for Women but returned to New York City to live and work during World War II. In 1947, she traveled to California to be maid of honor at her sister Carol's wedding and was convinced by a cousin to visit the San Francisco Bay Area following the ceremony. Her cousin, Susie Philips Spruill, and her husband were eager to introduce Sue to their friend, John E. (Jack) Pegues, a former Navy colleague of Jack Spruill who worked as an editor for the San Francisco Chronicle. The story is that the two were taken with one another at first meeting and daily letters flew cross country after Sue's return east. A few months later, Jack proposed and the couple wed in October of the same year. Jack and Sue built a home on a hilltop in San Rafael where they raised their three daughters and Sue flourished as a wife and mother. Life changed drastically in September 1955 when Jack died after a brief illness. He was 40 years old, and Sue became a single parent before the phrase had been coined. She filled the roles of both mother and father with grace and style to their daughters Susan, Alice, and Nancy. At the request of her family, she moved back east for five years but returned to California in 1962 with her daughters, determined to raise the girls in the home she and Jack built. Sue worked for twenty years in banking and was part of the opening staff at the Wells Fargo Bank branch in Greenbrae. The best part of her banking career was the opportunity to meet Colin Mason, a retired Wells Fargo employee. The couple wed in 1979 and enjoyed retirement which including sailing, travel and nightly domino matches. The marriage ended when Colin passed away in 1986. Sue was active in many ministries of St. Paul's Episcopal Church in San Rafael. She was a member of the vestry, served on the Altar and St. Anne's Guild and knit countless sweaters for the annual Pine Cone Festival. She volunteered as a driver for the Marin Cancer Society and served as an English language tutor. She was a member of the San Francisco Yacht Club and loved to participate in the weekly dominos group at the club. She is survived by her children, Susy Arriaga/Gil; Alice Dunning, and Nancy Tobin/Rich. She is also survived by eight grandchildren who she cherished. She took each grandchild on a trip to a location of their choice in the summer of their twelfth year. She was thrilled also to become a great grandmother not once but five times. Called Aunt Sue by her many nieces and nephews, she was their bonus mom and her home became their home away from home. Her daughters would like to thank the caring staff at The Golden Home for their tender and nurturing care of their mother during the last two years of her life. There will be a memorial service to celebrate Sue's life at St. Paul's Episcopal Church in San Rafael on June 23, 2012 at 11:00 AM. A reception will follow in the parish hall. Donations can be made in her memory to St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Hospice by the Bay or a .
Published in Marin Independent Journal on May 9, 2012
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