A man is loved not for how tall he stands but often how he bends to help, comfort and teach.
Just before the onset of spring March 7, 1930 Charles Leland Mason was born in Harrisburg, Illinois to the late educator Frank Mason Sr. and Almeda Winston Mason.
Charles began his education at Lincoln School where his father Frank was the superintendent. He finished his education at Harrisburg High School where he excelled in track and field breaking records that stood for many years. He graduated in 1946 and then began his journey attending college at Southern Illinois University – Carbondale while continuing his love for track and field to where he would train for the 1947 Olympics.
During this time, he would marry his life time love Betty Lewis Pringle whom they met at the tender ages of 14 and 17…their love would last decades exhibiting what we call true love…a love that has stood the test of time for 75 years. The love Charles had for Betty exemplifies who he was as a husband and father to six beautiful children that was the beacon of his life.
Over the course of his life he lived in Flint, Michigan but returned back to his forever home and final resting place in Harrisburg, Illinois. Upon his return, he worked several jobs where he was highly regarded and retired in 1993 after two decades from Harrisburg High School as a custodian. However, he was much more than a custodian he was a trusted advisor to students and teachers. So much so, he won Teacher Of The Year. The love he exhibited transcended beyond Walnut Street it was felt by his neighbors, longtime friends and most importantly his family.
If you knew anything about him, you know he loved God, was an avid lover of animals, had a green thumb like know other and would often be seen sitting on the porch…as he would say, “sitting here looking silly.” This would get a laugh and smile but we know he was never silly, just a well-dressed man with a heart of gold.
His love for God was omnipresent and to be in his presence, truly is a reflection of what a man of God exhibits.
While our hearts are not ready the sun went down on his life May 3, 2021 and he has taken his wings. We find solace that he is reunited in heaven with his loving parents, brothers Frank Jr., Winston and Dahl his sisters Marcia Carter and Charlotte Taborn and daughter Lynda Jean Mason and many friends.
He survives, his of wife 75 years, Betty and his children Vickie, Charles Jr. (Mary), Gregg, Tony (Dee) and Shirley Walda (Gary).
Sister-in-law Thaddeus Mason, Bessie Sue Anderson and Mary Pringle.
A host of grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews and his life-long friend Joe Craig and his beloved dog Smokey.
Funeral services for Charles Leland Mason, Sr. will be held at 1 PM, Friday, May 7, 2021 at Reed Funeral Chapel in Harrisburg. Ray Wells, Rev. Scott Pilkington, and Rev. Ownly Williams will officiate and burial will follow in Sunset Garden Cemetery. Visitation will be held from 11 AM to 1 PM, Friday, May 7, 2021 at Reed Funeral Chapel in Harrisburg.
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