It is with great sadness that we share the passing of our loving father, Raymond Lee Mason on Tuesday, January 24, 2023. He battled pneumonia like the “Tough Old Viking” he always called himself over the last couple weeks before going to meet his daughter, Colleen Mason, who was waiting to welcome him to the other side of the veil.
Ray was born on November 6, 1947 to parents Viola Sander and Roy E Mason in Aberdeen, South Dakota. He spent his formative years in Denver, Colorado where he became a staunch Broncos fan and grew to love the mountains and outdoors. During high school, he started a life long pursuit of weight lifting, competing and placing third in Mr. Colorado. Through his early married life, he spent many hours at the gym, often with his children as he shared his passion with them.
After high school, Ray married Gretchen Huey and joined the military before moving to Canada where he worked in sales in Lethbridge, Alberta where they raised their three children. He worked hard and provided a great life for his family, often recognized as the top salesman for his company across Canada.
Following his divorce, Ray spent time between Calgary and Lethbridge before moving to Oliver, British Colombia where he lived out his dream of being in “his” mountains for the last 10 years of his life. He enjoyed photography, hiking and camping where he could be at one with nature.
Ray is survived by his two children, Erik Mason (Rachel Mason) and their children, Asher, Lexi, Hunter and Evie as well as daughter, Kimberly Gillespie (Jason Mercer) and their children, Keaton, Isabella and Sasha.
Erik said of his father, “He taught me to be strong and how to work hard. He taught me how to fight and the importance of loyalty. He taught me the importance of faith and having a strong relationship with his Savior, Jesus Christ. His spirit was like a rock even through the many trials and great difficulties he lived through. I love you Dad and look forward to being reunited again some day!”
Kimberly’s last thoughts of her father were shaped as she sat with him in the hospital over the two weeks before he passed, “He was a humble man with very little in terms of worldly wealth and comfort, but what he had he freely shared with those in need around him. He spent as much time as his frail body could handle in the last years working with the soup kitchen and other homeless services in Oliver. He often said that he knew every homeless person in the area by name and gave what little he had as he truly exemplified the Widow’s Mite.”
We will be holding a memorial service and wake for those who knew Ray on Saturday, February 4, 2023 at the German Canadian Club 902 6 St. N, Lethbridge, AB, T1H 1Y2, starting at 6:00 p.m. Those planning to attend, please RSVP at email@example.com to join Ray’s family and friends in celebrating his life.