Robert L. (Bob) Mason passed away comfortably on Friday, Nov. 15, 2013, at Good Samaritan – Mountain View Manor after battling Alzheimer’s for over eight years.
He was born May 19, 1927, in Wapato, Wash., to Frank Mason and Alice (Eaton) Mason Torrey.
He was the oldest of four children. Bob’s early years were spent in the Yakima Valley and then West Kootenai, Rexford, where he graduated eighth grade. He attended Lincoln County High School and graduated in 1945.
He then served in the U.S. Army from 1945 to 1947.
He attended Centralia Junior College and Montana State University on football scholarships for his ability as a running back and punter.
He married Marilyn Slaney in 1952. They had four children.
Some of Bob’s work career includes short logging on lower Young Creek in the West Kootenai with Ken McAllister, a planer man for Jim Hurst Sr. at Ksanka Sawmill in Fortine and then retiring from Lincoln Electric Cooperative after 25 years of service as a lineman and member services/public relations.
In his youth and early adult years, he rode horses with friends like Larry Purdy, Bud Giese and Jerry Marvel. He played several rounds of golf and fished with hundreds of friends over the years.
Bob and Marilyn spent 16 years of their retirement together near Rathdrum, Idaho, at Twins Lakes Village Golf Course. They have several friends there, especially Al and Theresa Underwood. They returned to Eureka and the closeness of their family in June of 2008 when Bob’s health weakened him.
Bob’s favorite activities included fishing, golfing, camping, bowling and a love of most any sports. He had a passion for music, which included drumming, playing the harmonica and singing. He performed with several different groups and bands over the years.
As a young man he played town team baseball with lifetime friends like Bill Gwynn. He was a 26 year veteran of the Montana Officials Association as a basketball referee. Bob and Jim Peltier were a refereeing team for several years. He was a member of the Masonic Lodge and a Scottish Rite Shriner. For such a small man he had a huge heart. He was a good man, fine husband, father, grandfather and great grandfather. His flamboyant personality, smiles and sense of humor will live within us all forever. He was a true Montana man with his work ethics, his belief in God, family, country, community and personal responsibility.
Bob was preceded in death by his parents and brothers Frank Mason and Ronnie Torrey.
He is survived by his wife Marilyn of 61 years and their four children: Bobbi (Mike) Hedges, Pam (Jake) Pluid, Gary (Sandi) Mason and Tana (Mark) Johnston; sister Barbara (Mason) Morgan of West Kootenai, Rexford; 10 grandchildren: Kami, Jaime, Cody, Dru, Leslie, Beau, Kyle, Justin, Shanan, and Paige; 13 great grandchildren, several nieces, nephews, cousins and a host of wonderful friends spanning across this country and Canada.
Graveside services will be held at the Tobacco Valley Cemetery on Friday, Nov. 22, at 2 p.m., followed by a reception at the VFW Post in Eureka.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the Good Samaritan – Mountain View Manor in Eureka or the Alzheimer’s Association.