William Charles ‘Papa’ Mason
Bill Mason passed away peacefully on Friday, Jan, 27, 2012, in Surprise, Ariz. in the hands of his two grandsons.Bill moved to Aspen, Colo. from Watertown, N.Y. with his wife, Betty, and two young daughters, Linda and Jill, in 1953, where they bought the Norway Lodge at the base of Lift One on Aspen Mountain. Bill was among the band of brothers of the 10th Mountain Division, which always remained an integral part of his life. He was the first Watertown, N.Y. resident to be accepted into the “army ski service” and served in the 86th regiment of the 10th Mountain Division in Europe during World War II. He was the first director of the Aspen Ski School, as well as co-founder and owner of Mason & Morse Real Estate in Aspen in 1961. Bill was a very accomplished man. He helped to build the community of Aspen and was very dedicated and involved. He served on numerous boards and committees throughout his years. He was very active in Christ Episcopal Church in Aspen, Colo. and Lord of Life Church in Sun City West, Ariz. and was a deeply faith-filled man. He was a brilliant man, an accomplished athlete, admired and respected by all who knew him.His retirement in Sun City West, Ariz. allowed he and his wife, Betty, to live their retirement life among friends and family to whom they were completely devoted. They kept a residence in Snowmass Village, Colo., which gave them the best of both worlds in their life. Bill lived his life the way his life ended – with courage, dignity, and resilient strength. He was passionate about his societal contributions and above all else, had an enormously strong giving spirit that sustained him and all that he loved. His family is grateful for the memories left, his extraordinary personality, his exemplary character and kindness. He leaves an immeasurable void. Left to cherish his memory and sustain his spirit are his devoted family; daughters and son-in-laws, Linda G. and William R. Autrey of Surprise, Ariz., Jill M. and William H. Whitener of Niwot, Colo.; his grandchildren, William “Billy” R. and Stephani N. Gaskins, Mason M. Whitener, Duncan R. Autrey, Jacqueline T. Autrey, and his faithful friend and caregiver, Karen C. Charland. He was preceded in death by his beloved wife, Elizabeth W. “Betty” “Mimi” Mason.A celebration of his life will be held Feb. 11, 2012, at 3 p.m. at Surprise Funeral Care, 16063 W. Bell Road, Surprise, Ariz. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made in loving memory of William C. Mason to: Traumatic Brain Injury Research at Mayo Clinic; Department of Development; Mayo Clinic; 13400 E. Shea Blvd.; Scottsdale, AZ 85259.Please visit Bill’s memorial website at http://www.suprisefuneralcare.com where you can leave messages that will become a bound book, an everlasting memorial for the family.
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It’s that time of year — hikers and mountain bikers must be aware that seasonal closures are taking effect on multiple trails in the area today for the winter for the benefit of wildlife.