Published February 21, 2022
CHERRY LOG—Deacon John Thomas Mason of Cherry Log died on Jan. 30 at Union General Hospital in Blairsville. He was 81 years old.
He was the son of the late Alice Dolan and Thomas Lawrence Mason of Ireland. He graduated from Xavier High School, New York City in 1958. John was a 1962 graduate of the United States Coast Guard Academy, earning a degree in mechanical engineering and later serving on the Coast Guard Cutters Castle Rock and the Bibb. While at the academy, he was active with the soccer, rifle and sailing teams. John retired from active and reserve duty with the Coast Guard with the rank of Commander in Miami, Florida.
In the early 1980s, he and his family moved to Aiken, South Carolina where he served as the deputy director of safeguards and security with the Department of Energy at the Savannah River Site. John was active in his children’s lives, coaching basketball, attending school events and spending time with them. John was an avid boater and especially enjoyed family time on the lake. He was active in his church, St. Mary’s, and the Cursillo Movement. Upon the illness of his wife, Dorothy “Dottie” Greaney Mason, he and the family moved back “home” to Miami where they remained in touch over the years with loved church family and friends.
John worked as a civilian for the Coast Guard during this time and was very active in Epiphany Church. After the death of Dorothy, John married Elizabeth “Betty” Franz. Betty and John lived in Miami briefly and moved to Pompano Beach, Florida until they both retired. After retirement they moved permanently to Blue Ridge where John was active in his church and community. He was ordained a permanent deacon in 2004 and served St. Anthony Church in Blude Ridge until his death.
He served as a member of local ministerial organizations, the Georgia Mountain Patriots and the Fannin County Republican Party. John will be greatly missed by his family, grandchildren and his community. He was preceded in death by his parents and his first wife, Dorothy Greaney Mason.
Survivors include his wife, Betty Mason; three children and their spouses: Jeanne Mason Lyles (Bill), Eileen Mason Kittrell (Sean) and Thomas Edward Mason; grandchildren William Gordon IV and John Mason Lyles, Kathleen Anne Kittrell, Sean Michael Kittrell and John Lawrence Kittrell; sister and brother-in-law, Mary Mason Suriani (Frank); nephew and nieces, Peter Suriani, Christine Suriani Neenan and Alice Suriani and a host of other relatives and friends.
A funeral Mass will be Friday, Feb. 18 at 11 a.m. at St. Anthony Church with Father John Conway celebrating. Interment will follow in the Georgia National Cemetery with military honors provided by the United States Coast Guard.
For those desiring, memorial contributions may be made to St. Anthony Church, Blue Ridge.