Archpriest John Mason, 90, fell asleep in the Lord on Thursday, January 31, 2019.
Born in Scranton, PA on November 3, 1928 to John and Anna [Rachko] Mason, he graduated from Saint Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary, South Canaan, PA in 1950. In May 1951, he married the former Doris [Daria] Millian of Old Forge, PA, and on October 7, 1951, he was ordained to the priesthood at Holy Protection Cathedral, New York, NY.
Father John served parishes in Robins, OH; Altoona, PA; Meriden CT; Akron/Mogadore, OH; Yonkers, NY; and Wilkes Barre, PA. Upon retiring to Hagerstown, MD, he continued serving at area parishes of several jurisdictions. After the repose of his beloved wife of 63 years, Father John moved back to his former parish of Saint Nicholas, Mogadore, OH, where he was attached. On Saint Nicholas Day—December 6, 2018, he became the first priest of the Diocese of the Midwest to be awarded the Order of Saint John of Chicago in honor of his 67 years in the priesthood.
During his 1970 trip to Alaska for the canonization of Saint Herman of Alaska, Father John visited the saint’s grave on Spruce Island. This became a special moment in his life. Father John’s steadfast leadership resulted in new churches being built in Meriden and Mogadore. He was known as a kind and loving pastor by generations of faithful.
Father John served as Dean of the Ohio Deanery for 12 years; as a member of the Diocesan Council of the Midwest Diocese for six years; and as a founding member of the OCA Pension Board, on which he served for 23 years. He served as National Spiritual Advisor of the Federated Russian Orthodox Clubs [today’s Fellowship of Orthodox Christians in America]. Father John was a member of the Fellowship of Orthodox Stewards and Saint Tikhon’s Century Association.
Father John is survived by his children, Deborah, Cuyahoga Falls, OH; Gregory [Susan] Mason, Lexington, KY; Tamara [Mark Kocsis], Long Beach, CA; and Susan, Lake Worth, FL; his daughter-in-law, Mary Susan, Raleigh, NC; his grandchildren Katrina, Nicholas [Rachel] and Natalie [Joe] Kennedy; his step-grandchildren Jason, Rebecca and Emily; and his brother, Archpriest James [Patricia], Easton, PA. He was predeceased by his wife, Matushka Doris, in 2014; their son Serge in 2003; and his sister Kathryn in 2017.
Visitation will begin at 5:00 p.m.on Monday, February 4, at Saint Nicholas Church, 755 South Cleveland Ave., Mogadore, OH, with the Funeral Service for a Priest slated to be celebrated at 7:00 p.m. On Tuesday, February 5, visitation will begin at 8:00 a.m., followed by the Divine Liturgy at 9:00 a.m. His Grace, Bishop Paul will preside at all services. Interment will be at Saint Tikhon’s Monastery Cemetery, South Canaan, PA.
In lieu of flowers, donations in Father John’s memory may be sent to Saint Tikhon’s Seminary, PO Box 130, South Canaan, PA 18459, or Saint Nicholas Church Annual Parish Project, 755 South Cleveland Ave., Mogadore, OH 44260-3547.
May Father John’s memory be eternal!