Kenneth Ross Mason passed away peacefully in the early morning hours of July 8, 2022, at the La Verendrye Hospital in Fort Frances, Ontario.
Ken, an only child, was born in Canora, Saskatchewan, on April 26, 1926, to James and Muriel Mason.
Left to cherish his memory are his beloved wife Pearl; and his children Karen Ruff (Emery), Sandra Woodfin (Larry), Cindy Vaartnou (Peter), Joy Mason (Garry Chapman). Dad has seven grandchildren and eleven great-grandchildren. Dad’s stepchildren by his marriage to Pearl are David and Heidi Ivall, Marsha Ivall and Allan and Ruth Ivall; along with their children and grandchildren, nieces and nephews.
Dad was predeceased by his parents and his first wife Jacqueline (Jackie) (nee Neddo).
Dad was born into a railroad family and he carried on the tradition. James Mason was a station agent with the CNR and Dad moved around a lot with his Mom and Dad during his early years. He attended St. John’s College in Winnipeg for Grade 12 and then joined the army as a paratrooper. The war ended before he saw any combat. He served eighteen months and then was hired on the Canadian National Railways as a telegraph operator in 1946. Dad continued working for the CNR for the rest of his career. He loved his job and was very good at it as he retired 38 years later in a supervisory position, coordinating all unit trains in the western region.
During those years Dad met and married Jackie Neddo and they had four daughters. The family moved regularly with Dad’s job. Dad was stationed in Winnipeg, Thunder Bay, Edson, Smithers, Prince George, Calgary, Edmonton, Montreal, and two year stint in Zambia, Africa. It was an exciting and adventurous job for the whole family.
Dad loved sports and played baseball, hockey and curled. He and Mom took up golfing in Smithers and they continued to enjoy the game well into their retirement. Dad also enjoyed music and we loved to hear him play the old war songs.
Dad and Mom retired to Fort Frances in 1983 when he was 57 years old. They relocated to Rainy River in 1991 to be closer to family. They lived on the river in a log home where they welcomed family and friends. Our family celebrated many wonderful Christmases and summer holidays in that home.
In 2004 Mom passed away and Dad did his best to continue with his life on the river. He began playing cards with Pearl Ivall, who was also a widow. He and Pearl were married in 2006, two days after Dad’s 80th birthday. They recently celebrated their 16th wedding anniversary. Their marriage has been one of love and devotion to each other and their respective families. They continued to live on the river until 2016 when they moved to Heritage House. Family from both sides were always welcome to visit and share a meal.
In March of this year Dad fell and broke his hip. Following surgery in Thunder Bay he was transferred to La Verendrye Hospital in Fort Frances where he and Pearl were reunited. They spent their final days together on the second floor, still looking after and caring for each other.
Dad was blessed with a long life and he lived every day to its fullest, with generosity, optimism and love of adventure. As one grandson said, he was surrounded by those who loved him and those whom he loved, and there was nothing more to put on the table.
A memorial Service will be held for Dad on August 16, 2022. A time and place is yet to be determined. Donations can be made to the Canadian Diabetic Society or the Rainy River Hospital.
Arrangements entrusted to Northridge Funeral Home, Emo, Ontario