Thomas Ray Mason, 86, of Ellison Bay, went home to be with the Lord, December 14, 2021, while at Door County Medical Center due to complications of pneumonia and COVID.
Ray, as he was known by family and friends was born October 23, 1935, in Draper, North Carolina the son of Thomas and Mallie (Woods) Mason. Ray met his wife of 65 years, Janice Gauldin when he was a senior in high school. He drove the school bus and she was one of the passengers. They married on November 22, 1956, in Draper, N.C. shortly after Ray went into the marine corps serving for four years. After his return from duty they resided in Greensboro, N.C. where they both worked at Sears Roebuck. Their only daughter, Jami (Mason) Strickfaden was born in Greensboro in December of 1961.
Ray worked for Sears Roebuck for 40 years working in the Catalogue Division in New York, NY and Chicago, IL. While working in Chicago he lived in Crystal Lake, IL and attended the Evangelical Free Church. His passion was serving God and faithfully attended church no matter where they lived at the time. Ray served the Lord in many capacities as Elder, church chairman, bible study leader, and teaching Sunday school. Retiring in 1994, he and Jan split their time between living in Calabash, NC in the winter and Ellison Bay in the summer. He attended First Baptist Church of North Myrtle Beach, and First Baptist Church in Sister Bay where he also led bible studies.
He and Jan also started the International Group which they led through 2009. The group consisted of foreign students that came to Door County to work during the summers. He and Jan organized events, trips, and meals for the students to give them a connection to the local church as they were in unfamiliar territory and to show them the love of Christ. They were provided with bibles written in their native language to help them better understand the good news of the gospel. Ray also worked at Peninsula State Park Golf Course as a ranger and starter for many years.
Ray always had a bright smile and had a warm welcoming way about him. He was a humble man who truly loved serving others and the Lord.
Preceding him in death were his parents, Thomas Moody Mason and Mallie (Woods) Mason Weatherford.
Survivors include his wife, Janice of Ellison Bay; daughter, Jami (Scott) Strickfaden of McHenry, IL; four grandchildren, Benjamin (Phyllis) Strickfaden of Wausau, Daniel Strickfaden of Clarendon Hills, IL, Caroline Strickfaden of Prairie Village, Kansas, Kaitlyn Strickfaden of Moscow, Idaho; one great-granddaughter, Victoria Strickfaden; one brother, Rick (Janice) Mason of Florida; and niece, Magda Mason.
A celebration of Ray’s life will be held at a later date in 2022.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made in his memory for First Baptist Church Food Pantry.
Casperson Funeral Home & Cremation Services of Sister Bay is assisting the Mason family. Expressions of sympathy, memories, and photos of Ray may be shared with his family through his tribute page at www.caspersonfuneralhome.com.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Thomas Ray Mason, please visit our floral store.
First Baptist Church--Sister Bay
2262 S Bay Shore Dr, Sister Bay WI 54234