Charles J. Mason

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Charles (Charlie) John Mason was born in Fonda to Charles Joseph Mason and Cecilia O’Brien Mason on June 20, 1942. He was a gift to the world from the day he was born. At a young age, his family moved to Marquette, where he grew up enjoying nature and the love of family and friends. His strong work ethic was apparent from early on. One of his first jobs was shoveling snow ahead of a train as it passed through Buelah Falls in McGregor. Other jobs included an arborist for Wright Tree service and laborer at the McGregor elevator before he began his beloved profession of being a commercial fisherman. It became his passion and he fished for over 50 years on the Mississippi River.


On Dec. 14, 1963, Charlie married the love of his life, Norma Jean Kelch. They continued their love affair for nearly 58 years of marriage. To this union was born four children, Charles Jeffrey, Cynthia Susan, Nick Aaron and Stacie Lynn. 


Charlie never met a stranger. He was a true friend to everyone. He would do anything for anyone while not for a moment considering the cost to himself. Though he was a man of few words, he was a man of great action and led by example. As an avid outdoorsman, he taught others to love, appreciate and protect nature. His career as a commercial fisherman gave him the gift of being in the great outdoors daily, and for that he was grateful. He enjoyed sharing his stories of the river with friends and family. 


Charlie was a man of action and gave of himself through his time and talent. He was actively involved at St. Mary’s Catholic Church for many years, working as a leader of the annual fall festival and serving as a hospitality minister, and was actively involved on the St. Mary’s Parish Financial Committee. Charlie was also the trustee for St. Mary’s Cemetery from 1993 to 2015. Charlie was a natural fit for service to others and was on the city of Marquette’s dock commission for several terms.


To know Charlie Mason was to know his smile—a smile that would light up a room and radiate pure joy. As the recipient of that smile, you would, in that moment, be the most important person in the world. He was a kind man, a hero to so many, a fierce protector of others and always a champion of the underdog. He radiated love for others. He was everyone’s “Uncle Charlie.” A kinder heart and a more caring soul was never born.


A man of strong faith and love of family, Charlie is survived by his wife Norma of Bradenton, Fla.; children, Charlie and (Julianne) Mason of Marquette and grandsons C.J and Cody; Cindy and (John) Corlett of Parker, Colo., and granddaughters Megan and Molly; Nick Mason of Phoenix, Ariz.; and Stacie Mason (Dak Le) of Bradenton, Fla. He is also survived by his beloved siblings, brothers Jim (Janis) Mason, Mike (Jane) Mason and Dennis (Laurie) Mason, and sisters, Marilyn Possehl, Mary Kay Klink, and brother in law Ron Ingham. He is also survived by many special nieces and nephews, whom he loved dearly. 


Charlie is preceded in death by his parents Charles (Chuck) and Cecilia Mason, brothers Timothy and Patrick Mason and sisters Carolyn Ingham and Margaret (Maggie) Mason, and special niece Samantha Dickens. 


Charlie passed to eternal life on “World Kindness Day,” which is befitting of his life. We are mourning the loss of our incredible man because of the hole it leaves in our hearts, but as a man of faith, Charlie would want us to celebrate his eternal reward. As we transition to the celebration of his life, we honor an incredibly authentic man who invested eternally into all he met. He taught others to have a strong faith in God and he lived as an example of his faith daily. The world is a better place for his example. Please honor Charlie Mason by being kind, helping others, smiling more, saying your prayers (as he reminded us daily) and loving others with a fierce and protective love. 


Rest in Peace, Charlie, servant of God.


“And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men” Matthew 4:19.


Thornburg-Grau Funeral Home and Cremation Service of McGregor is assisting the family with arrangements.

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