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Charles Eugene “Gene” Mason
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Obituary for Charles Eugene “Gene” Mason

Charles Eugene “Gene” Mason, 95, passed away on Thursday, March 30, 2017, at Medicalodges in Independence, Kansas. Gene was born on October 7, 1921, in Kingman, Kansas, the second oldest of five children born to Owen and Merle Mason. When Gene was fourteen years old the family moved to rural New Albany to escape the Dust Bowl in western Kansas.

Gene attended Fredonia High School graduating with the Class of 1940. He was a member of the U.S. Army from July 16, 1942,until his honorable discharge on December 24, 1945, serving as a platoon sergeant with the 355t h Infantry, 89t h Division. On December 24, 1942, while home on leave, Gene married his sweetheart, Wilma Mae Swindler, who preceded him in death on April 2, 2015. They were married seventy-two years. From this union were born five children: Calvin (and Liz) Mason, Independence; Judy Ann Mason, born December 8, 1949, and died December 9, 1949; Dennis (and Ellen) Mason, Independence; Michael Mason, Coffeyville; Beverly (and Paul) Elsberry, Fredonia. Survivors also include ten grandchildren, sixteen great­ grandchildren, and seven great-great grandchildren.

Gene was a very hard worker. He began plowing behind a team of.horses in his father’s fields when he was eight years old. He was still farming at the age of ninety-one when a stroke ended his career.

A graveside service with military rites will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Monday, April 3, 2017, at Weakley Cemetery near New Albany. Visitation with the family will be held on Sunday afternoon from 4-6 p.m. at the Wickham Family Funeral Home. A memorial has been established with the Fredonia Flag Fund in honor of Gene’s military service.

Those preceding Gene in death were his faithful and loving wife, Wilma Mason, his parents, Owen and Merle Mason, his brother, Chet Mason, his sisters, Edith Thornton and Lois Woods, and daughter, Judy Ann Mason.

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