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Leon Mason

Leon Verne Mason

Friday, January 13th, 1933 - Wednesday, January 9th, 2019
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Leon V Mason age 85 succumbed to cancer on January 9, 2019 at his home in Boulder, CO.

Leon, the only child of the late Mable and Thomas Mason, was born on Friday the 13th of January, 1933, and raised in Lawrence Kansas. He is survived by his significant other of over 26 years, Sheila N Ray, his sons Mark V Mason and his wife Bonnie Benson, Nampa, Idaho, Kirk M Mason, and his significant other, Diane Sasaki, Denver, Colorado, and Erik A Mason, Longmont Colorado. Grandchildren also surviving him are Thomas Mason, Naomi Mason and Sierra Benson.

He graduated in 1951 with Honors from Lawrence Memorial High School and in 1955 from the University of Kansas with honors. After his tennis letter in high school, he earned a trophy for tennis and a second trophy for another hobby, photography.

In August 1955 he married Martha H Sippel of Lawrence Kansas. They legally separated in 1991.

He received his M.S. in Management Science with honors from the University of Colorado in 1969.

In 1955 he was commissioned as an officer in the US Air Force and served two years active duty at Clark Air Force (AFB) in the Philippines. For three years, he was Deputy Commander of the Air Force Reserve Recovery Unit. He continued serving his country for another 26 years as a reservist, retiring as a Lt. Colonel. His Technical Intelligence specialty took him to such assignments as the Pentagon, Wright-Patterson AFB, Lindsey AF Station, Germany, and Lowry AFB.

In 1958, he began a rewarding 33 year career with IBM in Rochester, MN. In 1965 he moved with his family to Boulder, CO to assist in opening the new site there. Assignments included Quality Engineering, Materials Lab manager, Manufacturing Engineering Manager, Headquarters staff, Product Assurance, and Executive Management of IBM Corporate Technical Education.

Combining employee, contract, and volunteer status volunteering for the IBM Quarter Century Club Leon had an IBM badge for over 60 years.

After retirement from active employment in 1988, he began a five year faculty assignment at Regis University. This allowed him to launch another career in financial services as a Registered Investment Advisor at his own firm using the Certified Financial Planner (CFP®) designation he had earned in 1975.

In parallel to his IBM, Air Force, Regis, and financial work, he devoted time and resources to philanthropy. He chaired the Rochester, Minnesota, Christian church successful capital campaign for a new church and served for many years as church treasurer. He was Vice Chairperson for four years of that church. He presided as President of Rochester Toastmasters Club for two years. He served three terms as chairperson of the First Christian Church of Boulder (Disciples of Christ) elders, two terms as chairperson of the trustees and later over 10 years as chairperson of the investment committee. He served as general partner to create affordable senior housing in Aurora, Colorado and Sun City, Arizona, both independent and assisted living. He was multi-term President of Boulder Interfaith Housing.
He presided for two terms as President of Golden West Manor Operating Board and four terms on the Golden West Foundation. He worked over six years on the Tennyson Center for Children Board of Directors, helping abused youth. He volunteered full time the year 1980 to run a successful Volunteers of America Capital Campaign to raise money for their new battered women’s shelter. He is recognized for major lifetime gifts to Kansas University, Regis University, the Rocky Mountain Conservancy, and the Longmont Museum.

During his professional working years other recognitions included Air Force Sharpsmanship medal, registration as a Professional Engineer, certification in the Manufacturing Engineering Society, certification as a Computer Manufacturing Engineer, and maintaining the Certified Financial Planner (CFP®) qualification for over 40 years.

His Memorial Service will be held at the Cairn Christian Church, 1700 Stonehenge Dr., Lafayette, Colorado at 2:00 pm on Saturday, January 19, 2019.

He will be buried in the family plot in Memorial Park Cemetery in Lawrence, KS.

Instead of flowers, donations can be made to Cairn Christian Church, Lafayette, CO or Tennyson Center for Children, Denver, CO. Share condolences at www.ahlbergfuneralchapel.com
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Service Details

  • Service

    Saturday, January 19th, 2019 | 2:00pm
    Saturday, January 19th, 2019 2:00pm
    Cairn Christian Church
    1700 Stonehenge Drive
    LAFAYETTE, CO 80026
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email


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Shirley Thornton

Posted at 12:09pm
What a wonderful obituary! I will never forget his great smile and the joy he brought the few times I got to visit with him and Sheila in Switzerland over the years. I wish I could be there today to show my respect for this dear friend.

Chuck Schoonover

Posted at 08:34pm
So sorry to hear the news. I really enjoyed working with Leon for the IBM Quarter Century Club. I learned so much about him from his amazing and inspiring obituary that I wish I had known earlier. My father was in the service in the Philippines; I grew up fairly near Wright Patterson and KU was always my favorite basketball team.

Diane Scott

Posted at 03:26pm
Leon was a volunteer, working in the office of the IBM Quarter Century Club for years. His warm smile and pleasant outlook on life was a joy. We all benefited by his participation and bright spirit at our meetings. He will be missed by all. I was so glad to see Leon at our annual Christmas party in December 2018. I am sorry I will be out of town on the 19th, please accept my sincere condolences. What a wonderful write up of his life! 60 yrs with an IBM Badge - amazing. Thanks for sharing. Diane Scott QCC President

Jim and Jude Ludwick

Posted at 08:04pm
As Leon loved to tell it, he was his older parents late life surprise when he arrived that winter depression morning in 1933. Knowing him you had to know that he was the joy of their lives. A friend to most everyone; he drew and created life, love, and laughter around him. We will sorely miss the "sharp shooter" at our Saturday morning coffee group.

Amy Gibb

Posted at 09:57am
I was sorry to see Leon’s passing in the paper. I liked Leon so much. He was my mentor when I was an intern at IBM back in the 80s. He was always so great to me. Kind and helpful. We later re connected again through the financial planning group. I will miss his happy face and positive out look. Amy Gibb

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