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 in 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 ahlbergfuneralchapel.com