John Mason was born on August 20, 1924 to the late Lettie Hogans Mason and John Luther Mason. He died on October 6, 2016, in Charlotte, where he had lived with his daughters before returning to enjoy living for several years in his old Durham neighborhood.
He attended Durham City Schools and was a senior at Hillside High School in Durham when he enlisted in B-1. He took exams early so he could graduate before going in. He was honorably discharged in 1944 as Mus2c.
After the war, he worked with the Department of Social Services in Durham for 37 years. He was the first African-American purchasing agent for the department.
He was active in the NAACP and the American Red Cross and a member of Kyles Temple AME Zion Church, where he served as Chairman of the Stewards Board and was a member and Chair of the Board of Trustees.
He also barbered part time and performed with a Sunday School band for White Rock Church.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Lossie McNair Mason, and their daughter, Lemuria St. James-Benham. He is survived by his son, Freddy Mason of Sylmar, CA, and his daughters Gail L. Mason and Sharyl Mason-Watson, both of Charlotte; three grandchildren, six great-grandchildren, and numberous nieces, nephews, cousins, and other relatives.
Mr. Mason was buried at Beechwood Cemetery in Durham on October 12, 2016.