Mary Catherine (Mary Kay) Mason died peacefully on January 12, 2021, following her beloved husband Steve four and one-half months after his death. Although the death certificate may list something else, we know that Mom died of a broken heart. After all, 70 years of marriage had made them pretty inseparable, and we know that her face must have lit up in pure joy upon their reunion.
Mary Kay was the only child of Jack and Mary Vanica, born in Bellefontaine, Ohio on the memorable day of Oct. 20, 1930, making it easy to always remember her birthday. She graduated from Bellefontaine High School in 1948, and attended Bowling Green State University for two years where she met and fell in love with a handsome young sailor, also from Bellefontaine, who had returned from serving in World War II. They married in 1950, and spent their early married life in Bellefontaine, where they were blessed with three daughters. In 1967 the family moved to Chattanooga, Tn., and quickly fell in love with the region. Mary Kay was a homemaker who loved to bake, cook, and sew, and enjoyed making dresses for her girls. She also loved to watch airplanes, especially from the old observation deck at Lovell Field, and was always ready to travel. The Masons were active members of Trinity Lutheran Church in Hixson, Tn., singing in the choir for over four decades. Mom accompanied Dad in visiting new members and she loved being a part of Anne’s Girls, a women’s group well known for their crochet work and their laughter. Mary Kay was also an active volunteer, welcoming new families to Chattanooga through Welcome Wagon and collecting donations for the March of Dimes.
Mary Kay is survived by her three daughters, Claudia Bargiel (Pete), Susan Gilbert (Ron), and Jenny Mason (Jodi Barry); as well as grandchildren Josh Freeman, Jennifer Freeman Rodriguez, Shae Bargiel Luke, and Chandler Gilbert; and 10 great-grandchildren, one great-great granddaughter, nieces and nephews. In addition, she would count as family the attentive staff at The Terrace at Mountain Creek, where they lived for the last six years and were well-loved by all.
The funeral will be held at Trinity Lutheran Church in Hixson on Friday, Jan. 15, at 10 a.m. Due to high COVID-19 risks, those worshipping in person at the church will be limited to family. Any others wishing to be a part of the service are invited to join us via Facebook Live at Trinity Lutheran-Worship Central!
Arrangements are by Hamilton Funeral Home & Cremation Services; 4506 Hixson Pike; (423) 531-3975.