Bill Mason was born on San Juan Island in the fall of 1916 and lived all of his 95 years on the island. He grew up with his two brothers and sister and all graduated from Friday Harbor High.
After graduating Bill married his bride Bernice with whom he shared a marriage of 75 loving years. After they married in 1935 Bill worked at the Roche Harbor Lime Co. and in the early 1940s started a long successful career as a fisherman.
Bill fished all over Puget Sound, the San Juan's and north to Alaska until the late 1970s. He fished many different types of vessels and built his own, The Shayne, later selling it to the Montana Department of Fish & Game in the late 1960s.
Bill and Bernice were devout Catholics and long time parishioners of St. Francis. Bill played a major role in moving the Catholic Church from the valley cemetery site to the place it rests today on Price Street.
Bill loved living on the island and was in tune with the land and the sea. He and grandma had big bountiful vegetable gardens, orchard fruits and berries every year having enough to take them through the winter with the fish and all the other hunting that Bill also did.
Bill was skilled when building an engine for his fishing vessel, wiring something in the house, or building grandma whatever she needed. He loved to listen to Bernice play the piano and she liked to do so every day.
In his later years Bill enjoyed looking out over San Juan Valley and taking in the same view his great-grandfather had looked out over, homesteading it some 150 years earlier and sharing it with his great-grandchildren, 7th generation islanders today.
Bill was preceded in death by his loving wife, Bernice in December 2010.
He is survived by his son, Vaughn D. (Laurie) Mason; granddaughter, Tami Hayes; grandson, Shane (Brea) Mason; and great-grandchildren, Alex Hayes, Gavin, Jack & Ella Mason all of Friday Harbor.
Services are Thursday, November 3, 2011 at St. Francis Catholic Church, followed by interment at St. Francis Catholic Cemetery. Arrangements are in the care of Evans Funeral Chapel and Crematory, Inc., Anacortes, WA and the San Juan Islands.
To share memories of Bill, please sign the online guest register at www.evanschapel.com.