Masil J. Mason, 90, Immigration Service official

June 09, 2005

Masil J. Mason, a retired U.S. Immigration Service official and former border patrolman, died of pancreatic cancer Sunday at Howard County General Hospital. The Ellicott City resident was 90.

Born and raised on a cattle farm in Hamilton County, Iowa, he enlisted in the Navy in 1934 and served on the USS San Francisco and Quincy on shakedown cruises in the Pacific. In 1940, he joined the U.S. Border Patrol and worked on the Mexican and Canadian borders for four years. He also served in the Naval Reserves during World War II.

He subsequently joined the U.S. Immigration Service and retired in 1973 as an administrator in the commissioner's office in Washington. He moved to Catonsville in 1964.

He played golf, fished in the Chesapeake Bay and had a vegetable garden. Several times a year, he returned to Webster City, Iowa, to look after a family farm he owned that was begun by his great-grandfather.

A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. today at the Harry Witzke Funeral Home, 4112 Old Columbia Pike, Ellicott City.

Survivors include his wife of 56 years, the former Charlotte J. Hilgeman; a son, William Scott Mason of Ellicott City; a brother, Jack Mervin Mason of Harlington, Texas; and a grandson.

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