Lowell “Jerry” Mason, Jr.
Engineer, veteran, sailor, musician, cyclist, community volunteer, husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather, Lowell Blake “Jerry” Mason, Jr. was born in Oak Park, Illinois on October 31, 1925. Jerry was the fourth child of Grace Fletcher Mason (Gilbert) and Lowell Blake Mason, Sr.
Growing up in Oak Park, Jerry was very close to his beloved mother. The family particularly loved to spend time at their cottage at the Indiana Dunes. During high school Jerry, a talented musician, led his own 15-piece dance orchestra, leading from the bass. He also played a mean ukulele.
After one year of college at Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago, Jerry volunteered to serve his country in World War II, spending 6 months in Army Ordnance in the ETO. After an injury in Germany brought an honorable discharge, Jerry matriculated at Purdue University, graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering in 1948.
A fortunate blind date led to Jerry’s marriage to Joan “Jo” Armour in June of 1949. After living in South Bend, Indiana for 6 years, Jo and Jerry moved to Kalamazoo to raise their 3 children Ann (1951), John Gilbert (1953) and Joan (1958).
Jerry was president and owner of Air Engineering & Conditioning Company. He was a proud Rotarian and received an Honorary Membership in 2017 marking his 60 years in Rotary and he served as president of Rotary in 1965.
Jo’s 1992 death in a car accident was a terrible blow to Jerry and their family. Turning for solace to a long-time friend who had also lost a beloved spouse, Jerry found joy again with Elizabeth “Betty” Upjohn. They were married in the First Congregational Church in 1993, surrounded and supported by their two families.
A cardiac arrest in 2010 slowed Jerry down and kept him closer to home but he remained gregarious and upbeat. Jerry died peacefully at Wyndham West on the sixth of May with his family by his side. He was preceded in death by his parents, siblings Barbara, William and Nancy, first wife Joan Armour Mason, daughters Ann Mason and Joan Mason-Grant and grandson Blake Linell.
Jerry is survived by his wife Elizabeth Upjohn Mason, son John Mason, son-in-law Martin Mason-Grant (Linda Lucas), stepson Henry Upjohn (Martha Upjohn), and stepdaughters Florence Upjohn Orosz (Joel Orosz) and Amy Upjohn (Brad VandenBerg). His surviving grandchildren are Greg, Vivian, Jay (Leanne), Corey, Whitney (Richard), Margaret, Caroline (Steve), Anita (Charles), Marianna (Nate), Andrew, Bradley, Elyse and Charlie (Lisa).
Jerry was also blessed with great-grandchildren, Wallace, Matilda, Eloise, Jo, Ryan, Rylee and Jonah. Also surviving are many nieces and nephews.
Mr. Mason was honored the month of November 2018.