Joe Vance Mason, Sr., 84, of Star City, formerly of North Little Rock and Glenwood, died on November 29, 2020.
He was born on November 7, 1936 in Little Rock to Rena Josephine Ogden and Vance Franklin Mason.
Mr. Mason grew up in the Little Rock area and attended the local public schools, graduating from Central High School. He attended Arkansas Tech for a short time, and then graduated from the School of Banking at SMU in Dallas, Texas.
He frequented the Little Rock Boys Club and enjoyed his time spent there so much so that after graduating from college, he became the program director there from 1948-1959, creating programs to occupy and entertain the boys to keep them off the streets and out of trouble. It was said by many that when he left, it was a void that could never be replaced.
Mr. Mason started his banking career at First American National Bank in North Little Rock where he worked from 1959-1973 and the Bank of Glenwood, becoming vice president, from 1973-1978. He began working at the Bank of Star City (now Connect Bank in Star City) in 1978 where he remained until his retirement.
Throughout his career, he was a former Governor of the American Institute of Banking (2 terms); a board member, vice president and organizer of the North Little Rock Junior Chamber of Commerce; past president of the North Little Rock Civitans; organizer of the Little Rock Junior Optimist Clubs; past president of the Lions Club; recipient of the Lion of the Year Award; former board member of the Ruitan Club; former member of the City Council; chairman of the Library Commission; chairman of Parks and Recreation Commission of Glenwood; former chairman of the Heart Fund; longtime member and former Man of the Year of the Star City Area Chamber of Commerce, where he served as president in 1984; recipient of the 1985 Outstanding Citizen Award from the Star City Area Chamber of Commerce; recipient of the Leadership Member Award from the Boy Scouts of America; recipient of the State of Arkansas Certificate of Merit; and former member of the Star City Zoning Board.
Bored with retirement, he entered the political field and ran for mayor of Star City, losing by one vote. It is rumored that his wife, Peggy J. Newberry Mason, was the descending vote. After graciously accepting defeat, he and his wife, Peggy, purchased the local newspaper, The Lincoln Ledger, where he became, as he called, “The Editor in Charge” with his lovely wife, Peggy, being “The Boss.”
He once again retired, he devoted his time to being the local rescuer of dogs, cats, and any other wayward animal. It was known throughout the county to drop your animals off at or close to the Mason residence and they would be taken in. To Joe and Peggy, it was a labor of love.
Mr. Mason was preceded in death by his parents, Rena and Vance Mason; and a son, Jody Mason.
Mr. Mason was of the Methodist faith and a former member of Amboy Methodist Church in North Little Rock. He was also a member of the Arkansas Air National Guard.
He is survived by his wife, Peggy Mason; a brother, Vernon Mason; brothers-in-law Jimmy Newberry and Donnie Newberry; and many nieces and nephews.
As per his wishes, there will be no viewing or visitation.
Graveside services will be held Friday, December 4, at 11 a.m. at Arkansas Memorial Gardens Cemetery in North Little Rock.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to your local humane society or animal rescue in his memory.
A heartfelt thanks goes to hospice home care nurses Sharonda, Tomara and Tiffany for their loving care of Joe during the past three years, and many special friends of Star City, including Latonia, Jeff, Frances, Stephanie, Travis, Christine, Robert and many others too numerous to mention, but not forgotten.
Arrangements are by Griffin Funeral Service in Star City.