Lydia “Marie” Smith Mason, beloved wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother passed away peacefully at the age of 91, surrounded by her loving children.
She was born June 13, 1931, in Salt Lake City, Utah to Nathanial A. and Lydia Heiniger Smith. She was the 2nd of 4 children. Marie was raised in Salt Lake City and graduated from East High School. She attended the University of Utah where she was affiliated with the Alpha Phi Sorority, and as a Spur, a national service organization. She married her childhood sweetheart, James O. Mason, December 29th, 1952, in the Salt Lake Temple.
She was her husband’s support in his busy career, both medical and Church, and is the mother of 7 children (5 sons and 2 daughters) who have been a great source of joy, comfort and blessings. In addition to her children, she was “Mom” to two wonderful Indian placement students over a five-year period, Tiny (Laura) Locklear for one year, and Emerson Abeita for four years. She was her mother’s caregiver for 10 years.
Due to her husband’s educational pursuits and career, together they lived in nine cities: SLC, Baltimore, Atlanta, Boston, Washington DC, Johannesburg-South Africa, Ghana-West Africa, and finally back home to Farmington and Fruit Heights, Utah. Life was a constant adventure.
Marie was a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and loved her Savior and His Restored Church. “It has greatly enriched my life.” She served as Primary, Young Women and Relief Society President and as Relief Society Counselor. She taught in all the auxiliaries, including the gospel doctrine class, and for 2 years she taught early morning seminary. She taught 11-year-old scouts, served as a Den Mother, and was the mother of 5 Eagle Scouts. She has been a visiting teacher/minister all her adult life, and most recently taught the gospel doctrine “Come Follow Me” class in her LDS Branch at Legacy Assisted Living for two years until she was 91.
She served with her husband for 5 years in Africa, teaching auxiliary leaders and missionaries. In Africa, they regularly traveled to the 12 missions (at that time) in sub-Saharan Africa. She also participated in mission and stake conferences.
When Jim was called as Bountiful Temple President, Marie was set apart as Matron of the Bountiful, Utah, Temple on October 16, 2000, where she served alongside her husband for 3 years. They were then called as Co-Directors of the Farmington Utah Family History Center, and then Co-Directors of the Farmington Utah North Stake descendant cousin program. Marie also worked with her husband as Area Temple and Family History Consultants, working with 9 stakes in the Centerville and Farmington Coordinating Council. She has prepared personal and family digital histories and enjoyed temple work.
Her greatest pleasure was spending time with her children and their families. We took family cruises and trips together and spent many good times at the family cabin in Silver Fork, Big Cottonwood Canyon. For many years, she held an amazing family Christmas party for all her posterity, which we all looked forward to, as well as an annual pool party in the summer, with everyone that could come. After Dad’s passing, Mom enjoyed rotating weekly Sunday dinners with each family whenever possible. It was her great joy to treat us all to Chuck-A-Rama once a month. She loved having the family gather together.
She loved her country and our God-given freedoms. She was interested in current affairs, music, theater, travel, entertaining and reading her scriptures. She loved her flower garden and her canyon home. She leaves a strong legacy of love, faith and friendship, devotion and kindness.
“My greatest love will always be my husband. He completes me. I am grateful for his devotion to God, to me and our family, and to our beloved country. I am grateful for the life and love that we have shared. I am eternally grateful for our family and the gospel truths that assure us these relationships can be eternal.”
Marie is preceded in death by her husband, James O. Mason, her sister Geraldine (Cherry) Sanders, and her brother, Gordon Smith. She is survived by her 7 children and their spouses: James S. (Jane); Susan M. Fackrell (Brent); Bruce T. (Deborah); Ralph N. (Wendy); Samuel R. (Heidi); Sara M. Wankier (Ralph); and Benjamin S. (Tabitha), as well as her brother, Fred A. Smith (Claudia). Also survived by 27 grandchildren and 50 great-grandchildren.
Funeral services will be held Friday, April 21st, at the Fruit Heights Stake Center, 170 North Mountain Road in Fruit Heights, Utah at 11:00am, with a viewing from 9:30-10:45am. Viewing will also be held Thursday evening at the Russon Mortuary, 1941 North Main Street, Farmington, Utah from 6-8pm. Interment will be at the Salt Lake Cemetery.
Services will be streamed live on the Russon Brothers Mortuary Facebook page and on this obituary page. The live stream will begin about 10-15 minutes prior to the service and will be posted below.