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1946 Mr. 2024

Mr. John Howard Mason (Doc)

July 13, 1946 — January 15, 2024

On January 15, 2024, we bid farewell to John "Doc" Howard Mason after a long illness. John
was cherished by his family, friends, and members of the central Ohio community and touched
the lives of those around him with his diverse passions and adventures.
John was born in Wheeling, W.Va. on July 13, 1946. John was preceded in death by his
parents, Anne Dull Mason and Howard “Mooch” Mason of Martins Ferry, Ohio. He is survived by
his sister, Janie Mason Hedger (George), two stepsons, Kirk Rossetter (Suhairy), and Andy
Rossetter (Jennifer). John had two step grandchildren Emily and Jordan.
John highly valued education and pursued several degrees. John received a Bachelor of Arts in
Sociology and History from Urbana College, Urbana, Ohio, an M.T.S. from Hamma School of
Theology Wittenburg University, Springfield, Ohio, and later a PhD in psychology from The Ohio
State University in Columbus, Ohio. After receiving his PhD, John became known as “Doc” to
many of his colleagues and patients.
In his early years, John's journey began with bravery and selflessness as a volunteer firefighter
and paramedic, facing the flames with unwavering courage. He started out fighting fires with the
Liberty Engine Company No. 3 in Martins Ferry, Ohio where he followed in his father’s
footsteps. When he left the department, he was First Lieutenant in the Emergency Squad and
was training officer for the department. He was one of the first EMT’s in the state and later
completed his EMT-A training. In addition, he was one of the first EMT instructors in the state,
writing three chapters in the original state EMT manual. John came to Columbus in 1979, to
complete his Ph.D. He served on The Ohio State University Emergency Squad and served with
the Clinton Township Fire Department Station 61. During this period, he continued to teach EMT
classes and taught in the Paramedic Program at Columbus State. Finally, he was trained in
Critical Incident Stress Debriefing by the Columbus Division of Fire.
Professionally, as a psychologist, John left an indelible mark on the community through his
guidance and support. John was a champion for many adolescents and children in the Belmont
County and Columbus area. Early in his career, John was one of the first directors of the Sargus
Juvenile Detention Center in St. Clairsville, Ohio. As a psychologist, John continued with his
love of fire fighting, treating members of the fire service for PTSD and other mental health
issues. His commitment to helping others navigate the complexities of life was a testament to
his compassionate nature, wisdom, and understanding.
In the 1990’s, John was an avid sports car enthusiast and race car driver. He was a member of
the Ohio valley Region chapter of the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) and participated in
many road racing events at various road course race tracks across the country, including in
Ohio at Nelson Ledges and Mid-Ohio race track. He was a fierce competitor on the track, and a
friend to every other driver when not racing. This was a passion he passed on to his two
stepsons. This shared love for speed and competition created lasting bonds and unforgettable
memories for the family.
John loved the water … frozen or not. As a member of the Columbus Ski Club, John cherished
the anticipation of his yearly Super Bowl weekend ski excursions to Holiday Valley, NY,
surrounded by an exceptional circle of friends. He relished the thrill of skiing the black diamonds
and reveled in the many adventures that the Ski Club had to offer.

John's love for the open water was evident in his longstanding membership with the Alum Creek
Sailing Association, where he not only enjoyed sailing but also actively participated in racing
events and other club activities and responsibilities. He was the proud part-owner of the
Catalina 22 sailboat Bon Aire. While sailing was a significant part of his life, it was just one of
the many adventures that defined him.
Beyond the surface, John had a deep appreciation for the mysteries that lay beneath the waves.
A dedicated scuba diver, he visited the island of Bonaire more than 20 times to pursue his love
for diving and underwater photography. His underwater adventures were a testament to his
adventurous spirit and his ability to find beauty in the depths of the ocean.
John's zest for life extended beyond the race tracks, ski slopes and seas; he embraced all forms
of travel, including the freedom of the open road in an RV. His wanderlust took him to numerous
destinations, creating a tapestry of memories that he and his friends held dear.
In remembering John "Doc" Mason, we celebrate a life well-lived—a life filled with adventure,
passion, and a deep connection to various pursuits. May his memory continue to inspire those
who were fortunate enough to know him, and may he find eternal peace in the vast expanse he
so dearly loved. Fair winds and following seas, dear friend.
A celebration of life will be held at the American Legion, 393 East College Avenue, Westerville,
Ohio 43081 on Sunday, February 18th at 11 AM followed by lunch.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to The Tunnel to Towers Foundation. This
organization provides mortgage-free homes to first responder families with young
children. They also build specially adapted smart homes for catastrophically injured
veterans and first responders. (Online:; check the box to dedicate your donation
in honor of Dr. John Mason.) Or First Responders Children’s Foundation Resiliency
Program, which provides therapy at no-cost to first responder children and families.
(Online:; check the box to indicate you want to dedicate your donation.)
Thank you for your generosity.
The family would like to thank the many members of the Columbus medical community,
hospice, and skilled facilities who provided compassionate care to John during his

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Mr. John Howard Mason (Doc), please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Celebration of Life

Sunday, February 18, 2024

Starts at 11:00 am (Eastern time)

American Legion (Westerville, Ohio)

393 East College Avenue, Westerville, OH 43081

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