Mike was born in Bremerton, WA July 6, 1935 and died from complications of an infection on July 21, 2019 in Auburn, at age 84. He grew up in Seattle graduating from Cleveland High School in l953. He attended Washington State College, graduating with a Bachelor of Science in 1958. He was a member of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity and met his future wife at WSU. He returned to Washington State University graduating with a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine in 1968. He was still a passionate Cougar football fan and season ticket holder.
He served in the US Air Force 1958 to 1963. During his honorable military career, he earned his wings as a jet pilot and later served as a courier during the “Cold War”, stationed in Istanbul, Turkey. One of the many special assignments from Europe to the Pentagon, he and a fellow officer received a “Commendation” from President John Kennedy for outstanding work.
A summer job at Renton’s Longacres Race Track, led to a career in the Thoroughbred Racing world. After leaving WSU he returned to the Renton oval as a practicing veterinarian until the racing industry moved to Emerald Downs in Auburn and him with it. He was honored in 2013 with the White Horse Award from the Race Track Chaplaincy.
Mike always had an active sense of humor and a quick wit. He enjoyed a puff on a good cigar, but was quick to tell you that he didn’t inhale. He was also a Life sponsor of Ducks Unlimited.
He is survived by his wife of 62 years, Joan, and son Michael Ryan Mason, grandsons, Mackenzie and Reid Mason, nieces and nephews, and many cherished friends. He was predeceased by his parents, Patrick and LouEtta Mason, his brother Terry and nephew Devin Mason.
A Celebration of Life memorial will be held August 10th at Emerald Downs Race Track 12:30-2:30 pm in the Emerald Room.
Remembrances are suggested to the WSU College of Veterinary Medicine, Pullman, WA 99164, or a local charity of your choice.