Gary Cooper Mason Sr.


Mr. Gary Cooper Mason Sr., 84, of Chincoteague Island, passed away peacefully Aug. 25, 2021, with his loved ones by his side.

Born on Chincoteague Island, on Dec. 6, 1936, a son to the late Lee Mason and the late Margaret Virginia Cathell Mason, Gary was a larger than life figure dedicated to those he lived amongst.

Gary had three great loves in his life: his family, his hometown island, and the Kiwanis Club, where he served in numerous capacities. He served and loved all three proudly. In return, Gary was awarded the Leonard Buddy Burton Business Person of the year in 1993 and then the John White Shields Citizen of the Year Award in 2019 and many Kiwanis Club awards including 50 years of service. Gary never wanted accolades and getting him there to the ceremony had to be a stealth worthy top-secret operation, but the expression on his face was priceless when his name was called to accept the award.

Gary was part owner and operator of Mason Oil Company for many years along with his brother, a business that was started by their father. Gary could be found delivering oil, greeting customers while sharing the latest news or a joke, or pumping gas. He never shirked hard work and he worked right on up until the end.

Besides his parents, Gary was predeceased by his first wife, Dale Mason; his son, Gary Cooper Mason Jr.; and sister-in-law, Barbara Jean Mason.

He is survived by his loving wife, Paula Mason; daughter, Lisa Julio, and her husband, Chuck; daughter, Loretta Mason; sons, Billy Reed Jr. and his wife, Lisa, Aaron Quillen and his wife, Alicia, and Chris Quillen and his wife, Tara; brother, Tyrone Mason; grandchildren, Troy Mason and his wife, Chantelle, Mason Karafa, Megan Joseph and her husband, Jorshe, Rachel Harley and her husband, Matt, Rebekah Leonard and her husband, Hunter, Billy Reed III, Cameron Mason, and Logan Richardson; and five great-grandchildren.

Visitation was held Friday, Aug. 27, 2021, from 7 to 9 p.m., at Salyer Funeral Home Inc., on Chincoteague Island.

Funeral services were held Saturday, Aug. 28, 2021, at 2 p.m., at Union Baptist Church on Chincoteague Island, with the Rev. Kevin Eley officiating.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Gary’s honor to Chincoteague Kiwanis Club, P.O. Box 23, Chincoteague Island, VA 23336, or CVFC, P.O. Box 691, Chincoteague Island, VA 23336.

Services are entrusted to Salyer Funeral Home Inc. on Chincoteague Island.

Condolences may be made online at

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