Joe Howard Mason was born in Fork, SC, in Dillon County on July 6, 1940. He entered into eternal peace on Wednesday, January 26, 2022, at MUSC Health University Medical Center, Charleston, SC. at the age of 81. He was the oldest child of George Hiawatha & Lillian McRae Mason. He was the grandson of the late Rev. W.M & Carrie Mason and Willie & Maude Lane McRae.
At an early age, he joined Pleasant Hill Baptist Church in Fork, SC. He received his elementary education at Fork Community School in Fork, SC until this school burned down in 1954. He finished his High School education at Columbus High School, Lake View, SC as Salutatorian of the Class of 1958.
At a young age, Joe Howard developed an entrepreneurial spirit which lasted his whole life. After farming for one year after high school, he moved to Trenton, NJ in 1960. In 1963, he was drafted into the Army where he served for two years in Germany. In 1967 he opened Central Auto Body Shop with a partner. In 1973 he bought his partner out and established Detroit Auto Body which he ran with his sons until 2008, when his wife passed.
After retirement, he moved back to South Carolina and recaptured his love for farming with the start of an organic vegetable farm. He was not only a farmer in the field but a farmer in life, planting seeds of wisdom, cultivating friendships and watching them grow. Joe Howard had a vibrant spirit that touched everyone he encountered. His stories and hilarious sense of humor entertained the hearts of family and friends. He was a fountain of youth even as he aged. The wisdom, love, patience and joy that he exuded will forever be with those who had the pleasure to know him.
He was preceded in death by his parents, his beloved wife, Doreatha Mason, his son Roy Rogers, his brother Jerome Mason, and sister Mae McCall. He leaves to cherish his memory and carry on his energy, his love, Hattie Pernell & family, his children: Mary Bradford (Robin Woodruff – significant other) of Fork, SC, Michael Mason of Syracuse, NY, Myra Kaye Ford of Trenton, NJ, Joe Ford of Trenton, NJ, Andre Ford of Henry County, GA, Howard Mason of Trenton, NJ, April Mason-Grimes of GA/FL; daughters-in-law: Gloria Mason, Rosalyn Ford, Monique Ford, Anita Mason; son-in-love: Wise Intelligent, and many beloved grandchildren and great grandchildren.
He developed a special relationship with Graylon Carmichael as a son & Brian Johnson as a grandson after moving back to South Carolina.
Five brothers: Paul K. Mason of Fork, SC, Johnny Mason of Fork, SC, Walter Mason of Trenton, NJ, Robert Douglas Mason of Fork, SC, and T.C. Leggett of Kemper, SC; & Donald Mason of Fork, SC, a nephew raised as a brother.
Four sisters: Verna M. Nance of Nichols, SC, Geraldine M. Ford of Cartersville, GA, Linda Mason Bell of Ewing, NJ, & Sylvia Mason Hawkins of Marietta, GA.
Brother-in-laws: William Nance, Randolph Ford, Rev. Roscoe Bell, David Hawkins, Doug Evans of NC
Sisters-in-laws: Jimmy Ruth McFarland, Albertine Spearman, and Sarah Evans; one aunt: Doretha Reed; and a host of cousins, nieces, nephews and friends.
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