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Richard Mason (a.k.a. Tom/Cowboy), 82, was called home Saturday, Oct. 7, 2017 at Southwest Medical Center in Liberal.

Richard “Tom” Mason was born Jan. 2, 1935, to the late Columbus Palmer and Ardella Horton Mason in Queen City, Texas, and was raised there throughout his high school years in Lubbock, Texas.

Richard’s life’s journey began when he moved to Houston, where he lived and attended Texas Southern University for two years. 

Richard lived in Albuquerque, New Mexico where he was married to his first wife Temple Joyce Holmes Mason in 1956. He later moved to Liberal in 1960.  

Richard entered into matrimony with Eartha Mason Oct. 17, 1971. He fathered six children: Monique Mason-Kelley; Pepper Mason Caldwell; Tamara Michele Mason (deceased); Rita Denise Mason (deceased); Jeffery and Lawrence Martin.

Richard was the first  African-American to integrate his family into an all-white community and to work for the Liberal Police Department for five years. 

Richard worked for Panhandle Eastern Pipeline and retired after 25 years.

He was known as a “trailblazer” in his community and was recognized for community involvement on March 13, 2002 . He was a part of “Leadership Focus on the Future.” 

Last but not least, Richard received the A.H. Smith Service Award Feb. 27, 2016. 

He was instrumental in the development of the following projects, Mahuron Park, Parklane Towers, and the beautification of the southeast side of Liberal.

He spent his free time relaxing, listening to music and driving through the neighborhood, seeking ways to make things better for people. 

Richard was instrumental in advocating for recruitment of African-American teachers in schools. This showed Richard’s boldness and courage. This explains his protests against racism, inequality, and degradation of women, which is believed to have led him toward his work as a Civil Rights activist along with his work in community development and politics. Additionally, Richard was enamored with the elections of President Barack Obama, the first African-American president elected for two terms. Through it all, Richard kept a sense of humor, which, we cherish today.  Richard lost his battle with life due to complications with heart disease.

Richard was preceded in death by Ardella Horton Mason (mother); Tamara Michele Mason and Rita Denise Mason (daughters); Johnnie, Willie, Columbus, and Wilford Joe Palmer (brothers); and Elise & Gertrude (sisters).

Richard is survived by his wife, Eartha Mason of 46 years (Liberal); daughters, Monique Mason-Kelly, Pearland, Texas, and Pepper Mason Caldwell (Terry Caldwell), Houston; sons, Lawrence (Tracey Martin), Liberal, and Jeffrey Martin, Waianae, Hawaii; sisters, Noval Ann, Apple Valley, Calif. and Louise, San Diego; many grandchildren; many great-grandchildren; many nieces, nephews, cousins and friends; and special thanks to Linda Kay Watley (niece), Lubbock, Texas.

• Viewing will be from 1 to 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 13, 2017 at Miller Mortuary in Liberal.

Funeral services will be at 10 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 14, 2017 at the Bibleway Church of God In Christ in with Pastor Steven Bailem presiding.

Friends may send condolences to the family through Richard's tribute web page at www.millermortuary.net.

Paid obituary




About The High Plains Daily Leader

The High Plains Daily Leader and Southwest Daily Times are published Sunday through Friday and reaches homes throughout the Liberal, Kansas retail trade zone. The Leader & Times is the official newspaper of Seward County, USD No. 480, USD No. 483 and the cities of Liberal and Kismet.  The Leader & Times is a member of the Liberal Chamber of Commerce, the Kansas Press Association and the Associated Press.

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