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Virginia Beyer Mason

September 12, 1917 — September 12, 2020

Virginia Beyer Mason passed away on September 12, 2020 in Orem, Utah, on her 103rd birthday.

She was born on September 12, 1917 in Tremonton, Utah, the second daughter of William Henry Beyer and Anna Rauber. An older sister, also named Virginia, died at birth. Virginia was raised on the family farm just south of Tremonton. She graduated from Bear River High School and later Stevens-Henager Business College in Salt Lake City, Utah.

She married Reed Townsend Mason on September 30, 1938, in Honolulu, Hawaii. The marriage was later solemnized in the Logan Utah Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. They had three sons: Grant William Mason (Marcene), Lyle Beyer Mason (Carol Jo) and Vaughn Alan Mason. At her death she had 9 grandchildren, 36 great-grandchildren, and 2 great-great-grandchildren.

Virginia grew up on a farm just south of Tremonton within walking distance of the home of her maternal grandparents. In high school she met her future husband who later moved to the Hawaiian Islands looking for work during the Great Depression. She followed him and they were married in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Her husband found work on the sugar cane plantation at Waialua. One Sunday morning they awoke to watch planes flying in over the island to bomb Pearl Harbor. Towards the end of the war, they migrated briefly to Hood River, Oregon, but returned to Hawaii after the war to the Ewa sugar cane plantation. Virginia’s life in Hawaii was one of the happiest periods of her life. However, in 1950 they returned to the mainland and resettled in Rexburg, Idaho. Virginia used her bookkeeping education to good advantage by, among others, managing the business office of Madison Memorial Hospital in Rexburg, and several physicians’ offices in Rexburg and Provo, Utah.

She was particularly proud when her own son, Lyle, became a surgeon. In 1969 she planned to meet her son Vaughn in Austria where he was concluding a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. They were to travel together to Aachen, Germany, where her son Grant and wife Marcene were expecting their second child. Tragically, Vaughn was as killed in an automobile accident in Austria just weeks before she was to join him. Nevertheless, she packed her bags and flew to Europe where she made her way alone dragging her suitcase through Italy, Austria to Germany to help with the newborn grandson.

In 1976 the Teton Dam northeast of Rexburg collapsed, releasing a torrent of water that half-destroyed their home in Rexburg. Water rose into the main level of the home, filling the house with water and damaging it badly. They, with Virginia’s mother, took refuge in a neighboring church meetinghouse. One of their cars had literally to be tied to the church to keep it from floating away. The home was never again the same and for a time they moved to Provo, Utah.

Soon, Virginia’s mother began to fail, and they moved back to Tremonton in 1978 where Virginia cared for her mother until her death in 1986. Virginia remained there after her husband’s death in 1994 until just months before her own death. For the past 12 years or so, she received assisted-living care from Lydia Martin who made it possible for her to live independently and with dignity in her own home. Lydia was a great friend and blessing in her life.

On Virginia’s 100th birthday, her granddaughter, Amy Cowley, flew her, to her great delight, over Tremonton and the Bear River Valley in her granddaughter’s small plane. Virginia was an avid reader and enjoyed learning. Because of her experiences during the war in Hawaii she had a special interest in almost anything connected with the Second World War.

She enjoyed meeting people. Whether it was servicemen coming to her home in Mokuleia during the war, or teenage friends of her sons in Rexburg, they were always welcome for food and conversation. She carried on written correspondences with some of them for many years. Eventually, she outlived many of them. Her life spanned the period between the Spanish Flu of 1918-19 and the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020.

Graveside funeral services were held on September 16, 2020 in the Tremonton Utah Riverview Cemetery.

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