Mr. Eldon Lee Mason, 68, of Lebanon, passed away July 11, 2017, at his home. Eldon was born on Sept. 3, 1948, in Derby, a son of Marshall and Violet (Mallory) Mason.
Raised in Corydon, Eldon moved with his family out to Arizona for his sister Wanda's health, where he first experienced indoor plumbing at the age of 8. They moved back to Corydon in 1957, and he remained there through high school. During his senior year in 1966, the Corydon Democrat, a local newspaper, hired him on as the managing editor. He worked alongside Frank O'Bannon and ran the paper while Bob O'Bannon served in the Indiana Senate.
In December of 1967, Eldon volunteered for the draft and was drafted in February of 1968. He completed basic training at Ft. Knox and was sent to AIT in Ft. Polk "Tigerland," La.
He served in the 4th infantry division in the Central Highlands of Vietnam from 1968-1969, just after the TET Offensive. He received the army commendation medal and an honorable discharge in 1970.
After struggling to transition back to normal life, Eldon moved out to the Salt River Canyon in Arizona, where he lived in a cabin with his dog, Treck, on an Apache Indian Reservation for eight months. He moved back to Indiana in 1970, and worked on various newspapers in the Corydon area.
He moved to Lebanon in 1978, when a friend of his set him up to work for Ronnie Smith, traveling the country to various state fairs and festivals. He met Jean Gurley at a renaissance fair in 1983. They were married from July 20, 1985, until their divorce in 2008.
Eldon was the maintenance supervisor at Village Christian Park, now Zionsville Meadows, in Zionsville. He then had a stint at Caterpillar in Lafayette, until getting hired at Carrier. He then retired in 2009, due to cancer.
An avid writer, Eldon also enjoyed fishing and listening to his favorite bands including Bob Dylan, Conor Oberst and Ryan Adams, along with NPR.
Survivors include the mother of his children, Jean Ann (Gurley) Mason-Hedges; his sons, Nicholas (Cassia Garland) Mason of Sheridan, Spencer (Lisa Batz) Mason of Brownsburg, and Sawyer Mason of Lebanon; his mother, Violet McKim of New Albany; his brother, Denzil (Elisa) Mason of Corydon; his sister, Wanda Smith of New Albany; and his grandsons, Corbin Mason, William "Liam" Goodge and Harlin Mason. Eldon was preceded in death by his father, Marshall Mason; son, Preston Gabrielle Mason, who passed on July 20, 1998; and his brother-in-law, Gil Smith.
Family and friends will gather Saturday, July 15, for visitation from 2 p.m. until the time of the memorial service at 4 p.m. in the Strawmyer & Drury Mortuary, 2400 N. Lebanon St., Lebanon.
Memorial contributions in his name may be made to the Mason family.
Online condolences may be made at www.strawmyerdrury.com.
Published on July 12, 2017