Betty Jean Duvall Mason, age 82, of Shubuta, MS, died on Monday, October 23, 2017, at Anderson Regional Medical Center in Meridian, MS. Betty was born on Friday the 13th September 1935 in the Chaparral community of Wayne County, MS, to Levi and Evie Chapman Duvall. She had many aunts, uncles, and cousins, but no siblings.
She married Mark Mason Jr., of the Hepzibah Community of Shubuta, Clarke County, MS on August 12, 1953, and they moved to California for an Air Force Assignment. They transferred to Keesler Air Force Base, Biloxi, MS and she had her children Sharon, Randall, and Tony Mason. In 1958, they transferred to Fairbanks, Alaska and they lived there when Alaska became the fiftieth state. In 1960, her youngest son Jerry was born. They transferred to Sheppard Air Force Base in Wichita Falls, Texas. Before retiring to Shubuta, MS in 1972, Betty and her family were also stationed at Lackland AFB, San Antonio, Texas, Torrejon AFB Torrejon/Madrid, Spain, and Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Alabama.
Betty attended school in the same school building from first through twelfth grades. She played basketball on the High School team as did most of the boys and girls in her school. After she and her family retired to Shubuta, MS she attended Jones County Junior College School of Nursing where she received her degree as a nurse in 1973. She continued and received her degree as a Registered Nurse.
Upon completion of her degree she worked for H.C. Watkins Memorial Hospital in Quitman, MS, for several years. She began working for the Health Department in Shubuta before she went to work for Dr. Michael O'Neal in the Shubuta Clinic. She retired from nursing in 2001. She knew all the patients in the surrounding area who came to the Health Department, the Clinic, or who she went to see for Home Health visits.
Betty was a church musician who played in many churches while stationed around the country and in Spain. She was called to come back and learn to play the organ for the newly rebuilt church of Cashion Baptist Church Burkburnett, Texas outside of Sheppard AFB. Like many others from Shubuta she learned to play the piano from Louise Pace who smoked cigarettes as she taught. Betty taught piano while living in the off-base housing outside of Madrid, Spain. She arranged an orchestra of Band Students in the church there to play a Christmas program. Betty loved to sing and to play the piano and organ. She took voice lessons as a teenager in Shubuta, MS. She loved to encourage her children to play music and to sing. She also encouraged others in the church to sing. The children of the church loved it when she arranged for them to sing specials during Worship Services.
Betty served in Guatemala for three mission trips working with the Living Waters ministries. She took her husband Mark and granddaughter Kelly along on one trip in 1994. She was always giving and serving with missions. While in Alaska she took clothes to the Eskimos, and as a member of Cashion Baptist Church she ministered to families in need with food and clothing. She taught by example as she took her daughter along to help and visit with families. Betty and her husband Mark took all their young children with them as they went to visit on Thursday nights for Cashion Baptist Church.
She is survived by her daughter, Sharon, and husband, Ronny Waller, of Forrest County, MS; sons, Randall and wife Mary Lynd of Covington, LA, Tony Mason and wife Nancy of Hattiesburg, MS, and Jerry Mason of Shubuta, MS. Her living grandchildren are Kelly Waller Scheetz (Ray) of Spring Hill, TN, Brandi Freeman (Brent) Petal, MS, Erica Waller Hattiesburg, MS, Cristal Rahaim (Mark) of Biloxi, MS, Julie Graves (Ryan) of Damascus, MD, Jenni Mason of Frostburg, MD, Michelle White (Jeff) of Baton Rouge, LA, Stephanie Lembo of Texas, Kathryn Mason of New Orleans, LA, Leah Mason of Delaware, Mark Mason of Slidell, LA, and Tony Lee Mason, JRr. of Hattiesburg, MS. Her great grandchildren are Barrett and Arden Scheetz, Alexis Freeman, Andrew Owens, Aria Rahaim, Autumn and Ivy Graves, Cora Lee White, Anthony and Lucas Lembo, and Madison Burns and her beloved pet Daphne.
Betty was preceded in death by her parents, Levi and Evie Chapman Duvall, of Shubuta, MS; her husband, Mark Mason, Jr. of Shubuta; and one grandson, Christopher J. Mason of Shubuta and Maryland.
A Celebration of Life Service will be held at Saturday, October 28, 2017, at 10:00 a.m. at Shubuta Baptist Church in Shubuta, MS. Graveside services will be at Hepzibah Church Cemetery, Shubuta, on Saturday, October 28, 2017, at 11:00 a.m.
Memorial donations can be made to Hepzibah Church Cemetery, Shubuta, MS or Shubuta Baptist Church. Online condolences may be given at www.wrightsfuneral.com