Mary Theresa Nelson Mason
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Mary Theresa Nelson Mason 5/25/1938 - 9/28/2022
Mary Theresa was born on her father's birthday in 1938. The second child of Magnus Nelson and Vlasta Miculka, she grew up alongside her brother Bill, surrounded by loving relatives and friends. "Tess" had a beautiful voice and spent her teenage years touring the world with Eloise Milam's Melody Maids. A member of the Royal Purple Queens drill team, she graduated from Beaumont High School in 1956 and attended Lamar University where she joined the Alpha Chi Omega sorority and was elected Homecoming Queen in 1958. She met Harry Mason, Jr. on a blind date, and they married in 1959. While living in Houston as Harry completed pharmacy school, she gave birth to her first daughter, Sharon. In 1962, they returned to Beaumont so he could join his father running Highland Avenue Pharmacy. A second daughter, Phyllis, arrived in 1965, and the family moved to South Park, where they joined St. Paul's UMC. She and Harry would remain members until its closure in 2016. In 1975, they had their third daughter, Erin. Throughout her life, Mary loved to create and be surrounded by beauty. A talented artist, she drew portraits of many family members and friends, including many of the students at the Lamar's Early Child Development Center where she taught for several years. From school bulletin boards to vacation bible school villages, she could take limited resources and create amazing displays. Her mother's talents as a gifted seamstress were passed down to her, and she deftly sewed many dresses and costumes for her children and grandchildren. While she enjoyed quiet times by herself, she was happiest when in the presence of children, especially her grandchildren.
Mary Theresa is survived by her husband Harry and her daughters Sharon (Gary) McLendon, Phyllis (Simon) Hunter, and Erin (Derek Lemons) Mason. She also leaves behind her grandchildren Blake Hayes, Hannah Shell, Maxwell Hunter, Rebecca Hunter, Charles Hunter, and Thora Mason-Lemons as well as a great-granddaughter, Shiloh Shell.
The immediate family will have a private celebration of life ceremony but will arrange a gathering of friends and family at a later date.
The family would like to extend their heartfelt thanks to Harbor Hospice and to Mary Allen, her dedicated caregiver.
Memorial donations may be made to the Beaumont Meals on Wheels program.