‘Gentle giant’ Eugene Mason, former councilman, dies at 78

‘Gentle giant’ Eugene Mason, former councilman, dies at 78

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Former Richmond City Councilman Eugene Mason Jr died Monday at the age of 78.

Mason served the city’s Ninth District for two years and also was vice president of the Richmond branch of the NAACP.

“Richmond has lost a gentle giant,” Richmond NAACP said in a statement. “He will be missed and his footprints will forever be imprinted in the sands of time. Well done thy good and faithful servant.”

Mason also spent 10 years on the Richmond Public Schools Board of Trustees.

“Mr. Mason was on the School Board when I was a school principal. So I had an opportunity to work with him at length for many years," said School Board member Cheryl Burke.

In a statement, the Richmond City Council praised Mason as a “kind and incredibly thoughtful man.”

Something so many remember is how Mason decided to sleep on top of a roof. He said he would do it if Richmond students read so many books. They did and Mason made good on his promise. He had a heart for others, also serving with the Boys and Girls Club and the Richmond Crusade of Voters.

“The Honorable Eugene A. Mason, Jr. led a life of meaning and dedication as a community leader and will long be remembered by those who knew, loved, and cared about him," the statement said. “The Richmond City Council hopes that time and the fond memories held by Mr. Mason’s family and friends will help lessen the sorrow of his passing and will bring them peace and comfort now and in the days ahead.”

Mason was in the process of organizing an event next month to honor his deceased wife by issuing scholarships in her name to high school graduates attending VCU.

Loved ones will gather Thursday for a viewing, followed by a funeral Friday at United Nations Church in Richmond. Instead of flowers, Mason’s family is asking for donations to the Vivian Conway Mason Scholarship fund in Elder Mason’s memory. A monetary gift can be made out to the VCU Foundation, Development and Alumni Relations, PO Box 843042, Richmond VA 23286-0441. Credit Card donations can be sent HERE.

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