On Tuesday, September 8, 2020, Charles Lawrence Mason (Clough) shared his last story, told his last joke, took his last breath, and died peacefully at the age of 82. Charles was born May 16, 1938 in Bismarck, ND to parents Mervin and Marian Clough (Simonson). Mervin’s job as a broadcaster required frequent moves; Charles-known as “Butch” when growing up-had the opportunity to live in a variety of locations: Sayner, Wi., New York, NY, Fort Atkinson, Wi., Racine, Wi., Bowbells, ND, and others. While in middle and high school, Charles participated in a variety of sports, held various part time jobs, and enjoyed outdoor activities such as swimming, boating, fishing, snowshoeing, softball, baseball, and ice skating. After Charles’ father died in 1955, the family moved to Madison, Wi and he eventually enlisted in the Navy at age 17 and travelled the world. After five years he left the Navy and spent some time in California, but eventually ended up in Madison, Wi. During this time Charles and his older brother, Scott, changed their last names from Clough to Mason. While Charles was in Madison, he drove a delivery truck for the Blatz Brewing Company. Charles married Elaine Krausse in 1964, and they settled in Stoughton, Wi to raise their child, Craig. Charles worked at Uniroyal in Stoughton, then landed a job in Madison as a Driver’s License Examiner. He gave road tests to hundreds of teenagers; it seemed every teenager knew him from passing or failing their road test. Charles was also a cub scout master and little league baseball coach, as well as a model airplane hobbyist during this time. Starting in 1976 Charles volunteered to help with the Madison Scouts Drum and Bugle Corps, which included serving on the board of directors, driving a bus in the United States and Canada, helping maintain the fleet of buses, and helping to train new bus drivers until 2002 (three cheers for the bus driver!). In 1986 Charles married Kelli Tholo (Niehoff) and they lived in McFarland, Wi. After thirty-one years of service, Charles retired from the state of Wisconsin in 2000.
Chuck always won at trivia games, enjoyed cribbage, Yahtzee, watching the Packers (and football in general), having a beer with friends, telling VERY LONG stories and jokes (some practical and some actually clean), old movies, music, cars, airplanes, motorcycling, food, and was very nostalgic about his life and family. And no one was better than the Madison Scouts. While he could be very opinionated, and liked to complain about almost anything, he laughed at himself frequently, and truly had a big heart and welcomed everyone to be a part of his life.
Charles was preceded in death by both parents, sister Marjean Becker, brother Scott Mason, and wife Kelli. He is survived by his son Craig, daughter-in-law Carole, Craig’s mother Elaine, sister Linda Behrens, grandsons Nick and Jeff Mason, and many nieces, nephews, cousins, aunts and uncles.
The family would like to thank all the caregivers at Skaalen nursing home and Stoughton hospital that worked with Chuck. He spoke very highly of all of you.
There will be a live gathering of some kind for nearby family, and an online gathering for the drum corps family, date TBD.
In lieu of flowers or gifts, please consider contributions to the American Diabetes Foundation, the Madison Scouts Drum and Bugle Corps Association, or your local humane society.
Memories can be shared online at Cress Funeral Home.
Cress Funeral & Cremation Service
206 W. Prospect Stoughton
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