Dr. Rachel J. Mason, 98
Dr. Rachel J. Mason, 98, of Marshalltown, IA, passed away peacefully under the compassionate care of Iowa River Hospice and Grandview Heights Nursing Staff, Friday, March 8, 2019, at Grandview Heights Rehab & Healthcare in Marshalltown. Funeral Services will be 11:00 a.m., Wednesday, March 13, 2019, at Anderson Funeral Homes in Marshalltown. Visitation will be 9:30 a.m., until the time of the services, Wednesday, March 13, 2019, at Anderson Funeral Homes in Marshalltown. Interment will be in Riverside Cemetery in Marshalltown. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to Iowa River Hospice and the YMCA. Arrangements have been entrusted to Anderson Funeral Homes in Marshalltown. Online condolences may be sent to www.andersonfhs.com.
Rachel Joann was born June 11, 1920, in Marshalltown, to Clair G. and Floss (McClean) Mason. She graduated from Marshalltown High School in 1938, where she excelled in academics and music. Rachel attended Marshalltown Junior College (now MCC) for one year, then transferred to Michigan State University where she earned a BS in microbiology, then to Wayne State University, Detroit, for a master’s degree in medical technology/biochemistry, and finally to the University of Iowa for her doctorate in microbiology/immunology. She spent most of her professional career at Pfizer, Inc., Groton, CN, as a senior research investigator in the Division of Infectious Diseases and Immunology. One of the products she helped create during her time there has helped heal many people; this would be the antibiotic, Zithromax. After retirement in 1985, Rachel returned to her hometown and began to pursue her lifelong passions of golf and travel. She combined those interests at times by sampling the courses in Ireland, Scotland, and England. Rachel has traveled to every continent except South America. She has taken many trips with the University of Iowa, Marshalltown “Y”, and also IVCE Creative Retirement. Rachel joined the Elmwood Country Club in 1985 and was ladies club golf champion that year. She is a past recipient of the Clyde McIntire Award for Sportsmanship and love of the game. Rachel enjoyed taking her extended family to many wonderful buffets there.
Rachel established the Dr. Rachel J. Mason Microbiology Graduate Student Support Fund and also established a commitment to create the J. Roger Porter Professorship, both at the University of Iowa. She was also generous to her hometown in establishing the Rachel J. Mason-Pfizer Endowment for Scientific Equipment Fund for Marshalltown Community College in 1987, sponsoring a room at the Iowa River Hospice Home, and made generous donations to the Marshalltown Medical and Surgical Center Cath Lab, Marshalltown Public Library Building Fund, and the MHS Roundhouse renovation. Rachel served on the MCC Foundation Board of Directors, was a charter member of the YMCA-YWCA Heritage Club and served on the Board of Directors. She received the Martha Ellen Tye Friend Award from the Heritage Club in 2009 and was a member of PEO Chapter LT. Rachel enjoyed contributing to a Christian Children’s Fund that tries to serve under-privileged children on a world-wide basis. She was a woman of sincere faith and was a life member of the First Congregational Church where she served on the Board of Trustees many years. Rachel created an endowment fund for FCC and chaired that committee. Rachel was a member and past president of Women’s Amity Fellowship Organization and was active in the Adult Education Program. She loved watching college basketball and football, especially the Iowa Hawkeyes and Michigan State, and never missed any televised PGA Tours.
Rachel is survived by her niece, Mary K. (Phillip) Middelkoop; her nephew Al P. (Gayle) Mason, her nephews’ wife, Katherine Mason; and extended family of cousins, grandnieces, and grandnephews. She is preceded in death by her parents, her brother, Clair M. (Bud) Mason, and her nephew, Clair G. (Cege) Mason.