In the afternoon of June 3, 2020 after a brief illness and surround by her loved ones, Rose K. Mason, 98, went home to be with the Lord and her beloved husband, Bill.
With the help of midwife Frances Cermak, Rose was born on Friday, September 16, 1921 in the back room of the Bohemian Hall (a Curtis Ave. Social Club). Her mother, Marie, and father, Anton Zamostny, were the caretakers of the facility.
By 1923, Rose, her parents, and her three older siblings, Marie (1916-1987), Tom (1917-1974), and Mildred (1920-1999) left Curtis Bay and moved to the greener pastures of Solley, Maryland, initially living in her Aunt Mary and Uncle Andy Blahuts’ attic on Steens Hill before moving to her family home built by her father in 1924. Rose was taught early to honor and cherish her Central European roots, but, more importantly, to celebrate the American Dream.
Never one to embrace “girly” stuff, and always conscious of the importance of having a purpose, Rose always enjoyed working hard and helping others. Rose spent most summers of her youth at Bohemian Shore, helping her grandmother in the kitchen or her father making home brew.
She started attending Marley Protestant Church (Solley UMC) in 1927, sometimes walking and sometimes catching a ride with Clint & Sarah Gurnee. That same year, she started school at the two-room Solley Elementary School, founded by Richard Henry Lee, and then graduated from Glen Burnie High School in June 1938. She was the first family member to complete 12 grades and graduate. While in high school, Rose excelled in “Commercial Studies” (record-keeping and accounting) and also on the baseball field.
Rose always viewed work as a blessing. When her sister, Mil, left her job selling tickets at the Brooklyn Movie Theater, Rose took the job working for the Tunics. (It is important to take note, the Brooklyn Movie Theater was across the alley from Sandfords…this was the beginning of being a clothes horse. *Just sayin’*)
Always the over achiever, while working at the movies, Rose accepted a job with a new government agency called Social Security. While there, she became a supervisor. Along with her government job and movie gig, Rose also helped at the family grocery and gas station, working behind the counter and also pumping gas.
The spring of 1939 brought resurfacing to Fort Smallwood Road - lots of trucks hauling stone and gravel. If you have trucks, you have drivers. Rose met Bill Mason, the love of her life. Their first date was May 1939 at Matusky’s Corner. As fate would have it, while on her first date Rose also met her lifelong best friend, Doris Bain.
Happy times, but not for long. Bill left for boot camp in April, 1940, serving 3 years overseas in both the European and North African Theatres. Using his driving skills hauling ammunition, during the next 5 years Rose waited for Bill, writing letters every day. (She also wrote daily to all of her cousins in the service).
Always one to do her part, Rose became Community Air Raid Warden, Chairman of the Local Victory Scrap Drive, Organizer of Social Events for service people stationed locally, and chauffer for every girl who couldn’t drive, all while working full time at Social Security.
Rose always said her best birthday gift came September 12, 1945. Bill came home. They married November 16, 1945 and honeymooned for a month hoping to get to New Mexico (they got to Texas). But, after replacing two tires on the 39 Plymouth, they came home. Rose stayed at Social Security until the birth of her first child in August 1946. Rose loved being a mom and homemaker, but also enjoyed working side by side with Bill creating the trucking business, William N. Mason Inc. (now celebrating 74 years of continued business). She continued to lend a hand until very recently when her health no longer allowed.
Rose and Bill were married for 31 years (Bill passed in 1976), having 3 children, William Jr. (trucking guru), James (musician), and John (chef/caterer). Rose has 9 grandchildren and 7 great-grandchildren.
Rose sold Avon for over 25 years, managed the USCG Credit Union for 35 years, served on various boards and committees, along with school secretary.
Along with a very strong work ethic, and an incredible sense of family, Rose had a very strong sense of community, starting with her war drive efforts in the 40s and serving as a civil rights worker registering black women to vote in the 1960s. She would go on to fight for Charter Government in Anne Arundel County and support environmental causes in the 70s, 80s, and 90s. Rose was den mother, Sunday School teacher, and room mother.
After retiring in November of 2001, Rose continued to contribute to all she came in contact with, including her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. Up until recently, she served as the Treasurer at Solley UMC, went bowling on a regular basis, and continued cheering for the Orioles.
Family and friends may visit on Sunday, June 7 from 1-4 p.m. at Kurtz’s Beach, 2070 Kurtz Ave., Pasadena, MD 21122. Funeral services and interment are private. However, the service will be livestreamed on our Facebook page (click here) and on the obituary page.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Solley United Methodist Church, 7600 Solley Road, Glen Burnie, MD 21060 or the Hancock's Resolution Foundation, 8328 Schmidt’s Lane, Pasadena, MD 21122.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Rose K. Mason, please visit our floral store.
Solley United Methodist Church
7600 Solley Rd., Glen Burnie MD 21060
Hancock's Resolution Foundation
8328 Schmidt’s Lane, Pasadena MD 21122