Charlena Vernita Mason was born March 17, 1927, in Grand Blanc, Michigan, to Mabel Woodcock and Virtol Hall, as the third of seven siblings. Raised in Flint, Michigan, she graduated from Central High School.
She met her husband John Mason during WWII as a pen pal supporting the war effort. He was a Marine and her brother's best friend. After corresponding for four and a half years, John came back to the states and married Charlena in Flint, Michigan. They remained in Michigan for many years raising five children.
Charlena worked as a dental assistant both in private practice and at Mott Children’s Health Center. She always claimed this as her favorite job. They moved to Rapid City, Michigan after retiring and built a home on 10 acres, gardening, tending orchards, fishing, hunting and encouraging their children.
Charlena and John eventually moved to Washington in 1990. They settled in Centralia where all of their children — Kathleen, Valerie (Paul), Barry (Chae Yon), Miles (Kathy) and Adam (Kristine) — eventually transplanted to Washington with their families.
John passed away in 2010, and in 2015, Charlena moved to Port Orchard, Washington to live with her daughter. Charlena loved to watch the birds and deer at her new home as well as garden, can tomatoes and other preserves, work on jigsaw puzzles, read, journal, travel, attend ladies luncheons at her church and visit with her children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren.
She died on Jan. 1, 2023, at her home while on hospice, leaving a legacy of love, honesty and hard work ethic for her 49 grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren. A celebration of life will be held later in Centralia, Washington.
Interment will be at Claquato Cemetery, 142 Stearns Road, Chehalis, Washington, 98352 in the spring.