On Sunday, September 19, I was out of voice and feeling a bit restless. I wandered out of Matins and down to the great room for no good reason. Just then Harry Mason was being assisted into the building by his neighbor lady, who called out, “Where is your wheelchair?” I scampered around to find it. I was one of the few who knew for sure we had one, since I had brought it to the church when the McGraws had no further need of it. It was in the youth room. We helped Harry get into it and wheeled him into Matins.
Harry had stopped eating days before. He was on his death bed. Yet he made this effort to be where his heart was. Mark Smerkanich wheeled him forward when it was time for him to commune. Fr. Noah thought he left right after communing, but Harry stayed through announcements. We had to catch Father’s attention when he was making announcements, as we felt sure he was going to tell us to pray for Harry to have a good death. It would be embarrassing for us, but not for Harry at that point. Harry knew the score. This was his last opportunity to commune at St. Philip, a place he loved. He stayed for coffee hour, before his neighbor came to take him back home. He passed away early the following Saturday morning.
A few weeks later, after I had been in the hospital for almost a week and released, I was in terrible pain and sick, but I thought of Harry and went to church. If I’m going to be miserable; what better place to be than in such a place of healing?
Harry was a faithful financial and prayer supporter of this ministry, a good friend and a good example to the end. We will miss him. May his memory be eternal!