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Family, Friends and Members of the Kansas Legislature Pay Final Farewell to State Representative Les Mason

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By Lucky Kidd

 

McPHERSON, Kan. — Several current and past members of the Kansas Legislature, including at least two past speakers, along with many friends and family paid their final farewell to State Representative Les Mason of McPherson Tuesday.

Kansas House Speaker Daniel Hawkins spoke of the high regard lawmakers held of Mason, who passed away from a brain aneurysm June 3rd, at his funeral at Countryside Covenant Church. “We truly are a family,” Hawkins said, adding, “We fight, and we fuss with each other, and we love each other. Les is one of those people who loved everyone, and everyone loved him.”

During his ten years in the Kansas House, Mason was a highly respected member, chairing the Social Service Budget Committee and serving as assistant majority leader, along with mentoring the past three freshman classes of the legislature.

Camel Pin
Camel Pins were worn in tribute to State Representative Les Mason as he was thought to have come up with the idea of wearing a camel-colored jacket on Wednesday, the middle day of the week often referred to as “hump day.” (Photo by Lucky Kidd)

Les Mason was especially known for his wit, as evidenced by many stories Hawkins shared during his tribute. Mason had a serious side too as Hawkins said, “He loved to dig into the policy of the day, he loved his community, but he loved his family at home the most.” Speaker Hawkins noted they mourned with Mason when he lost his first wife Kala to Cancer in 2018, and celebrated when Victoria, his second wife, came into his life. “We lived life with Les,” he concluded.

At the service a number of people were wearing a tribute to a tradition Mason is thought to be responsible for. That tribute was a camel pin. Countryside Covenant Pastor Jon Black said Mason is thought to have possibly come up with the idea of wearing a camel-colored jacket on Wednesday, the middle day of the week often referred to as “hump day.”

A number of current and former lawmakers also participated in the service, for which music was provided by Representative Emil Bergquist of Wichita and former Representative Willie Dove of Bonner Springs. Representatives Will Carpenter of El Dorado and Patrick Penn of Wichita served as ushers, with longtime friend and State Senator Rick Wilborn of McPherson and Representative Joe Seiwert of Pretty Prairie serving as casket bearers.

The McPherson Police Department provided an honor guard for Representative Mason’s burial at McPherson Cemetery following the service.

A video of the full service can be found on the Stockham Family Funeral Home website with his obituary. We will share Speaker Hawkins’ tribute on Sunday morning on the Sunday Magazine segment on Ad Astra Radio-McPherson.

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