Rose Marie Mason Profile Photo

Rose Marie Mason

"What we once enjoyed and deeply loved we can never lose, for all that we love deeply becomes a part of us."

Rose Marie Mason (ne Lees) was born in Philadelphia, PA on September 13, 1961, the 5th child of George and Roseann (Whalen) Lees. While her baptismal name was Rose Marie, she was fondly called Rose or Rosie, She was part of a loving and happy family that lived on Agate Street and looked forward to cutting through the alleyway to the Memphis Street cousins. She loved being part of a big family and was adored by her siblings, George, Joann (Bruce Michalski), Mary Beth, Jim, Theresa and Stephen (Violet Hronis). Life on Agate Street was never dull and it was during those years that Rose developed a flare for being a practical joker.

Roses love of the Jersey shore was born out of many trips to Wildwood, Town Bank with the Woltjens and the Villas with the Bargulls. Nanny and Pop-Pop Whalen lived right down the street on Agate and was a second home to Rose and the rest of the Whalen grandchildren. And who could ever forget the trips to Greenwood Dairy with Aunt Sis, visits to Chatham Street to see the Lees family, spending time with Jack and Joe and always hoping to be rewarded with a treat by the Candy Man, Uncle Jack.

Rose attended grade school at Nativity B.V.M and was a member of the 1979 graduating class at John W. Hallahan Catholic Girls High School, a source of lifetime pride. While in high school, Rose started a career that spanned 45 years, always working in the pharmaceutical industry as a pharmacy technician. Her latest experience was with Pentech Health in Delaware County. She was admired and loved by all her colleagues. Rose had a special relationship with the Executive team as she was one of the first in their Mom and Pop start up. In true Rose fashion, she served on the Hospitality committee at Pentech. Their annual night at the Phillies game was a highlight of the summer.

Rose met Wil, the love of her life and the two started their life together, living with Big George and Little George on Agate Street before buying their family home on Ontario Street, keeping her roots in Port Richmond. She had childhood friends who became high school friends and forever friends. There was never a sentence with Roses name, unless George (Gushue) was right behind. Her neighborhood friends were family to her and she was there to assist, comfort, and provide for anyone and everyone.

Rose and Wil raised Brendan (Alyssa) and Liam (Paige) on Ontario Street and were very active members of Nativity BVM parish. She was a huge supporter of all the school's fundraisers, she cooked and served for various events in the school hall. She never missed a school function at Nativity B.V.M., Our Lady of Port Richmond, St. Joes Prep, Roman Catholic, Archbishop Carroll and Temple University. She and Wil could always be found on the Schuylkill River on Saturdays and Sundays cheering on Brendan and Liam and the schools they were representing, making sure everyone was fed and anyone who knows a rower, knows that was no easy task. Once a year she drove to Boston for Head of the Charles. They enjoyed the finest in all food groups from delicious cream donuts to hot roast beef sandwiches, hoagies and soft pretzels.

While the beaches in North Wildwood and Stone Harbor were her happy place, Rose, Wil, and the boys truly enjoyed their escapes to the beaches of Nantucket to visit Theresa, Mary Beth, and the McVan Clan. Her US Passport included trips to Ireland, Portugal, and Mexico . Rose was so saddened by the lack of pencils and paper for the schoolchildren in Mexico, she made it her mission to ship pencils, crayons, and paper to a local school upon her return. Her wish for the New Year was to return to Cozumel in 2022. Rose loved planning these trips for Wil and the boys and her excitement made you wish you too were sneaking away to paradise.

Throughout the rowing years and after, Rose found a new passion in supporting the Stone Harbor/Avalon/North Wildwood and Wildwood Beach Patrols and loved attending the Lifeguard races. It really just depended on which Mason, McVan, or Michalski kid was competing. And if you couldnt keep up trekking through the sand, then shed catch you at the end of the races!

Wil retired last year and Rose was making weekly drives to and from Reeds Beach always hoping for a great middle of the week beach day. She even kept count of the Saturdays it had rained in a row9 was the max and counting the Mondays until Memorial Day. The sun always prevailed and they enjoyed the beautiful sunsets from their back deck. The door was never locked and there were always enough to go around. Her beach chair was always packed and ready to go, she just needed to fill her Pepsi cup with ice and have snacks packed for everyone before heading over for a few hours of beach/sun/sand therapy. There was never a sunset she didnt love and no two were the same, each was just as beautiful and unique in her eyes. Rose would capture the best of these sunsets and would send them to us via text to remind all of us what we were missing by not coming to the beach that day. There was never a shortage of your favorite beverage, snack, or food on the grill. If you were lucky enough to be on Reeds Beach Road, you received all Rosie had to offer. Her home was a revolving door of family including nieces, nephews, and great-nieces and great-nephews. This is where some had their first taste of Jersey sand.

Recently, Rose was home full time and able to stay with Wil at Reeds Beach giving them alone time and quiet encounters, celebrating the recent engagements of both boys, enjoying days shopping for Christmas, lunches with friends, and enjoying the sunsets, the night sky, and sharing the couch with Hunter. We made the best of Covid restrictions by enjoying Thanksgiving and the Christmas holidays with many of her family members. New Years would be saved for alone time with Wil with fireworks on the beach in Avalon.

Brendan wrote it best when he said, Mom was a simple woman, she was happiest with a good beach chair and a warm pair of slippers. Those were her finer things in life If success was measured by lives touched and friends made, her riches would be immeasurable. She was fiercely loyal to her family, Wil and her two sons, Brendan and Liam , her sisters, Joann, Mary Beth (Fuff) and Theresa, her brothers, George, Jim and Stephen, all of her nieces and nephews and now great-nieces and great-nephews. In her eyes, she didnt have friends, she just had an ever growing family and she loved them just as fiercely. She was selfless, she was caring and she was kind. The more people around the table, the more her heart was full of joy. She never gave up the good fight, and she was optimistic until the end, saying she would see you soon Cozumel, and the Polish American Stringband better put on a hell of a show as they marched down Allegheny Avenue next year, because shed be there, come rain or shine. She never gave up on her Phils, listening or watching wherever she was. She left us too soon, but there certainly wont be a shortage of memories and family to carry on the legacy she left us. Enjoy the perfect endless summer.

On the morning of January 3, 2022, after a shortened life full of love, kindness, and laughter, she was called to her eternal home. Rose was the epitome of a good and faithful servant. Tears will be shed and Rose will be sorely missed by Wil, Brendan, Liam, and her family. The memory of her larger than life personality will be a comfort in our time of grief. The sun will rise and we will be reminded of Rose by every grain of sand and every sunset. Our love for Rose will remain in our hearts forever. Rosie, May you rest in Peace.

Relatives and friends are invited to her viewing on Friday evening January 7th from 6 PM to 8 PM at the Slabinski Funeral Home 2614 Orthodox Street, Philadelphia, PA and on Saturday morning January 8th from 10 AM to 11 AM in Our Lady Star of the Sea Church, 525 Washington Street, Cape May NJ. Her funeral mass will begin at 11 AM followed by her interment in St. Marys Cemetery, Cape May NJ.

Arrangements by McCafferty Sweeney Slabinski Barnes Funerals and Cremations, John Barnes Supervisor, 215.333.0500. Please share your fondest memories of Rose at

In lieu of flowers, your donation to the Our Lady of Port Richmond Tuition Fund, Roman Catholic High School Crew Team, or Archbishop John Carroll High School Crew Team would be greatly appreciated by Roses family.
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Rose Marie Mason, please visit our flower store.


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