Robert Elijah Mason III

July 3, 2019

Robert Elijah Mason III (Bob) died peacefully on July 3, 2019, surrounded by his family, two weeks shy of his 85th birthday.  The son of Robert E Mason II and Sallie Schenck Mason, Bob was born in New York but was a fourth generation Charlottean, and proud of the role that his maternal and paternal families had played in the history of our great North State.  

Bob graduated from Episcopal High School in Alexandria Virginia and received his BA from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill in English. At Chapel Hill, he was active in campus life, a member of NROTC and president of his fraternity, Delta Kappa Epsilon, making friends that followed him throughout his life. After graduation he received his Navy commission as an Ensign, serving in Korea following the war as an ordinance advisory officer and teaching at the Korean Naval Academy. Returning stateside, he served as an officer of the Admiral’s Procurement Security Board at the Bureau of Personnel in Washington DC.

Bob and Esten were married in 1956. The couple returned to Charlotte where Bob joined his father’s engineering firm, Robert E Mason Company. To further his engineering career, they moved their young family to Clemson University where Bob completed his Masters in Mechanical Engineering, graduating with high honors.  Bob continued his studies, receiving his executive business degree from the Babcock School of Business at Wake Forest. Bob and Esten returned to Charlotte, and following the untimely death of his father, Bob very successfully lead the sales and service firm through rapid growth in an evolving and complicated manufacturing economy; creating engineering systems for factories, pharmaceutical and power generation companies; concentrating on flow control and automation.

Bob was an active member of numerous civic, social and business organizations, bringing to bear his unique attention to detail. He was proud of his role on the board of Discovery Place, helping bring this gem to the children and citizens of Charlotte, as well as his leadership on the board of the Crosland Foundation, again seeing the value of education for youth. He added his business acumen to the board of Republic Bank, his passion for preservation of our natural resources to the mission of the North Carolina Nature Conservancy, and his sense of stewardship to the board of Trustees of Episcopal High School.  Bob was a founding member of Carmel Presbyterian Church, later committing to the mission of Myers Park Presbyterian Church.  He served as a Sunday school teacher, a Deacon, ruling Elder, Clerk of Session and active member and frequent chair of multiple committees including chair of the search committee for senior pastor and co-chair of the building committee. Bob considered Christ’s work through the church his own and his congregation his family. 

Bob loved the outdoors; hiking, hunting, fly fishing, running 5K‘s and marathons. He was a daily participant on the ‘booty loop’ long before it carried the name, sporting a headband and wrist sweatbands well past the 1980’s when they were chic. He completed his last 5K at the age of 80, taking the blue ribbon. Bob would recount with a smile that the next oldest participant was 70. Bob loved travel for the adventure, the novelty and an opportunity to be with his family. His trips typically included an element of adventure and a penchant for off the beaten path locations. Bob’s favorite recent memory was hiking to the summit of Mount Sinai to watch the sun come up, sitting quietly with his wife and listening as a group of Korean tourist sang “How Great Thou Art”.

Bob loved the Outer Banks of North Carolina, particularly Currituck and Off Island during the duck hunting season, daybreak on the marshes of the Santee Delta, a drift boat on the South Fork of the Snake River, the oceans and salt marshes of Pawley’s Island South Carolina in the summer, sailing a Hobie cat or pulling a shrimp net with his children. Affectionately known to his teenage children and their friends as ‘General Issimo’, Bob relished his role in their growth and maturation.  He took great pride later in life in the success of his children and their friends, and, not surprisingly, was very involved with each of his nine grandchildren. 

Bob was predeceased by a younger sister, Lucinda Schenck Mason, and by a granddaughter, Marianna Stuart Mason. He is survived by his beloved wife of 62 years, formerly Esten Matheson Bohannon of Charlotte, his two sons Robert E Mason IV and J Bohannon Mason, MD, their spouses Annette Weaver Mason and Marianna Peete Mason, his daughter Esten Mason Walker and her spouse Burchell R Walker and his grandchildren, Robert E Mason V (Whitney), Katherine Mason Beasley (Chase), Ann Matheson Mason, William Bohannon Mason, Stuart Jennings Mason, Elliott Laurens Pinckney Walker, Weldon Bevens Walker, Esten Jennings Walker, Rosamond Richardson Walker, and his devoted sister-in-law, Stuart Bohannon Evans of Tryon, NC. 

The Family will have a memorial celebration for Bob at Myers Park Presbyterian Church on Friday, July 12, at 11 AM and reception following the service. 

In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to one of Bob’s favorite charities: Myers Park Presbyterian Church (2501 Oxford Place ,Charlotte, NC 28207), The Episcopal High School (1200 North Quaker Lane, Alexandria, VA 22302), The Linville Foundation (P.O. Box 99 , Linville, NC 28646), Wee Kirk Presbyterian Church (P.O. Box 702 Linville NC 28646) or the North Carolina Nature Conservancy (334 Blackwell Street, Durham, NC 27701).

Arrangements are in the care of Kenneth Poe Funeral & Cremation Service.  1321 Berkeley Avenue, Charlotte, NC 28205. 704-641-7606.  Condolences may be left online at




Share your memories & condolences


  • Jack & Margaret Carey

    Robert - We are so sorry to hear of your dad’s passing. Bob was such a wonderful man. He was a true friend and a shining example of a gentleman and business professional. He was also a skillful mentor and coach to so many of us in the “Fisher” family. I feel so honored to have known him and worked with him in various capacities during my career. I’m a better man for having known your dad. I know your loss is great but take solace in knowing that Heaven is a better place now that Bob’s there. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Jack & Margaret

  • Patsy and Terrell Cook

    Our thoughts, prayers and condolences go out to the Mason family in this difficult time. We feel lucky to have known Bob and the Mason family. Bob was one of the most important people in my life and we will be forever grateful for his leadership, advice and friendship over the years. Bob will be greatly missed.

  • Jack Costello

    Bob - it was an honor and a pleasure to work with you and two generations of R. E. Mason Co. management teams, to help facilitate the transition of leadership from you to Robert, and then to be your business neighbor and partner in Virginia. To a good friend and a very good man - RIP, you will be missed.

  • Cindy Fulwood

    Dear Esten & Family, I celebrate the man Bob was and the life he lived. I admired, respected and appreciated him along with having the opportunity to work under his leadership at Robert E Mason Co. We shared a love of reading and would often chat about different books. I still have the heavy-weight bookmark he gave me many, many years ago to hold open book pages. He was a special man and will be missed by many, including me. A life that touches others goes on forever. My prayers are with you now and in the days to come.

  • Roibert and Macie Nichols

    Dear Esten and family: We each have fond memories of Bob--Robert at EHS as"a good old boy", and Macie as a handsome Deke in a Navy uniform, a New Year's Eve w/you two and Obbie. We send our love and comfort to all and give thanks for his life so well lived.

  • Keith Merrell

    My condolences to all the family for their loss. Bob was a favorite person of mine. Bob hired me when I was 39, and I worked for the company until I retired. I will always appreciate and remember Bob as I used to jog by his house everyday, and he would always chat with me. I am certain he will enjoy his new home above.

  • Jim Copses

    Please accept my deepest and most heartfelt sympathy on the passing of Bob Mason.He was a wonderful part of my Park Place Pharmacy family.....I so valued him and his entire family.Rest in peace.

  • Robert Croskery

    A kind and generous man and thoughtful neighbor. He will be greatly missed.

  • Becky Craig

    Mrs. Mason, I am so sorry for your loss. What a great man. My prayers are for the family. He will be with you in your hearts forever. Becky Craig.

  • Betsy Ross

    Dearest Mrs. Mason, my condolences to you. May you find strength and remembrances of love.
    For dear Esten, Burt, Elliot, Weldon, Esten & Rosamond, deepest sympathies from Neil, Nancy & me. May you all have strength in the loss of a precious mentor and good man. I know he was so proud of each one of you! May all the sweetest memories and love live in your hearts forever.

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