Rita Lee Neely Mason

Rita Lee Neely Mason


Ms. Rita Lee Neely Mason passed away peacefully in her sleep at home under the compassionate, professional care of First Health Hospice and Sandhills Caregivers on October 13, 2023, at the age of 92.

Rita was born at home, delivered by her older sister Mary Teresa Lerner in Berkeley Springs, West Virginia on January 26, 1931, to the late John Thomas Neely and Sarah Etta Whisner Neely.

Along with her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, Alfred Mack Mason; ten brothers and sisters; and one grandson, Brant Hogbin.

She was a devout Catholic and the eldest member of the congregation at St. Elizabeth of Hungary Catholic Church of Raeford. Rita received a Plenary Indulgence from Pope John XXIII in 1968. She graduated from Swanson School for Swedish Massage in 1966. She was a massage therapist at the Town of Bath Spa in Berkeley Springs, W.Va. She was a homemaker and enjoyed gardening, bird watching, horseback riding and ceramic making. She was an avid animal lover.

Rita is survived by her children, Diane Rita LaVelle Middleton (Louie) of Shallotte, N.C., Rick J. LaVelle, of Raeford, N.C., Dawn Marie May (Benny) of Boone, N.C., David Thomas Mason (Kelly Cassedy Mason) of Raeford, N.C.; five grandchildren, Eric Hogbin, Miles Greer, Nicholas Mason, Olivia Mason and John May; great-grandchildren, Brant Hogbin, Jr., Ruby Pearrell, Phoebe Hogbin, Molli Hogbin, Ivan Hogbin and Ava Greer; and one great-great-grandchild, Ashton Pearrell.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the National Audubon Society.

A rosary and church service was held at the St. Elizabeth of Hungary Catholic Church of Raeford.

Online memorials may be made on the Crumpler Funeral Home Website.