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Donald Mason Passes Away

February 8th, 2015 by WCBC Radio

Donald W. Mason, 87, passed away peacefully on Friday, Feb. 6, 2015, at the Loudoun Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Leesburg, Va.

Don served as Deputy State’s Attorney for Allegany County under James S. Getty for seven years. He served as State’s Attorney for Allegany County for nine years, one year by appointment of Judges and two, four-year elected terms. He resigned as State’s Attorney in 1974 to resume private law practice for 20 years until his retirement in 1994 due to health reasons.

Don had a rather interesting legal career. In the 1950’s, as Police Magistrate, he ruled in a traffic case that the city motor vehicle ordinances were invalid because they duplicated state laws. As trial Magistrate for Allegany County, he had the first test case in Maryland on the use of radar by police in speeding cases. He ruled that radar was accurate and legal. His decision was not appealed and was used as a precedent.

In the late 1960’s, as States Attorney, he prosecuted the first drug cases in the county after undercover investigations by state and local police. Don credited William F. Baker, long-time county investigator, for the successful prosecution of many major cases. In several cases appealed to the Maryland Court of Appeals, and the one case appealed to the US Supreme Court, all the convictions were upheld.
As State’s Attorney, Don did not engage in any plea bargaining and tried every case. He operated the State’s Attorney’s office by himself for several years and later had only one assistant. He was a strong advocate of the Grand Jury System.

After resigning as State’s Attorney he never engaged in criminal defense cases. He specialized in real estate law (was attorney for Board of Realtors) and wills and estate probate law.

Friends will be received at the Upchurch Funeral Home, P.A., 202 Greene Street, Cumberland, on Monday, Feb. 9, 2015, from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. Potomac Lodge 100, A.F. & A.M. will conduct a memorial service in the funeral home on Monday at 7:30 p.m.

The funeral service will be conducted in the funeral home on Tuesday, Feb. 10, 2015, at 11 a.m., with the Rev. David Wright, officiating.

Interment will be in St. Luke’s Cemetery, where military honors will be accorded by Post 13 Veterans Honor Guard.

Serving as pallbearers will be Luther Huff, Larry Gerber, Harry Bowers, Gary “Gus” Cook, John “JR” Robinson, and Gary Upchurch. Honorary pallbearers will be Neil Yommer, Dr. Daniel Chase, Gene Turano, Robert Lewis, Bill Baker, Jack Mosner, John Workmeister, C. Eugene Mason, James Sobota, and Melvin Mah.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to either St. Luke’s Lutheran Church, 1601 Frederick Street, Cumberland, MD 21502 or the Allegany Animal Shelter, P.O. Box 566, Cumberland, MD 21502.

Condolences to the family may be posted after Mr. Mason’s obituary at www.upchurchfh.com.

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