Steve Masone, obituary

Wed, 07/05/2017 - 3:45pm

CAMDEN — Steve Masone passed away peacefully on July 3, 2017 at the Sussman House in Rockport.

Steve Masone was born in Bronx, N.Y., January 10, 1924. He was the fifth of eight children born to John and Rose Masone. Pearl Harbor occurred during his junior year of high school at which time he wanted to enlist. He was frustrated in this for want of a parental signature. He finished high school and enlisted in the Navy December of 1942. He went to boot camp and navigation school and spent most of WWII aboard mine sweepers.

At war's end he maintained his status in the Naval Reserve for 43 years. He attended Fordham University on the GI Bill, majoring in physics and math, planning to teach the sciences. Steve enjoyed work as an industrial engineer for five years. But he was fond of saying, "the chalk and blackboard always beckoned." Despite being certified as an administrator, he elected to remain in the classroom to teach, physics, chemistry, math and the earth sciences. He taught all grades up to and including college enjoying all of them.

The Korean Conflict happened as he completed 10 years in enlisted status. He tested for and qualified for a commission and ultimately qualified for a tour as commanding officer. Steve's background in mine warfare combined with his sciences led him into his final military career in oceanographic research doing top secret work in sound propagation. He retired at the rank of Commander.

Steve reveled at the ever expanding horizons in the sciences, yet he proved to be a rogue teacher objecting to what he viewed as the increasing deterioration of our educational process.

In his 20th year of teaching, just as he was preparing to retire, he was given an order which he could prove mathematically would do harm to the students. Risking job, pension and reputation, he refused to obey orders, whereupon he was suspended. The ensuing court action lasted three years at high personal expense. The decision from the State Commissioner of Education not only exonerated him totally, but netted him a 25 percent salary increase. His case brought about nationwide improvement in education. He continued to teach for another 12 years. One of his treasures is a packet of correspondence from well-wishers, many who were former students with whom he remained in contact.

In retirement, Steve served as captain of two historic square riggers, one of which participated in the OpSail commemoration of the Statue of Liberty in 1986. He closed his nautical life on doctor's orders at age ninety.

Living in Camden since 1991, Steve loved Maine, especially native Mainers and special thanks to all who made his life pleasant and comfortable.

He is survived by his beloved wife, Susan, whom he called "my amazing lady"; three children from an earlier marriage, Linda Masone Wilder and her husband, Charlie, of Birmingham, Alabama; James Masone and his partner, Charles Collins of Atlanta, Georgia, and Birmingham, Alabama; and his son Steve Masone of Columbia, South Carolina.

Calling hours will be held from 5-7 p.m., Saturday, July 8, 2017, at the Long Funeral Home, 9 Mountain Street, Camden. If desired, memorial gifts may be made to the Sussman House, c/o Pen Bay Healthcare Foundation, 6 White Street, Rockland, ME 04841. Condolences and memories may be shared with the Mason family at