Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

March 8, 2013

Donald ‘Joe’ Mason

July 24, 1931 - March 3, 2013


— Microbiologist Donald “Joe” Mason died Sunday, March 3, 2013, in his hometown of Kalamazoo, Mich., after battling Parkinson’s Disease for many years.

Mason, 81, was born and raised in Kokomo. In 2010, he was inducted into the Distinguished Alumni Hall of Fame at Northwestern High School.

Mason was born July 24, 1931, in a Howard County farmhouse that still stands. He was the oldest child of Donald G. Mason and Josephine E. Mason, Kokomo, both of whom preceded him in death.

Northwestern High School honored Mason for his contributions to pharmaceutical research and development. After graduating with a doctorate in microbiology from Purdue University, Mason was hired by The Upjohn Co. When he retired after 32 years, Mason was executive director of U.S. Pharmaceutical Regulatory Affairs.

He played a leading role in the discovery and development of major anti-bacterial products and also gained the approval of seven significant products, each having taken years to develop. Among those were Motrin (ibuprofen), Cleocin, Halcion, Lincomycin (for which he held the patent), Rogaine and Xanax.

Mason is survived by his wife of 59 years (and fellow 1949 Northwestern High School graduate) Nancy (Thinker) Mason; four daughters living in Kalamazoo and Missouri; and eight grandchildren. Mason’s three siblings survive and remain Kokomo residents. Mason’s siblings are brother, David (Judy) Mason; two sisters, Judy (Richard) Eikenberry and Mona (Thomas) Lewe; and many nieces and nephews who also live throughout Indiana.

Visitation is scheduled for today at Langeland Family Funeral Homes, Westside Chapel, Kalamazoo. Private inturnment will be at a future date in Shiloh Cemetery in Kokomo.