WATSEKA – L. Mason Burd, 89, of Watseka and formerly of Armstrong, passed away on Wednesday (July 17, 2013) at the Iroquois Resident Home in Watseka.
Mason was born Nov. 10, 1923, in Armstrong, the son of Lester M. and Edna F. Wernigk Burd. He married Josephine Campbell on Feb. 26, 1949, in Seattle, Wash., and she preceded him in death on Feb. 10, 2001.
He is survived by one daughter, Mary (Richard) Taylor of Sidell; two sons, Richard Burd of Palatine and Bob (Julie) Burd of Watseka; seven grandchildren, Jennifer Taylor, Ben (Mandy) Taylor, Brent Burd, Justin Burd, Brandon Burd, Brittany Burd and Blake Burd; his first great-grandchild is due in January 2014; two nieces, Sue Elston-Rogner and Jane Booth; and several cousins.
In addition to his wife, he was also preceded in death by his parents; one sister, Julia Elston; and one son, Sherman Burd.
Mr. Burd attended Armstrong High School and the University of Illinois. He served in the Army, farmed in the Armstrong area his entire life on the family's Centennial Farm and represented Funk's G Hybrid Seed Corn for over 30 years.
Mason served as 4-H leader and tractor school teacher. He served as board member and chairman for the Vermilion County Farm Bureau, was a member of the Masonic Lodge, 32nd Degree Mason in the Valley of Danville, served in Eastern Star and was a member of the Potomac Masonic Lodge.
Mason was active in church, having belonged to the Armstrong Methodist Church, the Sidell United Methodist Church and the Ely Methodist Church. He served as Methodist District Lay Speaker leader and filled the pulpit in many area churches as a lay speaker.
He was an accomplished bowler and served faithfully on a men's bowling team. With his wife, Josephine, he chaperoned travel groups to Alaska and points beyond. He enjoyed raising orchids in his greenhouse, did intricate counted cross stitch work and loved fishing and spending summers near Ely, Minn., at his summer home.
Music was an important part of Mason's life; he sung in choirs and as a soloist in church and community events.
Visitation will be from 1:30 p.m. until the 3:30 p.m. funeral service on Sunday, July 21, at the Sidell United Methodist Church, 202 S. Chicago St., Sidell, IL 61876. Rev. Charles Graul and Rev. Don Shane will officiate.
In lieu of other expressions of sympathy, memorials may be made to the Sidell United Methodist Church or Ely United Methodist Church.
Knapp Funeral Home in Watseka is in charge of arrangements.
Please sign the online guestbook at knappfuneralhomes.com.