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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Thursday, October 13, 2005

Leonard Mason, 92, UH anthropologist

Advertiser Staff

Leonard Edward Mason, a retired University of Hawai'i-Manoa professor and noted authority on Pacific Islands anthropology, died Saturday at Pohai Nani Good Samaritan Retirement Community in Kane'ohe. He was 92.

Mason, a Seattle native, taught at the UH-Manoa campus from 1947 to 1969.

Mason was one of the founders of UH's Pacific Island Studies program and headed the anthropology department for several years, according to a 1997 newsletter article by Glenn Petersen of Baruch College/City University of New York.

In 1946, Mason was one of the researchers who worked on the U.S. Commercial Co.'s economic survey of Micronesia, "seeking to determine ways in which the Micronesians' economy could be brought back to something resembling its prewar prosperity, a prospect that would, unfortunately, fail," Petersen wrote.

Mason is survived by son William; daughters Jacqueline Norman and Nancy Henderson; brothers Ralph and Robert; six grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

A service will be held at 2:30 p.m. Sunday at Borthwick Mortuary; visitation at 2 p.m. Aloha attire. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the Hawaiian Humane Society, 2700 Wai'alae Ave., Honolulu, HI 96826.