Hendree Osborne Fitzgerald Mason, 77, of Carrboro, NC, formerly of Richmond (Mechanicsville), Va. passed away on September 28, 2022 while bravely battling cancer.
She was preceded in death by her loving husband of 31 years, Paul H. Mason USMCR and her parents Stuart C. and Hendree O. Fitzgerald. She is survived by her devoted daughter Dr. Hendree J. Lensch and her husband Erik M. Lensch, granddaughter Ashley Carter Lensch, grandson Davis Matthew Lensch, her faithful dog Trapper and independent cat Inky. She was blessed with a beautiful circle of neighbors and friends from both Richmond and Carrboro.
Hendree graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University Fine Arts (Drama) class of 1966. Her moto was “How can I help you?” As a public school teacher for over 30 years she influenced the lives of hundreds of the younger generation and served her community as a member of the Lakeside Volunteer Rescue Squad. She shared her love of reading and adult literacy as a volunteer at the Richmond Read Center. Hendree “marched to the beat of her own drum” and was a fierce advocate of women’s rights. She would also “bend the rules” to advocate for and support her students. She loved to make history come alive for students and led creative tours for Agecroft Hall & Gardens for many years. A cherished highlight for her was that she relished being found innocent in the reenactment of the Salem witch trials. The love for her family was always foremost in her life. It was this emotion that motivated her relocation to Carrboro, NC in 2015, even though she said would only move, “when pigs fly.” She knew she found the right home in Carrboro when she found a sculpture of a pig with wings next to the trashcan there – which she proceeded to rescue and hang in a place of honor in her home for all to see. She made new friends easily and continued to serve her community as a volunteer librarian and substitute teacher at Carolina Friends School. She maintained a lifelong interest in animal welfare and was a well-known Carrboro community figure for walking her dog, feeding the deer and participating in the weekly outdoor Qigong sessions. Her friends described her spirit as one of passion, love, devotion to family, loyalty, and curiosity. She had a remarkable way of making each person feel like they were the most important person in the room. Hendree had an incredibly generous heart, she was giving, loving and accepting of everyone she met from all walks of life. When people described her as feisty she would often ask why people labeled her that way. Yet, she was the epitome of the definition of feisty- small in stature, lively, determined and courageous. Hendree had a wickedly keen mind and sense of humor. She loved vultures and her first meeting with each hospice team member would always include her stated wish for her body to be eaten by vultures. Her cancer fight taught her to be the “Queen of Plan B” and given her vulture plan would not work, she delighted in the idea of a natural green burial and will be laid to rest at Blue Stem in Cedar Grove, NC. She was a lifelong teacher and taught her family and close friends the pain and beauty of the dying process with humility, grace, wit and love.
The family wishes to express sincere appreciation to the many steadfast friends and faithful caregivers who have so selflessly rendered such loving kindness and support during this recent time of illness.
Funeral services private.
Memorial donations may be made to https://www.crisisdogsnc.org/
A celebration of life will be held from 4-7 PM on October 15, 2022 at her daughter’s home in Chapel Hill, NC.