Ron Mason was a legend off the ice too

Posted at 9:33 PM, Jun 13, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-14 09:30:23-04

Ron Mason is best known for the incredible success he had with the Michigan State hockey team, but he was a huge presence off the ice in Mid-Michigan.

Friends of the former hockey coach who passed away on Monday, say it was the little things that never got publicity that made Mason so important to the community.

For many regulars like James Kennedy there's a spot at the Mayfair Bar in Haslett that's going to be noticeably empty.

"Always on the hook, it's called the hook," Kennedy said.

It's a place Kennedy says he spent many game days with Mason.

"It's where we all gathered, all the friends, and Ron Mason was always on the hook with us," Kennedy added.

Kennedy say he's most grateful for is what Mason did for his son, always providing a listening ear when he went to the Mayfair.

"My son is in the Marine Corp and he has been deployed off and on but every time that he came here Ron Mason was always very accepted to him, would talk to him, would go over things with him," Kennedy said. "They were really good friends. He loved the man."

They're not the only ones who benefited from Mason's generosity. The former hockey coach spent countless hours giving back to Sparrow Hospital

"Families children for years now have benefited from this endeavor," said Stella Cash, the Vice President of Development and Strategic Partnerships for Sparrow Health System.

As an honorary member of Sparrow's Children's Miracle Network Mason helped raise more than $10 million, even teaming up with WILX for our annual telethon.

"There are probably kids today that are adults that have something that Ron Mason signed, or maybe he came by their room to see them," Cash said. "What does that mean to someone when they're ill or they're injured? It means a lot."

Mason also started a fund at the hospital to help kids going through rehab.

"There would be a need in the community and he was good at gathering the troops and he would get together people of influence to participate and to contribute," Cash added.

In 2006 Mason received Sparrow Hospital's "Founders Award". It's Sparrow's highest honor that's given to people who've shown exceptional philanthropy and stewardship.

But for Kennedy it's the seemingly small things he'll miss the most.

"He was always there to help you out, do what he could for you it's just the kind of man he was. We're all going to miss him."

Mason's funeral will be held this Thursday at 2 p.m. at Munn Ice Arena. It will be open to the public. FOX 47 News will have complete coverage on-air and online.