Mason Retires from Women’s Hospital after 40+ Years
Marie Mason, office/gift shop manager at Women’s Hospital, has retired after more than 40 years with North Mississippi Medical Center.
Mason graduated from South Pontotoc High School, where her father served as principal, in 1980 and earned a certificate in secretarial science from Itawamba Community College the following year. In November 1981, she joined the NMMC staff as a switchboard operator working 3-11 p.m. “Before NMMC, I had only worked part-time and summers,” Mason says. “I remember that I bought my first car with my first paycheck from NMMC.”
After about a year on the switchboard, Mason became the secretary for the Pathology Department. She worked there until being named an administrative assistant for Women’s Hospital when the facility opened in 1986. Many years later she added responsibility for the Women’s Hospital Gift Shop.
Over four decades, Mason has worn many hats and worked with virtually every area throughout the health system. “Early on, I even helped the OB-GYN residents find a place to live, made sure the apartments were stocked and helped them move in,” she quipped. “I raised most of the doctors at Women’s Hospital.”
She also met her future husband, Garry, when he worked in NMMC’s Supply, Processing and Distribution area. They have been married more than 38 years.
The variety her role offered was immensely satisfying. “I was always doing something different,” says Mason, noting that Vice President of Women and Children’s Services Ellen Friloux “makes it easy to enjoy coming to work every day.”
She particularly enjoyed working on community events such as Baby Fair, the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit reunion and women’s health programs. Highlights of her career include the Baby-Friendly Hospital designation, Mother-Baby Unit, OB Emergency Department, robotic surgery and antepartum area for monitoring maternity patients. During her tenure, Women and Children’s Services added Pediatrics, Children’s Clinic and the NMMC Child Care Center.
Having joined the NMMC family at age 21, Mason says she “honestly can’t remember life before NMMC.” Now that she has retired, the Masons are moving to Pensacola, Florida, to be closer to their new granddaughter, Ayla. She hopes to find a fun part-time job and spend most of her days babysitting, walking, reading, and tending to flower and herb gardens.
“NMMC has been a major part of my life,” she says. “I will forever be grateful for all the opportunities given to me.”