Age has never been a hindrance for Franklin G. Mason, a man who ran his first marathon at 60 and who still practices dentistry at 92.
He has been on 35 medical mission trips to eight different countries, served for 20 years as a trustee of Charleston Southern University and has been a deacon at his church for 64 years.
“I thank God every day for 92 years of a happy and productive life,” said the World War II veteran, who credits his mother for instilling in him a passion for missions.
Mason was honored recently by the Baptist Foundation of South Carolina with the Lonnie H. Shull Jr. Legacy Award, which is presented to individuals who have demonstrated outstanding support of the foundation’s ministry through the establishment of legacy gifts.
Mason’s relationship with the foundation began in 2004. His gifts will support Charleston Southern University, Connie Maxwell Children’s Home and his church, Mullins First Baptist.
Mason developed a passion for running at the age of 58 and ran his first marathon at age 60. By the time his running career ended at age 85 due to knee and heart problems, he had completed 740 races, 120 of which were full marathons.
A widower, he still practices dentistry three and a half days a week, works out at the gym six days every week and remains active in his church and the Mullins Lions Club.
“Dr. Mason’s love for life and his Lord are contagious,” said Barry Edwards, retiring foundation president. “He is a joy to be around and a wonderful example of Christian service and stewardship.”
Edwards, who retired in August, was also presented a Legacy Award.