J Morgan Mason

J Morgan Mason, pioneering spirit, mother, canine fan, advocate for justice, and friend to many passed away on March 6th, 2024, due to complications from breast cancer. She was 80 years old and spent her last days surrounded by friends and family. Morgan was born in Washington D.C. on July 17th, 1943 to John and Germaine (Bernard) Mason, the second of five siblings growing up in Northern Virginia. When she turned 18, Morgan and a handful of friends drove West on an adventure, eventually settling in Los Angeles, where she took classes at the University of California, Los Angeles, graduating from one of the first programs in the country to certify X-ray technicians. Morgan met her first husband and had her son, Mason Posner, in 1969. As a soon-to-be single mom, Morgan made an amazing home for her son and their dog Champ. She achieved sobriety in Alcoholics Anonymous in 1978 and played key service roles for the program in Los Angeles, and later in North Carolina, including sponsoring innumerable women, many of whom she stayed in close contact with until her death.

Morgan remarried in 1982 to Fielder Cook and gained two amazing step-daughters, Lindsey and Rebecca. This time was filled with food, parties, and visits to “camp”, a family cabin on the James River in the Shenandoah Valley. After working as a sales representative for a medical device company, Morgan and her business partner started Mason and Nicastri Limited in 1986, a first of its kind executive search firm for the hospitality industry. Clients included Warner Brothers, Starbucks, California Pizza Kitchen, and P.F. Changs. Their work over 11 years supported the growth of several iconic food and beverage brands during their early days of expansion. Morgan was a co-organizer for the Share our Strength’s Taste of the Nation fundraising event for national food pantries, involving top restaurants across Los Angeles. She also spent these years hosting parties in her Malibu apartment overlooking the Pacific Ocean and housed a son returning from college on her couch. Days were filled with walks with her cherished dogs Celeste, Mocha, and Fannie Rose, and run-ins with the occasional mountain lion.

In July of 2000 Morgan drove to Southern Shores, North Carolina, with her good friend Beverly Webman to help take care of her father. Soon after she met her future daughter-in-law Cathy (Culp) Posner and helped plan Mason and Cathy’s 2003 wedding in Manteo. Mason, Cathy, and their daughter Lucinda would visit Morgan every summer, Christmas and sometimes in-between. After her father’s passing, Morgan developed a new real estate sales business with partner Jean-Paul Peron in 2008. Over the next 14 years they innovated the sale of beach properties with virtual online tools. Their personable and ethical approach to connecting clients to new homes led to great success and positive impacts on the local community. Morgan served as a board member for the Dare County Arts Council, Beach Food Pantry, and Friends of Pooh, and helped organize the annual Wags and Whiskers fundraising event. Morgan’s dog Jack was often seen sporting a bowtie on posters promoting this event. She also served on the City of Southern Shores architectural review board. In 2022 Morgan retired from real estate and moved to Cleveland, Ohio to be closer to her son and family. She loved her short time in Cleveland, hosting friends’ visits in her 1920’s era apartment building, making many new, wonderful friends, discovering food and music and visiting the Cleveland Museum of Art. After her diagnosis Morgan would walk the three blocks from her apartment to her treatments and considered it a benefit that she was within walking distance of world-class healthcare. She continued to enjoy life until the end and will be missed by so many.

Morgan was preceded in death by her mother Germaine (Bernard) and father John Mason, and sister Claire. She is survived by her son Mason Posner, daughter-in-law Cathy (Culp) Posner, granddaughter Lucinda Badgett Posner, sisters Kathleen Mason and Janice (Mason) Falk and brothers Clarke and Michael Mason, as well as multiple nephews and nieces that she cared for greatly, including her godson, Rob Falk.

In lieu of flowers donations can be sent in Morgan’s honor to the Cleveland Animal Protective League (https://clevelandapl.org/) and Coastal Humane Society (https://obxcoastalhumanesociety.org/). Memorial services will be planned for Cleveland and in Southern Shores later this year.