Mason Tolman Jr., 51, of Slingerlands, N.Y., died at his home Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2011. He was the son of the late Rev. Canon Mason Tolman and Betsy Tolman. Mason was born and raised in the Albany area.
He was a 1978 graduate of the Albany Academy and an active alumnus. Mason received a Bachelor of Arts degree at Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio, in 1982 and entered the field of advertising. He rose to the rank of vice president at Young & Rubicam Inc. in New York, which at the time was the largest advertising agency in the world. He worked there for 15 years before he married Jane Magrino, a longtime reporter and writer, in 1996.
They moved to Key West, where they lived for five years, to start a new life together. Mason became president of the Key West Innkeepers Association and was active in civic and business life. He particularly enjoyed golf and tennis. They returned to Slingerlands to Mason’s family homestead in 2001. The house was built in the late 1890s by Mason’s great-grandfather, Cornelius Slingerland. The property has been passed down through four generations of Slingerland and Mullens families. Mason and his wife, Jane, lived in the house in Slingerlands for 10 years after returning from Key West. Up north, Mason loved to ski and go hunting.
In Albany, Mason first worked at Sawchuk, Brown and other agencies before founding his own firm, The Tolman Co. LLC, an advertising and integrated marketing communications firm. His firm contributed to the success of fledgling charter schools across Albany. He was a member of the Fort Orange Club and well-known in business and political circles throughout Albany.
Upon hearing of the death of his godfather, Jonathan Farwell, 27, summed his uncle’s life as well as anyone could: “You, sir, lived a life worth talking about after it was all said and done. I’ve laid witness and heard more great Mason Tolman stories than anyone else I can think of. Everyone needs to take a page out of your playbook and get out and live before it’s too late. I’ve never met a living soul who knew you who didn’t smile at the mention of your name. I’ll see you when I get there, my man.”
Another nephew and godson, Noah Dylan Miller, was shocked to lose such a young uncle who had meant so much to him in his own brief 16 years: “R.I.P. Uncle Mason. My godfather. My dad’s best friend, my aunt’s loving husband, the one I always knew would understand me. I’m gonna miss you so much as will everyone else, but I am glad that you are reunited with your loving dog Aiko up in Heaven, and Jerry (Garcia, of course). You’re the man, Uncle Mason.”
He is survived by his wife, Jane; a brother, Andrews Tolman of Readfield, Maine; a sister, Laura Farwell Blake of Harvard, Mass.; and their extended families. A memorial service will be held on Friday, Nov. 11, at 11 a.m. at the Cathedral of All Saints, 62 S. Swan St., in Albany.
This is a paid notice.