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James K. Masson, M.D.
1918 – 2009

Dr. James K. Masson, 91, died Friday, June 26, 2009, at Saint Mary’s Hospital.

Dr. Masson was born Feb. 13, 1918, to James C. and Marion (Knowles) Masson in Rochester. His father was head of a section of general surgery at Mayo Clinic from 1915 to 1949, and chief of the surgical staff from 1935 to 1949.

James attended Rochester public schools and enrolled in Carleton College in Northfield in 1936, receiving a degree in 1940. He then entered the University of Rochester (N.Y.) School of Medicine and Dentistry, from which he obtained his medical degree in 1943. He was an intern in the George F. Geisinger Memorial Hospital in Danville, Pa., from January to October 1944.

On Oct. 1, 1944, he returned to Rochester as a fellow in general surgery at the Mayo Graduate School of Medicine. His tenure of this fellowship was interrupted by active service in the Medical Corps of the Naval Reserve from July 1945 to August 1946. He received a discharge with the rank of lieutenant, junior grade, resumed his fellowship at the Mayo Graduate School of Medicine, and was a first assistant in surgery from April 1, 1947, to July 1, 1949. He changed his major interest to plastic surgery on July 1, 1949, and was a first assistant in plastic surgery from July 1, 1949, to Oct. 1, 1952.

His graduate studies were concentrated on general medicine and surgical diagnosis, orthopedic surgery, laryngology, oral and plastic surgery, medical hospital service and surgical pathology. He became an assistant to the staff in plastic surgery on April 1, 1951, and in July 1952 received a Master of Science degree in surgery from the University of Minnesota.

Dr. Masson was appointed to the staff of Mayo Clinic on Oct. 1, 1952, but returned to active duty with Medical Corps in March 1953, serving until September 1954. In 1960, he became an instructor in plastic surgery in the Mayo Graduate School of Medicine, and advanced to assistant professor in 1965.

Dr. Masson was certified as a specialist in plastic surgery in 1955 by the American Board of Plastic Surgery Inc. He was a fellow of the American College of Surgeons and the American Academy of Ophthalmalogy and Otolaryngology, as well as a member of the American Medical Association, the American Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons Inc., the Society of Head and Neck Surgeons, the Midwestern Association of Plastic Surgeons, the Minnesota State Medical Association, the Minnesota Surgical Society, the Zumbro Valley Medical Society, the Society of the Sigma Xi, and the Alumni Association of the Mayo Graduate School of Medicine.

On June 20, 1942, he married Lillian M. Miller of Rochester.

Dr. Masson is survived by his wife; a son, James W. Masson of Carrollton, Texas; two daughters, Linda (John) Kastendiek of Sheboygan, Wis., and Catherine M. Lewis of Wauwatosa, Wis.; four grandchildren, John J. Kastendiek, James S. Kastendiek, Emily M. (Jason) Lacey and Elizabeth M. Lewis; two great-grandchildren, James W. Lacey and Elizabeth M. Lacey; a sister, Helen Copeland of Charlotte, N.C.; and a brother, Stanley F. (Marjorie) Masson of Orlando, Fla. He was preceded in death by his parents and a brother, William.

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