Kathleen H. Doherty Mason

Former Durango resident Kathleen H. Doherty Mason died Friday, April 27, 2012, in Globe, Ariz. She was 85.

Mrs. Mason was born to Andrew and Esther Hanson on Dec. 21, 1926, in Albert Lea, Minn. Her mother died during childbirth.

She attended St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minn., before earning a Bachelor of Arts from Black Hills Teachers College, now Black Hills State University, in Spearfish, S.D. Mrs. Mason later earned a master’s degree, which included some studying in Europe.

In 1945, she married Donald Rx Doherty in Albert Lea. During the next 12 years, she lived in several small Japanese villages while he served in the military. The marriage ended in divorce after 18 years.

Mrs. Mason moved to Durango in the mid-1960s and taught at Durango High School for 18 years. Her subjects were painting with watercolors and acrylics as well as art history.

One of the projects she did with her art students was painting all the fire hydrants in town with characters and dogs. They remained that way for a couple of years before being repainted red.

In 1975, she married James R. Mason in Durango.

Mrs. Mason was a member of Christ the King Lutheran Church and later First United Methodist Church of Durango.

She left Durango in the mid-1980s and lived on Mercer Island, Wash., for 20 years before moving to Globe.

“She was an outstanding artist,” her family said. “She loved to travel.”

Mrs. Mason was preceded in death by her husband of 13 years, James R. Mason; former husband, Donald Rx Doherty; and daughter Susan Doherty Braun.

She is survived by her children Sarah Mason Kennedy of Telluride, Charles Doherty of Loveland, Kelly Doherty Stubbs of Globe, Ariz., and Steve Mason of Gilbert, Ariz.; brother, Roger Hanson of Peoria, Ariz.; five grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

A private funeral will be held.