Meryle Jo Mason Backus


Meryle Jo Mason Backus, 67, daughter of Charles William “Bill” Mason and Wanda Louise “Myke” Rusling Mason, embarked on life’s last great adventure on March 29 in Mesa, Ariz., after a long and courageous battle with cancer.

Meryle entered life on March 2, 1954, in Port Arthur, Texas. She was in such a hurry that she gave her parents barely enough time to get to the hospital before she arrived. It was the beginning of a pattern of jumping into life with enthusiasm. She walked at six months, swam soon after, graduated early in 1971 from Friday Harbor High School in Washington state and, at age 17, went to college in Hawaii. While working at Glacier Bay National Park in Alaska, she met the love of her life, James “Jim” Backus, whom she married in 1972. In 1974, they welcomed their first son and over the next 10 years joyfully added five more sons to their family. Her sons grew into men of whom she was very proud and for whom she was very grateful. Meryle and Jim worked together to raise their family, build successful, multistate businesses and a beautiful home in Pagosa Springs, Colo. Meryle was active in her community and her church, sharing her many talents and providing countless hours of service to help lift the hearts of others. The unconditional love she freely gave to her friends and, especially, her family is an example and a comfort to each of them.

Meryle is survived by her husband of 48 years, Jim Backus; her sons Troy (Emily) Backus, Adam Backus, Jeremy Backus, Trent Backus, Cody (Katie) Backus and Connor (Jen) Backus; her father, Bill Mason; her sisters, Mykel Mason and Johnda (Nick) Smith; nine beloved grandchildren; many brothers and sisters-in law; and nieces and nephews. She is preceded in death by her mother and brother. A memorial service will be held at a later date.