If ever there was a “family-style” dental practice, it belongs to Dick Mason, a dentist who has cared for the Arcadia neighborhood for 40 years. And while proud of the care he has provided his patients, his greatest satisfaction has been in the relationships he’s formed.
“I’ve watched generations pass through my office and am now caring for the grandchildren of people that I started out with,” Dick says with real satisfaction. “My staff has been with me a long time and so have my patients. It has been a dual blessing.”
Dick was born in Yuma but grew up in the Valley in a family of five children, all of whom attended Scottsdale High School. His father was in the lumber business and according to Dick, built his kids’ character through his own life actions.
“My dad had a very giving heart and was always looking out for people,” Dick recalls. “He actually started the Scottsdale Boy’s Club and put our house down as collateral on a personal loan to get it built. He was a great father and preached the importance of family.”
Dick’s family was steeped in faith and they never missed a Catholic mass. “We could be camping deep in the woods and that didn’t matter, dad would drive us 45 minutes to the nearest church,” Dick says with a chuckle.
Those teachings and precepts would carry into Dick’s adult life as he and his wife, Kathy, have been active in youth ministry for decades. They were introduced to Young Life early on and led the Arcadia “club” for 37 years. The weekly gatherings became so popular that the Masons had to eventually add a room onto their house to accommodate the throng of high schoolers.
“Young Life is all about sharing the love of Christ with kids who are in their formative years. Kathy and I have seen thousands of young people touched by the Gospel and that has been a real blessing for us and our children.”
The Masons have four adult boys – Matt, David, Daniel and Michael – and four grandchildren with another on the way.
With no thought of slowing down, Dick’s house is equal parts dental office and neighborhood reunion hub, as his warm armchair manner has attracted a legion of Arcadia residents. Contrary to how many people feel about going to the dentist, most of Dick’s patients say they actually look forward to their appointments.
“Dick really, really cares about his patients and has taken great care of me and my family,” says Mike Flynn, a long-time Arcadian.
Dick says, “Looking out for others is just what you do.” And the Arcadia neighborhood has always fostered that type of mutual caring. “It’s about people involved with people and looking out for one another.”
Upon Dick’s high school graduation, he was given a Bible, the only gift he remembers ever receiving from his father. It was simply inscribed, “Always be thankful for the love of God.”
Clearly this is a man who took that message to heart.