Mason Edward Ludwig

Mason Edward Ludwig, 7, of North Huntingdon Township died peacefully in his sleep Saturday, Sept. 7, 2019.

From his earliest days, Mason gave hugs. Throughout the three months he spent in the West Penn Hospital NICU after being born 13 weeks too soon at just 1 lb. 14 oz., he would eagerly grab a finger and not let go. As he grew up, his hugs only grew stronger. You couldn’t leave a family gathering without a hug or two (or three!) from Mason.

Mason is survived by his loving parents, Anya (Painter) and Brian, and the best older sister in the world, Karina. Doting grandparents Patty (Tenerowicz) Ludwig and DeAnn (Marks) and Ron Painter, also survive him, as does his great-grandfather, Edward Tenerowicz, who frequently supplied Mason with loose change and chocolate M&M’s. He is also survived by his Aunt Kira (Painter) and Uncle Cris Shank and their son, Xander, of Florida. Mason loved to visit them and to spend time learning to swim with the help of Xander in their backyard pool. Also surviving are Aunt Shadene (Painter) and Uncle Ken Kubistek and their children, Quinn, Cole and Cade, whose backyard Mason could see from his own back porch and who were some of Mason’s best friends from the day he was born as well as his esteemed hide-and-seek partners. He is also survived by his Aunt Brenda (Ludwig) and Uncle Joe Geraghty and their daughters, his cousins Lena and Elise. He was Prince Hans, Olaf and Sven to their Anna and Elsa characters through countless dramatic renditions of the movie “Frozen.” He is also survived by several great-aunts, uncles and cousins.

He was preceded in death by his great-grandmother, Lena Carasia Tenerowicz, as well as his grandfather Barry Ludwig, who called him Mace and loved his “little buddy” dearly. After Barry’s death, Mason handed out Kleenex to anyone in need and did his best to keep spirits high. At this terrible moment, we remember his positive attitude, and we strive to follow his example of cheerfully helping others, especially in times of need. Mason was truly a friend to everyone. In school, he helped without being asked. In the lead role as The Gingerbread Man in his preschool play, he corralled the other little ones who forgot their roles while flawlessly delivering his own lines.

The family would like to thank all of his teachers and therapists whose support and dedication resulted in Mason’s full, enthusiastic participation in kindergarten last year and first grade this year at Hahntown Elementary School in North Huntingdon Township. Mason read stories, and he told them. He loved his favorite shows (“Paw Patrol” and “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse”) and regaled anyone who would listen with detailed retellings of what crazy adventure took place this time. He enjoyed besting his Grandpop at Go Fish and reading to his Nana. He also loved playing Super Mario Brothers and Minecraft with his sister, Karina. Together, the two of them would spend time exploring and creating in countless Minecraft worlds, each building elaborate homes for the other to live in. And when it was time for dinner, nothing would make him happier than to sit down to chicken and ham sliders from Arby’s or a great big bowl of macaroni and cheese. Mason ran and played and laughed and smiled. He lived life as purely as anyone could. He played endlessly with his cars, trains, Legos, and sticker books. On each trip to Meema’s house he’d rush to check off all the days on her desk calendar since his last visit before going to the toy bin so that he could find something for them to play together. If he was thinking something, he told you. If he wanted something, he let you know. If he loved you (and he did), you had no doubt about it. From the moment we knew of Mason, we loved him. Through the harrowing months in the NICU to his triumphant trip home, and all through his happy childhood we cheered him. We miss him now more than words can express. He was our miracle.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in Mason’s memory to his favorite place to read and get new books, the Hahntown Elementary School Library. Make checks payable to Norwin School District, Attn: Hahntown Library (Mason), and drop off at the school or mail to Norwin School District Business Office, 281 McMahon Drive, North Huntingdon, PA 15642.

Donations can also be made to the West Penn Hospital NICU Fund, 4800 Friendship Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15244, whose dedicated team of doctors, nurses and therapists helped to start Mason’s life into this world and provide Mason’s family and friends with seven wonderful years together with him.

Friends will be received 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday in Ott Funeral Home Inc., 805 Pennsylvania Ave., Irwin.

Parting prayers will be held 9 a.m. Thursday in the funeral home followed by a 9:30 a.m. Mass of Christian Burial celebrated in the Immaculate Conception Church, Irwin.

Entombment will follow in St. Clair Cemetery, Greensburg (Hempfield Township).

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