Iona “Oney” Tracy Pelissier Mason died Aug. 10 of cancer, surrounded by friends, family, and love at her home in Wilson. She was 46. Her family provided the following.
Oney was born July 15, 1974, in Smithers, British Columbia, to Jim and Gracie Pelissier, joining her three older siblings, Todd Cannon, Curt Cannon, and Cody Pelissier. They were a ranching family who returned to the states soon after Oney was born to operate the ranch in Medora, North Dakota, which Jim’s father had been operating. Oney spent those early years surrounded by family, riding her pony, Jingles, and developing a deep appreciation and love of the North Dakota badlands and wild spaces. She began school in a one-room schoolhouse in the area.
Later, Gracie, Cody and Oney moved to Dickenson, North Dakota, for two years. Despite the changes, the kids made new friends. Next they moved to Rapid City, South Dakota, to be near her brother Todd, who was stationed at Ellsworth Air Force Base. When Todd’s duty station changed, Gracie and the younger kids moved to Jackson, where Gracie had grown up. Once again, Oney made many friends and touched many lives. She graduated from Jackson Hole High in 1992. While in school she met Autumn Meeks, who would become her lifelong friend and compassionate caregiver to the end.
Oney was known for her strong work ethic and integrity, which was admired and appreciated by those who dealt with her. She enjoyed working at the Teton County Treasurer’s Office, a job she returned to for a while after spending a few years in Arizona. She also contributed her accounting talents to local hotels, builders and other employers. She highly valued customer service and truly enjoyed helping customers and patrons.
In 2010, Oney reconnected with Tom Mason, 20 years after initially meeting and becoming friends. They had both recently transitioned out of relationships. The stars aligned and they began their courtship, each finding their true love. They were soon inseparable and were married Aug. 15, 2014. From 2010 to Oney’s passing, they enjoyed camping, four-wheeling, dancing to their favorite local bands, hosting family dinners, playing games, and traveling to visit family, including a special recent trip to North Dakota to join a large family celebration.
Oney is survived by her husband, Tom, and two stepchildren, Michael and Alex; her mother, Gracie, father, Jim, and stepmother, Tina; her brothers Curt (Stephanie) Cannon and Cody (Tanya) Pelissier; and many nieces and nephews, aunts, uncles and cousins. Oney also had a second mother in her aunt Betty Nelson, who was always there for her. Oney’s faith sustained her to the end, and she looked forward to the reunion in heaven with our Lord, her brother Todd Cannon and other family members who had passed but were close to her heart.
A celebration of Oney’s life was held Saturday at Gateway Church.