Trekmovie.com is very sad to report that Joyce Mason, former runner of the official William Shatner fan club and host of the 1990s radio talk show "Talk Trek and Beyond," passed away September 6th of natural causes. See below for a eulogy by John Tenuto.
A Eulogy for Joyce Mason
Some people talk French, some talk German, we talk Trek!
– Joyce Mason
Many fans remember Joyce either because she ran the previous version of the official William Shatner fan club called "The William Shatner Connection" or more likely because of her famous 1990s radio talk show "Talk Trek and Beyond" which was featured on the Cable Radio Network with nearly 2.5 million listeners from about 1990 to 1998. Both Joyce and her co-host Evelyn de Biase were featured in the documentary Trekkies. Joyce had an infectious enthusiasm for Star Trek and lived the ideal of helping others so prevalent in the narratives of the show’s episodes and movies. For example, Joyce was one of the original volunteers and helped organize what is now called the "Wells Fargo Hollywood Charity Horse Show" which William Shatner runs each year.
Joyce was also featured in Nikki Stafford’s 2002 book "Trekkers: True Stories by Fans for Fans." In the book, Joyce discusses how she started watching Star Trek as a way to find one-hour a day escape from the realities of taking care of her sister who was sick for years and to whom she had devoted her life. Joyce said "The existence of a fan club like the William Shatner Connection may not seem all that important. Then again, in this world of terrorism and war, maybe we need heroes. Perhaps if we can appreciate our heroes, even make-believe ones, by banding together on our Web sites and through our newsletters and shared experiences, maybe it will help someone smile, and feel better. If it helps to dry a tear or two, then that is a very good thing."
In the December 2001 first issue of the revamped Shatner fan club newsletter "The Best of Times" Joyce announced she needed to leave her duties running the club for health reasons. William Shatner wrote this about Joyce Mason in that issue:
Joyce has been responsible for so much that we can’t even begin to thank her or list the things she has done. So on behalf of everybody, I’d like to say a grand THANK YOU to her, but I feel confident that she is hovering over my shoulder even as we speak, and that she will be close to us for a long time to come.
– William Shatner
With the recent passing of Joyce Mason and Joan Winston, of fans who did so much for other fans, I can’t help thinking of the words of the character of Dean Charles Stanforth to Indiana Jones, "We seem to have reached the age where life stops giving us things and starts taking them away." Yet, the work and good deeds of Mason and Winston for the fan community can live on in the work and good deeds of us. Thanks Joyce for all you did, and all your inspiration will help to do in the future.
Joyce Mason with William Shatner
UPDATE: David Rossi’s thoughts
Star Trek producer David Rossi was a regular guest on Joyce Mason’s show, and has sent in the following statement on her passing:
Joyce Mason began every episode of Talk Trek by saying “Hello, Gentle Beings.” It wasn’t just a greeting to her. She believed in the best of people and saw off in the distance, a day when the reality of Gene Roddenberry’s vision would take hold and humanity would elevate itself to a nobler status. She was one of the kindest, most sincere people I have ever had the honor of spending time with. In times like this, it’s easy to let our grief get the better of us and mourn our loss. But in this case, having known Joyce, I mourn the people who never had the chance to know her, for the loss is truly theirs.
Safe travels Joyce.
(Appreciation to WilliamShatner.com and Jane Singer)
I’m saddened by news like this. The fact that a fan like Joyce won’t be around to see the new TREK movie next summer makes it even worse.
Thanks Joyce. I use to be a member of the “William Shatner Connection”, and appreciate all you did. May God comfort your family and friends. Rest in peace.
#2 – Yes, indeed, that is a sad thought. I hope that any and all of us fans who look forward to this film’s premiere will be here to see it next May. Life is unpredictable.
I must confess that I have never heard of Ms. Mason, but any fan of Mr. Shatner’s is a friend of mine. And since she was such a supreme fan of his and of Trek as to start a club by her own efforts, I’m sure she would have been a great friend indeed.
It sounds like William Shatner was greatly appreciative of her, and I am sure he is saddened by her passing.
#5. Brett Campbell stated: I hope that any and all of us fans who look forward to this film’s premiere will be here to see it next May. Life is unpredictable.
Agreed! Best health and best wishes to everyone at Trekmovie.com. Be safe this holiday season so we can all return to discuss the film next summer.
Wow. I used to correspond with her. Sad.
She’ll have a GREAT seat for STXI.
Star Trek is a human story after all. We come together here and talk about our movie ( that we will love ), but is it really about a movie? People like Joyce remind us that it is much more than a set of movies and books. What that more is may be why we like to talk about it and why we like people to make movies about it for us. Some Sci-Fi out there is pure entertainment and we love it, but Joyce knew what we know about Star Trek in that the human adventure is just beginning. Some folks might want to know why we get so worked up over a movie that hasn’t even come out yet, she knew why. She sees the movie.
People like Joyce are the heart and soul of Star Trek fandom.
Best wishes to her family and friends.
Hey Joyce. May you Rest in Peace and thank you for all the wonderfull work you done.
Joyce will be rememberd with Honor and be remembered through the 24th century.
I remember seeing her in Trekkies, and I thought she seemed like a kind soul. I’m sad that’s really all I know of her.
Yes Rest in Peace Joyce. You will be remembered….its super fans like her that help keep the dream alive for all of us! I remember seeing her in trekkies also…Any trek fan that does not have or have seen that movie should get it. Its excellent…she was one of the fans you appreciated….some go a bit too far in their love for Trek which is always fascinating as where we all draw the line seems to be different for some people haha….Denise Crosby did a great job with that documentary. Second one not so much….its too much of the same but more world focused and while interesting at times seemed a bit too long and ultra detailed for me.
Beam her up, Scotty.
Very sorry to hear this.
RIp Joyce ,and thanks for speading the word about Trek
It was people like Joyce and Joan that me feel like I was finally -home- when I attended my first convention in 1984. TimeCon in San Jose at the Red Lion Inn. I never met either of these ladies, but without them, I would have never attended a con at all. I haven’t been to one in a long, but I have many fond memories. To them, my everlasting thanks.
Don’t be sad, just think of who Joyce will be sitting with in May watching STXI. Gene, De, Jimmy, Mark and many other friends.
In many ways i envy her, not only does she have the best seat in the house, but she gets to debate it with Mr Roddenbery etc…
God Bless you Joyce and good luck as you travel to the greatest unknown and your Final Frontier…
I first met Joyce in ’91 when she started the Talk Trek Radio Show on local station KIEV in Glendale, CA. My Star Trek fan college buddy, Dylan DelGuercio, and I used to call in on the show and enjoyed the idea of a show devoted to Trek. One week they announced that they were going to stage a “Roast of Kirk and Spock” and asked for audition tapes from people to play the roles… he and I sent in a tape, and were brought in to participate. And were on the show every week after that.
Over the next six and a half years, we co hosted the show with Joyce, Evelyn DiBiase, and Dave Rossi… We moved to the nationally heard CRN, the cable radio network, where we got to interview many Trek guests, including William Shatner, Jimmy Doohan, Rene Auberjonios (in a hilarious in-studio interview which featured him singing…) Plus, a wide range of guests… it was a wonderful time in my life, when I could hang with fans from across the country and talk about something we had a love and passion for.
Joyce invited Dylan and I to one of their “Shatner Weekends” that the fan club had every year with Bill, hanging out at the Burbank Equestrian Center, and a fun dinner with the man himself at the Sportsman’s Lodge in Studio City. Dylan and I got to perform for the Shat, we did “Age of Aquarius” in shatner’s “sing talk” style… (years before his resurgence in the media… I like to think we were part of his inspiration to revisit that part of his career) I’ll never forget the night I got to have dinner with Captain Kirk.
Joyce was the beacon of happiness and enthusiasm that made it all possible. Her warmth and kindness was what kept the show going, and her enjoyment of Trek was infectious. Her friendship was cherished, and I was so happy that she was able to attend our “premiere” of the Director’s edition of Star Trek: The Motion Picture in 2001.
I had kept in contact with her on and off over the years, but hadn’t spoken to her since my buddy Dylan passed away unexpectedly from viral pneumonia in 2005. I hope that now they are both having a great time with the Great Bird, and other luminaries.
I’ve often though of those fun years when the show was going on, and that every week, I could foray into geekdom and have a great time hobnobing with fellow fans. Joyce made that possible… and I will be forever grateful.
What a great lady. Always so nice to fans. I enjoyed talking trek with her and the Shatner fan club was great. She will be missed.
I spent many fond hours listening to and talking with Joyce. She was a very remarkable person. She did so much for Star Trek, its fans, and her charities. She will be missed. No spirit so strong so gentle so kind will ever fade. Every person she touched will carry with them a part of her. Goodbye Joyce and thanks for all the good memories.
I am deeply saddened to learn of the passing of our dear friend Joyce Mason. I would like to share with you all some of my memories of Joyce, which will remain with me always. I first wrote to Joyce in 1998. My best friend, Steve Kember, was getting married to his fiancée, Teresa, and had asked me to be his Best Man. Given our mutual devout interest in William Shatner, I thought it appropriate to try and get a message from Mr. Shatner to be read out at Steve’s wedding. My main problem, however, was finding the right person to contact. After much searching, I found the William Shatner Connection, headed by one Joyce Mason! At last, I had an address to write to! I sent Joyce an e-mail requesting a message from Mr. Shatner. Some time passed and an e-mail came back to me, saying that she had contacted Bill and that he wished the couple “much joy and happiness”. I read the message at their wedding and clearly the Bride and Groom were overjoyed. I wrote to Joyce and thanked her for her help and we continued to correspond. Over the next few months, I came to know Joyce and she came to know me via e-mail. I had told her I was heading to the U.S. in September 1999 to work at Yale and I had said to her that I was definitely coming to the Shatner Weekend 2000. I asked her to reserve me a spot and I would send her the deposit – she responded that she had already put down my name before asking! In April 2000 I arrived at the Sportsman’s Lodge in L.A. for the Shatner Weekend. Steve and Teresa had come over from England and had met me in L.A. On the evening of Friday 21st April 2000 we eagerly gathered in the function room awaiting Joyce’s arrival and the itinerary for the Weekend. Quite soon, Joyce arrived. One of the first things I remember about her is her wonderful smile. The second thing I remember her saying is “Where’s Ed?” I felt like I had known Joyce for years, yet this was the first time we had met in person. We hugged like old friends and sat down to talk. Next she hugged Steve and Teresa. Joyce also introduced us to her friends, Evie, Jane and Sandy, who all said that they felt like they knew us because Joyce had talked about us so much! We truly felt welcome and the experience of meeting everyone was wonderful. Joyce loved our sense of humor. She laughed so hard when we showed her a T-shirt we had designed for Steve’s Bachelor Party with the logo “Sons of Shatner” on it – a reference to a “fan club” we had invented. She insisted that we get the T-shirts signed by Bill – something I was a bit fearful of, but we did not say no to Joyce! As it happened, Mr. Shatner loved the T-shirt and laughed hard when he signed them for us. I will never forget this weekend – it was the last Shatner Weekend to be organized by Joyce and the first I had attended. Also, I will always credit Joyce as the person who made one of my dreams come true – to meet William Shatner. But something far more important grew from this Weekend — a long lasting solid friendship with a very dear person: Joyce. The following year Joyce had retired from the William Shatner Connection due to ill health, but she was still passionately involved in the Hollywood Charity Horse Show. I flew out in April 2001 and, although there was no Shatner Weekend that year, I wanted to help Joyce with her part of the Horse Show. Joyce loved organizing the volunteers who came in Star Trek and Star Wars costumes for the parade. This parade brought so much delight to the children in the audience and made Joyce very happy. Joyce truly loved helping raise funds through the Shatner Connection to help Ahead With Horses, a charity that encourages physically or mentally challenged children to ride with horses. The mere act of helping these young children filled Joyce with great joy, something that she talked about very often. Subsequently, I visited Joyce each year to help with the Horse Show and to see how she was doing. We shared many great stories – she would delight me with tales about her time on Talk Trek and all the Star Trek alumni she had met. I could write much much more as I have so many happy memories of Joyce. We had a strong spiritual bond and a great chemistry. My wife Bozena also bonded with Joyce on our many visits. We both loved… Read more »
We should start a petition drive to get her added to the movie’s “Dedicated to…” list, along with James Doohan and DeForest Kelley…
I’m so sorry to hear the news… we just lost a lady at our church, 93, who fit that same description: a gentle person who loved life and always did for others. Wishing comfort to Joyce’s family and friends.
Thanks, John, for a fine story.
i remember Joyce when Talk Trek was hosted on local radio in LA. When it moved to cable I lost track of it and her. My best to her family and spirit.
I’m woefully late, but that’s no reflection on my sadness at hearing we lost Joyce Mason. I really knew Joyce mainly from our run-ins at conventions–I suddenly realize we never even got a pic together–because we West Coasted so late that I missed her most active years out here. With one exception: just months after we moved to the LA area, Joyce tracked down Janet and I for Talk Trek after the TNG Companion came out–she heard we were out here and could be a “local” guest, and the night we spent with her and Eileen on the air was a real hoot. That was also where we got to meet MISTER Doctorman :-D for the first time… it was good to see his words here, too. Kudos to John and Anthony for helping recall our roots…. As a pre-Internet spreader of rare Trek contact, Joyce deserves all that, and more.
I have read the comment about getting a petition to add Joyce’s name to the “Dedicated to…” list for the new Trek Movie. Whilst this is a nice idea, I think a more appropriate tribute would be making a contribution to the Hollywood Charity horse Show in memory of Joyce. This charity was so close to Joyce’s heart and she was very heavily involved with them for a number of years.
Myself and wife are planning on making a donation in her memory. It would be nice to be able to sponsor a physically-challenged child to have riding lessons with Ahead With Horses. If anyone reading this wishes to donate then an appropriate link can be found on WilliamShatner.com or http://www.horseshow.org
Thank you Edwin for that moving tribute.
A contribution in her name is a wonderful idea!!!!! I lived in Burbank CA for years and attended the Horse Show many times and had the pleasure of attending a Shatner weekend once upon a time. I loved Talk Trek and Joyce was so nice to fans at cons.
May Joyce rest in peace. She was a great host of “Talk TRek” when it was on KIEV 870 AM in Glendale, CA. I was a frequent caller and met her in person several times. She was a wonderful person: Funny, warm and very smart! She knew her Trek! She will be missed by all Trek fans and most of all, by me. We’ll miss you, Joyce!
Joyce was the office manager at Sullivan & Cromwell law firm in Los Angeles when I transferred there from New York (Evelyn DeBiase was my supervisor). Joyce retired while I was still there. We all were well aware of Joyce’s [and Evelyn’s] devotion for “Star Trek” and her participation in all things Trek. I just found out she passed. She was a very sweet person.
I have recently taken up watching star trek and saw Trekkies today. The section on Joyce and her friend following through with their idea of a star trek radio show was such an inspiration to me. Sadly as I found out, I will never get to hear this woman’s sweet welcoming words “Hello, Gentle Beings” which I read is how she started every radio session. Rest in Peace Joyce Mason… “Scotty, one sweet angel to beam up.”
Here’s my memory of Joyce. I came to know her through work, not Trek. She was the boss at a law firm I worked for in New York in the 1980s (she later was my boss again at the Los Angeles office). The oversaw a huge word processing department at a major New York law firm. Her office was at the end of the very large room so that she could survey all that was going on. I remember one particularly busy day when all sorts of rush jobs were coming in. I had a particularly pressing question about the document that I was working on that only Joyce could answer. But I looked through the large window and saw her engaged in a very serious discussion with her assistant, no doubt about one crisis or another that seemed to be popping up every five minutes that day. I waited patiently and looked up about 10 minutes later. Joyce and her assistant were still deep in conversation. I tried to work around whatever question I had and come to Joyce when she was less busy. Finally, I had completed the job with my question still unanswered. I could not release the document to the lawyer without input from Joyce. She was STILL in heavy discussion mode behind the glass with her assistant. I gingerly approached her open door. As I stuck my head inside, I heard her saying, “So… Spock says to Kirk…”
R.I.P. dear firend!