This memorial website was created in memory of Mason Burnett McFarland, who left us far too early. We will remember him and honor him forever. You can view his Feb. 4 memorial service in the Gallery section of this site. (It's the first video.)

Posted by Princess Adejoke on March 24, 2022
May his soul continue to rest in peace
Posted by Dean Lampman on January 28, 2022
"Those we love and lose are always connected by heartstrings into infinity."
- Terri Guillemets. 

To John and family, thinking of you with awareness that no amount of time passing can completely erase the pain -- and praying you find a balm in your memories and those enduring heartstring connections to Mason.
Posted by Lucy Soto on January 21, 2022
“They who we love and lose are no longer where they were before. They are now ... wherever we are.” -- St. John Chrysostom

Thinking of your whole family today and praying the legacy of Mason's beautiful life and spirit is continuing to carry you through the grief. 
Posted by Deb Korns on February 11, 2021
John- The stories and photos of your son and his amazing life journey are a gift to those of us who did not know him. A gift that reminds us of the importance of faith and family and exhorts us to hold on to those things above all else. I will hold you and your family in my thoughts as you navigate these first few weeks and months of grief and hope that the first celebration of Mason's life planned for May will being you joy to offset that pain.  So grateful to be part of your extended AHA family. 
Posted by Clarissa Garcia on February 4, 2021
John - I was so sorry to learn of your son's passing. Reading your words he sounds like an amazing young man who brought joy to so many. Thinking of you and your family during this tough time and want you to know that your AHA family is here for you. Sending wishes of peace to you and all who mourn his loss.
Posted by Will Pry on January 29, 2021
I'm heartbroken for your loss and moved by your loving remembrance. Praying for peace for you and all who loved him, and I am hoping you will find comfort in your memories.
Posted by Charla Carlat on January 29, 2021
Lori, John and Riley,

Thank you for sharing your son and brother with us. We learned so much from him and I will forever cherish his memories and replay our conversations. I am heartbroken for you all and I wish so much I could take away your pain.. Please know we will be there for you! I am so so sorry for your loss. -Char
Posted by Debbie Puccio on January 28, 2021

I was so deeply saddened to hear the news of Mason's passing. Please accept my deepest condolences. Thank you for sharing your son's life and legacy with us through your beautiful and heart-warming tribute -- what an amazing young man. I know all the memories, stories and photos captured here -- and so, so many more -- will go on to live in your heart forever. Sending prayers and wishes for comfort, healing and peace to you and your family from across the miles.

Posted by Pamela Kreigh on January 28, 2021
John, I'm beyond sorrowful for your loss. I always enjoy us sharing stories about our families when we set time aside to stay caught up. Thank you for sharing this beautiful story about Mason. You and your family are in my thoughts. I'm here when you're ready for us to have our chats again.
Posted by Danila Pakanich on January 27, 2021
To Mason
Thank you for being my best friend man you were always there for me no matter what. You have brought so much joy and happiness to this world and I thank you so much for that, you have taught me so much in life what it means to have a real brother by your side what a true friendship means how much being an honest loving caring person changes the world around you. You have made such a strong impact in my life. We had so many plans for the future but don’t worry i will finish what we started and continue the journey to success knowing you’ll always be right beside me supporting me on every step of the way!
I hate to say this but this is Goodbye my friend. ❤️
Posted by Liz Peterson on January 27, 2021
Oh John, what heartbreaking news. Thank you for sharing your beautiful tribute. Mason sounded like an amazing, courageous young man, and I am devastated at your loss. Your family is in my prayers. Much love.
Posted by Vanessa Perez on January 27, 2021
My heart goes out to you John, and to all of your family and friends who are missing Mason. You are all in my prayers.

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths." --Proverbs 3:5-6
Posted by Mitchell Elkind on January 26, 2021
John--So sorry for your loss. Your words paint a beautiful portrait of Mason's life. I am keeping you and your family in my heart.
Posted by Sally Wong on January 26, 2021
There are no words for such an unimaginable loss, and my heart aches for you and your family. You are in my thoughts and prayers. Rest in peace, Mason.
Posted by Prashant Nedungadi on January 26, 2021
Dear John,
My heartfelt condolence for your loss. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.
Posted by Leslie Hearn on January 26, 2021
My thoughts and prayers are with Mason and those who loved him. What a moving tribute to a fine young man. Rest in peace.
Posted by Laurie Frazier Brown on January 26, 2021
Lori and family,
I cannot imagine the pain you are all feeling with the loss of your son and brother. You have a tremendous community of friends and family that love you all so much and we are thinking and praying for you. May you feel our love and prayers across the mikes, and find solace in them.
Mason sounded like an amazing person who gave generously to his friends, family and community. Lori, I felt like I watched him grow up through your posts on Facebook. Thank you for sharing him with us all.
Posted by Dean Lampman on January 26, 2021
John and McFarland family, I offer my sympathy for your loss. I also pray that the memories you have of Mason, your faith, and the love shared by many will all be comforting at this difficult time.
Posted by Trey Sullivan on January 26, 2021
Dear John, Lori, and Riley,

I am so sorry for your loss and wish you peace and comfort during this difficult time.
Posted by Ciara O'Brien Murray on January 26, 2021
John & Family,
Please accept my heartfelt condolences for your incredible loss. Praying that God's love enfolds you and your family, comforting you through the pain.

Psalm 34:18 - The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

Realize the pain is incredible right now; give yourself grace as you mourn on your own timeline. Thinking and praying for you and your family.
Posted by Alexson Calahan on January 26, 2021
McFarland family, you all are in my prayers. Mason surely left a legacy of love and laughter for you to cherish.
Posted by Julie Kaufmann on January 26, 2021
John, I am so very sorry to learn of your and your family's heartbreaking loss. May your memories of your beloved son bring you comfort at this difficult time.
Posted by Nathan McLain on January 26, 2021
John, my deepest sympathies for your family. One of the things that I've missed about being able to go into the office is talking with you about your family, b/c the big smile you'd get talking about Mason and Riley could instantly put anyone in a good mood.
Posted by Jayme Keithley on January 26, 2021
John and Family,

I am deeply saddened by the passing of your beloved son, Mason. I hope that you find strength and comfort in the prayers that myself and your AHA family are sending. 
"...There should be no despair - though tears
May flow down like a river:
Are not the best beloved of years
Around your heart for ever?" Emily Bronte
Posted by Debi Marshall McGill on January 26, 2021
Please know that I'm holding you and yours in my heart. May memories of Mason be a light in the hearts of all who knew him.
Posted by Arika Cason on January 26, 2021
John, Lori, and Riley,
At a time like this, there are no words that can truly provide comfort or understanding so please know that we are praying for you. Praying for peace in the midst of your sorrow and for God to wrap you in His embrace as you mourn and celebrate the life of Mason. John, you are so loved and respected by your AHA family and we are here for you and your family. We are crying, mourning, and celebrating your incredible son with you.
Posted by Cristina Murphy on January 26, 2021

As you know, I usually have a lot to say, but I just don't have the words to adequately express my condolences. I'm so sorry for the loss of your beloved son. What a beautiful tribute to him. You and your family are in my prayers.
Posted by Stephanie Mohl on January 26, 2021
John -- My heart breaks for you and your family. But I'm glad you find comfort and peace in knowing that Mason is now at home with Jesus. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.
Posted by Suzanne Grant on January 26, 2021
Praying for Mason and his family - a loss for words. Tears in my eyes …
Posted by Tagni McRae on January 26, 2021
To John and family. Praying for strength to guide you through this most difficult loss. I remember the joy you shared when describing time you spent with Mason. One day, even today, may the gift of being Mason’s father (and family) bring you at least a sliver of that joy and light.
Posted by Gloria Catha on January 26, 2021
May your memories of Mason always bring smiles to your faces and any tears be tears of joy for all of the wonderful times you shared together.

“There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are messengers of overwhelming grief...and unspeakable love.” Washington Irving
Posted by Lucy Soto on January 26, 2021
To all the days you had your beautiful boy. ... Sending you and your family love.

For Katrina’s sun dial
By Henry Van Dyke

Time is too slow for those who wait,
Too swift for those who fear,
Too long for those who grieve,
Too short for those who rejoice,
But for those who love, time is
Posted by Jaime Aron on January 26, 2021
May his memory be a blessing. Put another way, here's hoping that every time you think of Mason, you smile and maybe even laugh; and any tears that fall are happy ones.
Posted by Marissa Storey on January 26, 2021
Matthew 5:4
Blessed are the ones who mourn, for they will be comforted.

John 11:25-26
Jesus said to her, I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die.

Romans 14:8
If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.

He was so loved, and will always be loved.
Posted by Tyler Storey on January 26, 2021
John 14: 1-3

“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.”

Leave a Tribute

Recent Tributes
Posted by Princess Adejoke on March 24, 2022
May his soul continue to rest in peace
Posted by Dean Lampman on January 28, 2022
"Those we love and lose are always connected by heartstrings into infinity."
- Terri Guillemets. 

To John and family, thinking of you with awareness that no amount of time passing can completely erase the pain -- and praying you find a balm in your memories and those enduring heartstring connections to Mason.
Posted by Lucy Soto on January 21, 2022
“They who we love and lose are no longer where they were before. They are now ... wherever we are.” -- St. John Chrysostom

Thinking of your whole family today and praying the legacy of Mason's beautiful life and spirit is continuing to carry you through the grief. 
his Life

He left us too early, but will always be with us

Mason Burnett McFarland, known for his loving spirit, spectacular wit and unending generosity, died Jan. 21, 2021, in Plano, Texas. He departed for a much better world far too early, leaving behind untold loved ones crushed to lose him yet thankful he is with God and at peace.

Mason was born May 4, 1999, in Plano. He was a large, loud baby – not surprising to anyone who knew him as the gregarious, 6-foot-4 adult.

Before his first birthday, Mason's family moved to Spokane, Washington. He loved spending time with grandparents and other relatives. The little Texan was awed by all sorts of things he’d never seen: snow, mountains and clear blue rivers and lakes. Indoors, he was all about Thomas the Tank Engine, watching endless videos and playing with trains and cars for hours. (The cars typically were driven by dried-out Play-Doh creatures.)

His family moved back to Texas when he was 2, and he always considered the family house in Frisco his true home. He went to Rogers Elementary, where he made plenty of friends and developed a passion for Pokémon. Weekends were filled with sleepovers, fun at the pool with his cousins and movies. Most Saturdays, he went to McDonald’s (or a donut place) with his dad before picking up movies and snacks at Blockbuster. Summers were highlighted by long days of terrifying slides at Hawaiian Falls with his mom, Aunt Kelly, brother Riley, and cousins Kalvin and Katherine.

While attending Staley Middle School, Mason made more friends and found a lifelong passion: high-end sneakers. Not only did he love wearing them and collecting them, he started his own money-making venture with them. He knew every detail about the shoes and the shoe business, so he would buy shoes when he spotted a deal, then sell them for profit. He kept this gig up to some degree the rest of his life. And, of course, he always wore just the right shoes.

During his years at Wakeland High School, Mason landed a catering job with the Frisco RoughRiders baseball team. His supervisors were so struck by his work ethic and enthusiasm that he was soon working in the high-end corporate suites. He was even asked to cater at American Airlines Center in Dallas for several consecutive nights of Garth Brooks concerts. Mason loved music but did not like country music one bit, which made it hilarious to family and friends that the experience left him mumbling twangy Garth Brooks lyrics for days. Mason worked for the RoughRiders every season for years – and was to take on much more responsibility in the 2020 season, only to have it canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mason ran cross country at Wakeland for two years. He loved running, but not racing; he greatly valued the many lasting friendships he made with teammates. Mason ran in several 10K races and half marathons, too. One year, he ran the Triple Nickel race and finished first in his age group. By far his favorite race was the Hot Chocolate 15K in Dallas – because he ran it most every year with his mom, brother, relatives and friends.

After graduating Wakeland in 2017, Mason attended Texas Tech University and Collin College. He was still figuring out his career path at the time of his death. Those closest to him knew Mason would excel at whatever he finally settled on because of his work ethic and intelligence. His impressive vocabulary often sent friends and family to Google to figure out a big word or two. And he could tell you most anything about history and politics. Mason was passionate with both his opinions and his interests.

He loved spending time with a vast network of family and friends. Many remember his caring nature, ready smile, infectious laugh and willingness to do anything for a friend. They recall his sharp wit and offbeat humor, funny comments that were usually telegraphed with a sly grin just before delivery. He also had a tendency to break out in a random dance while at work.  

Mason loved cooking, and was great at it. He was a true foodie. Whether creating or consuming, his approach was the more meat, the better. His recent discovery of a new meat market was a milestone event, and he stuffed his family with meticulously prepared steak and brisket sausage. Mason’s eating exploits are legend. On one of his birthdays, Mason, his dad, brother Riley, uncle Koy and cousin Kalvin embarked on the “Fast Food Challenge.” They drove down Preston Road eating something at as many restaurants as possible. They made it to seven, with Mason and his uncle as the last men standing. Once he visited Philadelphia for just a couple days, but managed to hit all the big cheesesteak hotspots and put away a mountain of the massive sandwiches.

Mason loved animals, especially cats. He always had at least one he called his own, and his gentle nature never showed more than when he cared for them. His first favorite was Bear, a large black cat that followed him everywhere. At the breakfast table, he would dangle his feet and run his toes through her fur as she sat beneath his chair.  

Another interest was tattoos. He was fascinated with them as a kid and as an adult gradually added a colorful display across his right arm and chest. Each was meaningful. His shoulder was covered with a baseball autographed by Mike Trout – not because Mason was a huge baseball fan, but because his brother idolized Trout. Mason was planning to add a large cross. He also planned to add a ladybug that symbolized a special conversation with his mom.

His first tattoo was one of the blue puzzle pieces representing autism – a tattoo that many family members are now planning to get (including some who had never imagined doing such a thing before).   

Mason was diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome at a very young age. This form of autism affected his ability to interact with people, read social cues, feel comfortable in groups or hold back on some whims. He decided very early on that he would just fight through it – and he often did so successfully. The relationships he developed, his successes at work and his immersion in everything that interested him are examples of his ability to cope with his condition. But, as is the case with many people who have autism, at times it proved difficult and frustrating. He turned to substances to combat that pain and began to struggle with addiction, a problem greatly exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

But he fought through addiction, too. After every setback, his deep desire to get on track emerged and he pushed himself back in the right direction. Mason would want those facts about his life told here because he didn’t believe autism, substance abuse or mental health should be stigmatized. And he always wanted to help people with those issues, even when he himself was struggling.

One example of this selflessness came on a recent Saturday when he and his friend Andre gathered clothing, food and blankets and drove to Dallas to hand them out to people who are homeless. The event moved him deeply, and he wished he could do more.

Family was very important to Mason. He and his mom constantly texted favorite songs back and forth, and she took him to his first concert. They loved trying out new restaurants together or sneaking out for sugary treats on laugh-filled jaunts. Mason shared a love of wordplay with his dad, and they’d often swap funny observations about the world. Mason and his brother Riley were extremely close, spending countless hours playing video games, watching TV and movies, and making up all sorts of games and activities. Mason could often be heard boasting to friends about his great kid brother or encouraging Riley to always do the right thing.

Mason loved visiting his larger family across the country. Just a handful of the many cherished memories include hitting Disneyland with his Aunt Tracy and cousins Josie and Dominic; flying around behind the back of the boat driven maniacally by his grandfather Gale, and chowing down on whatever delicious spread Patti prepared after; strolling through Riverside Park, jumping on rickety rides, and laughing and talking with grandparents Cindy and Steve; wandering along the Seattle waterfront and goofing around with his Uncle Steve, Aunt Sara and cousin Ben; and spending a day at the beach with his cousin Laura, Uncle Kevin and Aunt Mary.

His family is grateful for the far-too-brief time with Mason. The last six months in particular were special, filled with lighthearted laughter (and Mason’s great cooking). Because of the pandemic, the recent holiday season was an intimate time with just Mason, his parents and his brother. Memories of their last holidays together are now lifelong treasures.   

Another gift to the family was a Labor Day excursion to Port Aransas. Going to the beach and “eating like kings” was the only agenda for each day. It was a long weekend of laughs and fun. And Mason enjoyed being in a location filled with plenty of other happy memories; this beach was a regular stop during his annual trip to the Texas Gulf with his Uncle Koy and his cousin Kalvin. The trio sought out the finest Texas barbecue along the way.

Throughout Mason’s life, one thing was constant: His faith in God. Mason was skeptical and critical of a lot of things – usually in somewhat hilarious fashion – but the one thing he never doubted was God’s love.

That is a great comfort to the people who love him, as they suffer unimaginable grief and wonder how they can move through life bearing the gaping wound of Mason’s absence: They know Mason is happier than he ever could be in this world; that he feels no pain and has no problems; that he only experiences a love and peace so great we cannot understand it in this life; and that he is waiting there for us.  

Mason is survived by his parents, John and Lori McFarland, of Frisco, Texas; his brother Riley, of Frisco; his aunt and uncle Steve and Sara Burnett of Everett, Washington; his cousin Benjamin Burnett of Everett; his aunt and uncle Tracy and Wayne Carpini of Whitefish, Montana; his cousin Josie Garcia of Eldorado Hills, California; his cousin Dominic Carpini of Phoenix; his aunt and uncle, Koy and Kelly Eddleman, of Highland Village, Texas; his cousins Kalvin Eddleman and Katherine Eddleman of Highland Village; his uncle and aunt Kevin and Mary McFarland of Clayton, California; his cousin Laura McFarland of Clayton; his uncle Mike Black of Spokane; his cousins Austin Black and Kailey Black of Spokane; his uncle Chris Black of Spokane; his cousin Andrew Black of Spokane; his grandparents Gale and Patti Burnett of Spokane; Steve and Cindy LaPointe of Spokane; and Steve and Carol Black of Spokane.

He also is survived by numerous other relatives and friends across the country too long to list.

You can watch his Feb. 4 memorial here. (The service starts at about the 11:50 mark of the video.) 

On May 4, 2021, Mason's birthday, friends and family gathered at Dr Pepper Ballpark in Frisco to celebrate him and to honor him by helping people who are homeless.

Truckloads and carloads of food, water and supplies were gathered, and more than $18,000 was raised to benefit Vogel Alcove, which helps families; and The Bridge, which helps transition people into homes; and Mason's group of friends who have delivered food and supplies to homeless people for the past two years. 
Recent stories

Mason's Gift 2022

Shared by John McFarland on March 26, 2022
We are once again honoring Mason's memory by helping people. 

Join us if you can May 4 – what would have been Mason's 23rd birthday – for a day of celebrating his life and his generous spirit. We'll be gathering at the Frisco RoughRiders stadium, where Mason worked for years, from 10 a.m. to  4 p.m., collecting food, clothing and supplies for people who are homeless. 

Last year we raised $18,000 for groups helping homeless people and several truckloads of food and supplies. Mason's friends whom Mason supported in their work helping people were able to hand out 400 backpacks or bags that included a hot meal, a cold meal, snacks, socks, water and supplies. 

We're collecting these items at the ballpark for their work: 

- Water bottles
- Granola bars 
- Peanut butter and crackers 
- Trail mix 
- Oatmeal 
- Hot chocolate 
- Individual packages of disinfecting wipes
- Band-Aids
- Socks
- Lightly used clothing, shoes and backpacks. 

If you can’t make it May 4, that's OK. Please consider ordering some of the above items on Amazon and sending them to: 7802 Greenvalley Lane, Frisco, Texas 75033. Or donating to ...

- Mason’s friends who serve people who are homeless (a web address will be published soon, in the meantime you can send to the above address)

- The Mason McFarland Memorial Scholarship, awarded annually to a Frisco high school student who has autism or a learning disability:

- Vogel Alcove, which helps families who are homeless (

- The Bridge Homeless Recovery Center, which offers shelter and resources for homeless people (

- Autism Speaks (

- Or just go helps somebody who needs help, however you want to. 

Thank you for making a difference in Mason’s memory!                                                       

After the event, we'll stick around and further celebrate Mason at the RoughRiders game. 

For more information, email John McFarland, or visit the Mason’s Gift page on Facebook.

Mason and Riley in the news

Shared by John McFarland on July 26, 2021
This video is from years ago when Mason, Riley and some friends were volunteer "B-roll" talent for the American Heart Association. B-roll is the background video you sometimes see with no sound behind anchors on newscasts. 

This footage was made available by the AHA's public relations team to any news outlet that was airing a story about kids being inactive, sitting around the house playing with devices and watching TV.  

They really got into character, excessively slouching and downing a ton of chips.

Mason's Gift event provides supplies, thousands of dollars, to help people who are homeless

Shared by John McFarland on April 4, 2021
Family, friends and loved ones gathered May 4 -- what would have been Mason's 22nd birthday -- to honor Mason's spirit of generosity by gathering supplies for people who are homeless. 

The event at RoughRiders Ballpark in Frisco, where Mason worked for years, was part of a larger fundraising effort in Mason's name. In all, the Mason's Gift effort raised more than $18,400 and truckloads of clothes, food, water and supplies. 

The entire event was an amazing outpouring of love and generosity honoring Mason's memory. You can find plenty of photos of the event at the Mason's Gift Facebook Page. 

We'll be honoring him in similar fashion next year. But please feel free to help people who need it year-round by donating to these organizations we supported through Mason's Gift: 

Vogel Alcove is a nonprofit organization on a mission to help young children overcome the lasting and traumatic effects of homelessness. Here is Vogel Alcove's wishlist for donations. Here is the mailing address:

Vogel Alcove
1738 Gano St.
Dallas, TX 75215

The Bridge is the only shelter in Dallas that provides day shelter services to adults experiencing homelessness. Here is the Bridge's wishlist and mailing address:

The Bridge
Attn: In-Kind Donations
1818 Corsicana St.
Dallas, TX 75201

We're also collecting donations for the group of Mason's friends that delivers food and supplies to people every month. Here is the wishlist and mailing address
Lightly used or new backpacks
Lightly used or new clothes/shoes
NEW socks
NEW undergarments
Lightly used or new blankets
Water bottles
Shaving cream
Toothbrushes & Toothpaste
Unscented baby wipes
Small bottles of shampoo/soap
Bandaids/ointment/small first aid kit
Tampons/menstrual items
Rain gear
Granola/breakfast bars
Beef jerky
Tuna/chicken salad cracker kits
Trail mix
Instant oatmeal
Hot chocolate 
EmergenC packets
Motivational material (e.g., The Daily Bread)
Gift cards
Transportation passes
Mail donations to:
Ryan Newell
1214 Dillion Dr. Ste. 202
Dallas, TX 7520