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In Memory of J. Tom Masterson


It is with a very very heavy heart that I pass on the news of my father in laws passing,  J Tom Masterson (The Elder) passed on April 24th at 7:00 pm at Benefits East Hospital in Great Falls, Montana.


My father J. Tom Masterson (the Elder) passed away this evening around  6:00 P.M. Pacific time in Great Falls. My sisters were with him at the  time.

He started his career in motorsports in the forties or fifties doing autocross, road rally, and as a crew chief. He then went on to be a driver, first in a Formula 5000 and then in Porsches. Finally he became an official doing many things including a starter and a steward. He was instrumental in starting the Montana/NWR double National races and a great supporter of Northwest region and Norpac division. He also has spent many years in the PCA. For the past several years you have enjoyed his "Blowing Smoke" column in SportsCar Magazine.

I don't have any further information on memorial plans yet but will pass it on as soon as I do.

Tom Masterson (the younger)



(John T.) Tom Masterson, 73, died of pulmonary fibrosis on April 24.  Cremation has taken place at Croxford Funeral Home and Crematory.  Memorial celebrations will take place in Great Falls and at Pacific Raceways in Seattle.


Tom grew up in St. Louis where he graduated from Washington University with an arts degree and subsequently worked for McDonnel Douglas and Emerson. He developed an early interest in cars and raced at Mid-Ohio, Elkhart Lake, and Mid-America.  He was Marv Schoenfeld’s crew chief at Indy 500. In 1969 he moved to Great Falls with his wife Lois and three children. Survivors include Tracy and Gerald Carcione (New Jersey), Tom and Sherri Masterson (Washington), and Wendy Masterson (Michigan).


Tom was an active member of the Great Falls community serving on the Montana State Fair Advisors Board, the Chamber of Commerce, Multiple Sclerosis Society, Montana Dance Arts Association, Montana Arts Council, and recently drove for the DAV.  He owned SWAG Engineering and Mountain Shadows School of Dance.  Tom raced cars professionally in IMSA and Trans-AM and had licenses as Stewart of Race and Starter.  He wrote monthly articles for SCCA’s national magazine.  Tom was a founding member of Montana Region SCCA and Big Sky Porsche Club.  Per his request his ashes will be scattered at Pacific Raceways.


Great Falls memorial:  Sunday, May 4  3:00 – 5:00  Paddock Club, Fairgrounds



Memorial Laps were held at Pacific Raceways, Kent WA on May 18th with SOVREN, and May 25th with SCCA.


The 2009 29th Annual Double Nationals on Memorial Day weekend will be named for J Tom Masterson.


From the Guest Book


April 29, 2008

Memories are such special gifts and I know you will have many to share of your Dad.

Betty Lockey (Helena)


April 29, 2008

Bill and I have just received the sad news about Tom and want his family and friends to know that everyone is in the center of our thoughts. We met Tom through the Porsche Club of America and found that we had a lot in common in the sports car racing world. He was a very special person who loved his family and his dogs and will be greatly missed by all.

It was an honor to share a friendship with him.

Linda and Bill Bein (Bend, OR)

April 29, 2008

Thinking fondly of the Mountain Shadows days and sending love.
Brook Clark

Brook Clark (Missoula, MT)


April 29, 2008

Masterson Family,
I just want to let you know how fortunate I was to have met Tom in the SCCA. Last year was my first year out on the track and he gave me all the encouragement I need. I will miss his sense of humor. He will be greatly missed by SCCA Montana Region 105. I will keep your family in my prayers.

Tiffany Johnson (Great Falls, MT)


April 29, 2008

Met Tom and family in the 60's, and raced with Tom for many, many years. Enjoyed the friendship and learned a lot from a terrific guy. He'll be missed, and my thoughts are with the family. See ya later, Tom!

Tim Robinson (El Dorado Hills, CA)


April 30, 2008

My wife and I have known Tom for many years and will miss his quick wit and humor. He was a big part of the Montana SCCA as well as the Pacific Northwest Region. We always looked forward to seeing him and will always remember him.

Kent & Jan Keller (Gig Harbor, WA)


April 30, 2008

Dear Family, We are so sadden by the loss of a dear friend. We will be praying for God's comfort and peace at this time of your great loss. Gene worked with Tom at Mac and we have kept in touch via phone, e-mail, yearly Christmas letter and visits when Tom was "on the road". We will miss his sense of humor and friendship. We thank God for his friendship and plan on a joyful reunion in heaven someday. 2Cor.5:1,8

Gene and Judy Kelch (St. Charles, MO



Dear Wendy, Tracy & family: Tom was such a fun loving guy who loved life to the fullest. We were blessed to have known him for so long and to have him as a part of our lives. Please accept my deep sympathies on your great loss.

ReAnn Rothwell (Great Falls, MT)


April 30, 2008

We were sorry to read that Tom had passed away. He was a friend and good neighbor and we will miss him.

Kyron and Kathy Hall (Great Falls, MT)


April 30, 2008

Dear Family, I have never met most of you, yet I know you. Tom spoke often to me about you and how you were and what you were doing. Tom and I met when I was very young in Great Falls and starting my career. He was a friend through the Blue Coats, of the Chamber of Commerce. He and I would have coffee weekly, and chat about things to make the community better, and you ... your family. I knew your wonderful mom too. My heart is aching today....and will be for a long time learning of the loss of such a special, dear friend who was like my second dad in so many ways. You were so blessed to have him as father.....just as I was so blessed to have him as friend. We never lost touch...even emailing eachother just a month ago.

Carmen Bohn (Billings)


April 30, 2008

Tom was a wonderful man who showed me some of the finer things in life. The best Scotch, the tastiest Martinis his undying love of auto racing and his always generous helping hand. I loved him dearly and will miss him greatly. My heart goes out to all of you children I already miss the bi-weekly's phone calls just to say "Hi how are you"

Kathy D (Las Vegas, NV)


May 2, 2008

Tom was a good friend. He was kind, loyal, and supportive. I will miss him. And like Tom told me many times, " 'nuff said."

Billie Cotton (Great Falls)


May 7, 2008

We were sorry to hear that Tom completed his time on earth. We will always remember him, his humor, his wisdom and his talent. Tracy, Tommy and Wendy I have fond memories of trips to Edmonton and Portland for races with Tom, Lois and the three of you. One of our last memories of Tom was at the Vintage races in Portland several years ago. We will miss his annual Christmas letter - even it didn't always make it for Christmas. I am sorry that distance has kept us from visiting with all of you more often. Please keep in touch! Our thoughts and prayers are with all of you and all of Tom's extended family

Bill & Shirley Clarkson (Richland, WA)



Tom Masterson

On April 24th the Pacific Region lost one of its great members.  After a lengthy battle with Pulmonary Hypertension Thomas Masterson passed away.  He was not only a great presence on the track but also a wealth of knowledge off the track.  He was perhaps one of the main reasons the Montana Region has had so much fun and so many well planed out events.  He will surely be missed by all of us who raced with him but also raced against him.  He was a fierce competitor who always knew how to figure the fastest way around a course.  His beloved Porsche racing was well beyond what most us will ever be able to achieve.  He loved being involved in all aspects of racing and I think his favorite was by far the Vintage Races at the old SIR benefiting Children's Hospital in Seattle.  He came out to these races as often as possible to lend a hand as well as see his son and daughter in law in Bremerton.  He also would usually bring along a long time friend Jim Keller who was involved in the timing of the races.  He will surely be missed by us all and I would like him to be remembered in a way he would want.  He never asked for much attention but I feel he deserves this recognition now.


Kent & Jan Keller friend, fellow racer and person who will always remember him in the light he deserves.



Tom & Sherri: Frank and I were saddened this morning to hear of the passing of Tom Sr. We were friends over many years and always enjoyed working and being with him. What a shame that we have to have a race this weekend that keeps you from family.

Again - our sympathy to both of you.


Joan and Frank



I was greatly saddened to hear of Elder's Passing.  Margie Swanson told me at PIR on Sat.  I know that he will be greatly missed.  He was the one that was instrumental in me going to Solo 1 and following it with club racing. It was always a highlight to see him at an event and  I count myself fortunate for having known him.  I did call Dwight to let him know.  Please accept my deepest sympathies and know that you are in my thoughts and prayers.


Sherm Johnston


We are very sorry to hear of the loss of Elder.  He will be missed, but also fondly remembered.


Jim & Randi



I just started reading the latest Sports Car and got to the item on Tom and I was stunned.

I simply wanted to convey my deep feelings of grief over the loss.


I had not seen Tom for a while as I was unable to make the Historics last year due to my heart surgery, and again this year due to Linda's fall and broken neck but non the less I had a very close feeling for Tom and I will miss him badly.



Larry Dent



I just came across the news of Tom ( Elder) passing, Tom was a Great Guy!  I spent a lot of time at Mountain Shadow as my daughter Amanda danced – I would talk with Tom and just learn, if Tom wasn’t there I would look at his projects and learn. He was a wealth of knowledge and engineering. I still have the Datsun 510 he helped me get prepared for SCCA events.  It was great working with Tom when he was on an SCCA event / Mountain Shadow Production / play in the SWAG Shop – I know Tom Did lots for everyone – Sure he is Missed -  

Steve/Deb/Amanda Ballentine


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