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With heavy hearts, we share the news that a dear colleague, friend, and CCSEM family member, Herschell Masten, entered eternal life on Friday, September 15, 2023.
We learned of his passing this month.
About Herschell and his legacy at CCSEM:
Herschell was an integral part of the then Catholic Social Services of Oakland County (CSSOC) family for three decades, leaving a legacy that will be remembered and cherished by all of us.
Herschell’s journey with CSSOC began on August 3, 1987, under the leadership of then-president Marge Huggard.
He played a pivotal role in launching the new federal programs we know today as AmeriCorps Seniors volunteer programs, which included the Foster Grandparent Program (FGP), Senior Companion Program (SCP), and the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP). These programs served and continue to serve our community and positively impacted countless individuals’ lives.
Over the years, Herschell’s talent, dedication, and commitment led him to various roles within CSSOC and into our merger as Catholic Charities of Southeast Michigan (CCSEM).
When he retired on December 14, 2017, he was Director of Senior Services and Hispanic Outreach. In this capacity, he oversaw FGP, SCP, RSVP, Adult Day Care (ADC), and La Casa Amiga (then called Hispanic Outreach).
Herschell was a unique, remarkable, and gifted individual with a professional style and swagger loved and respected by everyone in his presence. He was an extraordinary man. While he was often quiet in leadership meetings when he did have something to say, his words carried great weight, and his insights were consistently valuable.
This quality was evident throughout his tenure with CSSOC, and he impacted those he encountered indelibly.
Herschell had an impeccable sense of style and savoir-faire and was known for his crisp suits and matching bow ties! He cared deeply about people and led them by example. His kindness and generosity knew no bounds.
He was recognized and awarded the Leonard R. Jagels Award for leadership excellence at our 2017 Annual Celebration, where he insisted on filling the table, which he sponsored, with senior volunteers willing but unable to share the experience with him due to the cost. This selflessness was just one example of his kind spirit and humble nature.
As we mourn the loss of Herschell, let us also celebrate his life and the profound impact he had on our agency and the wider community.
He leaves a legacy of compassion, service, and selflessness that will continue to inspire us all.
We will keep you updated on any memorial or remembrance services in honor of Herschell.
In the meantime, please take a moment to reflect on his positive influence on our organization and the lives he touched.
Let us keep Herschell and his family in our thoughts and prayers during this time. We are a better CCSEM because of him.
Eternal rest grant unto Herschell, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him.
May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.