Mason Ballou Smith of Charleston, S.C. died peacefully on Sept. 5 in Charleston of cancer.

Born in 1949 in Bronxville, N.Y., he was the son of the late Mason Smith and Barbara Ballou Smith of Washington, Conn. He was raised in New Canaan, Conn. and attended Proctor Academy and New Canaan High School but left school prior to graduation to see the world.

The years between school and going into business in New York city were spent traveling, blue water sailing, and commercial fishing from Martha’s Vineyard, New Bedford, and San Diego, Calif., and building contracting on Martha’s Vineyard. He considered the Vineyard his home from 1966 until 1978 and spent two of those years on Chappaquiddick. He was the fourth generation to summer on his family island, “Little Wood,” off West Point in Phippsburg, Maine.

He later joined the family business in New York city but left in 1987 to pursue another business venture in Chicago. While residing in Chicago and Lake Bluff, Ill. he was able to live out his dream of becoming a racing car driver. He raced successfully across the Midwest for the better part of 10 years. His love of Alfa Romeos and other fine Italian sports cars were his passion. In 2003, after selling his business, he returned to his beloved coast of Maine. Settling on Southport Island, he remained there until 2014, restoring his home, building the occasional barn home or cabinet job, and volunteering at the Bath, Maine branch of Habitat for Humanity.

He was a member of the Mayflower Society and of the New England Historical and Genealogical Society. His affinity for genealogy allowed him to research and write a lengthy family history detailing his 1,012 individual ancestor families that came to this country. Eleven of those families, comprised of 19 individuals, arrived on the Mayflower in 1620. He had many American Revolutionary War ancestors as well, including his fourth and fifth Smith great-grandfathers.

He was predeceased by his father Mason Smith and he is survived by his mother, Barbara Ballou Smith of Washington, Conn. and formerly of Bronxville, N.Y., his son, F. Whitney Smith of New York city, his wife, Lisa Marie Smith of Charleston, and his step-daughters, Arielle Coree Johnson of Avon, Conn. and Alexa Kaylyn Leahy of Asheville, N.C., his siblings, Gary Chapman Smith of Bellingham, Wash. and Douglas Caldwell Smith of Beaufort, N.C., and the mother of his son, Patricia Meeker Smith of South Norwalk, Conn.

His ashes will be spread in/returned to the ocean, in continuation of his world travels.

A celebration to honor Mason and the incredible life he lead is being planned. Details will be available through the family for those wishing to attend.