Letter of the month: February 2004
Date: Thu, 19 Feb 2004 10:17:51 -0500
From: "D. Eric Holt" <DEHolt01@gwm.sc.edu>
To: <email@example.com>, <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: inquiry regarding a deceased member
Dear Mr. Dryfoos,
I'm trying to find out more about a member, Jeremiah Casselman, my
wife's deceased father.
He died in California in 1996 at the age of 65 in Palm Springs, I
believe it was, and had a white apron, but nobody knew what it was or
what to do with it. We now know/suspect that it supposed to be part of
his burial; however, though Jeremiah was a Mason, his burial
unintentionally neglected that heritage.
Is there any way to confirm what Lodge he belonged to, and how some
sort of posthumous recognition might be given, or other appropriate
Our own records are sparse and not easily located, but it would mean
a lot to my wife, who feels like she let her father down in this
Lucian Casselman Holt
To: "D. Eric Holt" <DEHolt01@gwm.sc.edu>
Subject: Re: inquiry regarding a deceased member
In-Reply-To: Your message of "Thu, 19 Feb 2004 10:17:51 EST."
Date: Fri, 20 Feb 2004 19:37:16 -0500
Dear Mr. Holt
You have to find your father-in-law's lodge if you can. Was he
active in the Masons in California, or did he only live there for a
short while before his passing?
If you know what town/city he lived in, you can more easily find out
what lodge he belonged to. Maybe you already know. Do you have
anything Masonic in your possession? A copy of his lodge's notice,
mailed to every member each month -- that would give you the information
you need. Or his lodge certificate? Or a dues wallet card?
If you have none, you can contact the Grand Lodge of the state where
he was an active Mason. They can tell you what lodge he was a member
of. Explain your situation to the nice people at the Grand Secretary's
office at Grand Lodge, and they will probably help you contact his
lodge. The lodge may have performed a Masonic memorial service at a
meeting when they received word of his passing. Or perhaps they never
heard? and still don't know? In that case, they would perform a
memorial service during a regular meeting once they are notified.
Perhaps they would invite you and do some kind of public Masonic
memorial at a nearby chapel, and make use of his white apron
symbolically. The usual practice is for the brother's lodge to attend
his funeral and (with permission of the family) perform a Masonic
memorial service preceding the regular service.
Traditionally, the family has given the apron to the funeral home,
and the departed brother is wearing his white apron -- white as a emblem
of purity of spirit and conduct in this life, the condition in which we
all hope to approach any life hereafter.
It's sad but true that most Masons don't inform their family about
their white apron and wish for a Masonic funeral or memorial
When I post your letter on-line, to warn other brothers to remember
this important matter, I will also have a suggestion from a brother in
Pennsylvania that could help avoid this regret in future cases.
I will be out of town for several weeks. I hope my answer will help
solve your problem. If not, simply contact the grand lodge of
your state, and identify yourself (or in this case your wife)
as the orphan of a Mason asking for advice.
| Gary L. Dryfoos <email@example.com>| Ocean Lodge AF&AM, Saugus, MA (PM)
| P.O.Box 425400, Camb, MA 02142 | Mt. Scopus Lodge AF&AM, Malden, MA (PM)
| | Richard C. Maclaurin Lodge, MIT, MA
| "A Page About Freemasonry" | Internet Lodge #9659, E. Lancs UGLE
| http://mit.edu/dryfoo/Masonry/ | 32~; MPS; B'hood o/t Blue Forget-Me-Not
| | RWG Rep.GL Russia near GL Massachusetts
| "...one sacred band, or society of Friends and Brothers, among
| whom no contention should ever exist, save that noble contention,
| or rather emulation, of who best can work and best agree."
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