|Volume LIX||January 2012||Number 1|
A Legacy of Generosity
"The ultimate test of man's conscience may be his willingness to sacrifice something
today for future generations whose words of thanks will not be heard."
-Gaylord Nelson, politician and Earth Day founder
Bro. Frank Eiler, Reading Lodge No. 549, West Reading, and his wife, Lois, value their time and life together. While they focus on enjoying today and helping others as they can, they realize that once they pass away, the needs of the world will linger.
"It's not what we do in our time here, but the legacy we leave behind," Bro. Frank said. "Hopefully, our legacy will, in part, be our support of the Masonic Charities."
The Eilers have chosen to give to the Masonic Charities through a bequest because they have no children. "This enables us to choose to support organizations such as the Masonic Charities and others," Bro. Frank said. "It is a well-run organization, and we know it will use the money properly."
The Eilers are making the best of their retirement. They spend November through May in Florida where their days are filled with tennis, ballroom dancing, reading and relaxing. Eventually, they look forward to moving to the Masonic Village at Elizabethtown. Such a lifestyle is well deserved after years of hard work and service to our country.
As a high school student, Bro. Frank found great success at science fairs. In addition to earning awards, his interest and skills earned him a scholarship to Lebanon Valley College where he studied chemistry. After graduation, he worked for the Food and Drug Administration, Glidden-SCM and Wyeth Laboratories. He also earned an MBA from Temple University while at Wyeth.
Bro. Frank joined the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam War. He performed his duties as a Hospital Corpsman, assigned to a Naval Medical Research Institute project in Da Nang, Vietnam. He later served with the U.S. Marine Corps. After 21 years of service, he retired as a chief petty officer.
After returning from Vietnam, Bro. Frank signed up for ballroom dancing lessons at a local YMCA. "I wanted to learn some social skills; change my mode of operations after serving overseas," he said. The lessons put a swing in his step in more ways than one - they introduced him to a young woman named Lois who later became his wife. The two have been ballroom dancing ever since.
Another initiative Bro. Frank took upon his return home was becoming a Mason. His father was a Mason, and as an Eagle Scout, Bro. Frank was exposed to the good values of his leaders, many of whom were Masons and World War II veterans. He belongs to several appendant Masonic bodies, including Reading Royal Arch Chapter No. 152, where he served as High Priest.
"We take good men and make them better," Bro. Frank said. "The fraternity instills a moral code and tradition in men."
Outside of the military, Bro. Frank spent much of his career as a chemist with the pharmaceutical company Wyeth (now part of Pfizer), and retired in 2008. Lois taught French for many years. As schools began phasing out foreign languages, she started a career in the private sector working at Hub Manufacturing in inventory control and later at Vanguard Modular Building Systems as a financial analyst, where she works part-time.
Over the last 35 years, the Eilers have travelled to France, Italy and Switzerland, and they have sailed the Chesapeake Bay. Bro. Frank served as Commodore of the Northeast Yacht Club. They recently decided to sell their sailboat to focus on other hobbies and interests.
Another of their interests is helping others. As members of the Masonic Charities' Franklin Legacy Society, the Eilers are helping to ensure the vital mission of the Masonic Charities will be available for the benefit of future generations.
"We hope to be residents [of the Masonic Village at Elizabethtown] ourselves at some point, so we want to support its mission," Bro. Frank said. "Freemasonry helps protect widows and orphans, and my father was an orphan, so I have a personal attachment to this cause. Lois, through her teaching, also has strong feelings toward helping children. We want to support these efforts through our giving."
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