Volume LVIFebruary 2009Number 1

Connellsville Lodges Unite to Help a Masonic Widow

In September, members of King Solomon's Lodge No. 346 became aware that a widow of a Past Master of Marion Lodge No. 562 was in danger of losing her homeowner's insurance because of the need for a new roof on her home. Recently, she has been battling a brain tumor and has suffered hard times since her husband died suddenly two years ago. The family was able to gather enough money to purchase the needed materials, but was in need of help for demolition of the old roof and installation of the new one.

Members of the lodges quickly spread the word, and many brethren came forward to offer their assistance. On the sunny morning of Oct. 12, 2008, 14 brethren and five non-Masons gathered at 7:30 a.m., with tools, equipment and dump trucks to remove the old roof and replace it with a new one. By 3:30 p.m., the task was accomplished, and the new roof was finished. Participating from Marion Lodge No. 562 were Brothers Michael C. Snyder, J.W., and Raymond E. Oldland, Sr.; from King Solomon's Lodge No. 346 were Brothers Jeffrey M. Wonderling, P.D.D.G.M.; David C. Coughanour, W.M.; Charles G. Etling, P.M.; Alan R. Sandusky, P.M.; James R. Higgins, P.M.; Timothy L. Shumar, P.M.; James C. Mayes, P.M.; Joshua L. Miller, P.M.; Nick Mellon and David J. Panzella; from Waynesburg Lodge No. 153, Rodney Ansell; and Rodney E. Boyce, District Deputy Grand Master of the 30th Masonic District. The group also included five non-Mason friends and family: Chad Ansell, Ben Dillon, Chuck Frye, Ron Kerns and Randy Pilarcik.

The family was overwhelmed by the support of the fraternity and expressed their sincere appreciation. In a letter to R.W. Grand Master Stephen Gardner, the widow's daughter wrote:

"I am writing to tell you of a wonderful gift that some fine and outstanding gentleman of Masonic District 30 of Western Pennsylvania gave to my mother, Kathryn Ansell."

"When my mother was faced with the letter from the insurance company telling her that the insurance of her home would be canceled if a new roof was not put on, she was distraught. She is on a fixed income and the bid from a local contractor was not one that she could afford. She told my uncle, Rodney Ansell, and he got in touch with his friend and brother, Jeff Wonderling, and they came up with a solution. What these men pulled off with fellow brothers in less than a month's time was truly amazing."

"The comment was made, 'Everyone I asked said, I will be there.' And they were. These men gave their time and energy to putting on a roof for a woman who has suffered bouts of breast, lung and brain cancer and is a survivor and miracle. There was no monetary gain for them. It was, as the Masons are so good at, giving to others in need."

"... A prayer was said for all of them and all that they did. I know in my heart of hearts that (my mother) truly was moved and greatly appreciated all that these men did. I can tell you on behalf of my sister and our families, we could never fully express our gratitude to these men for all that they did."

In Job's Daughter friendship,
Rhonda Pilarcik

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