Volume LIVMay 2007Number 2

The First Residents at Masonic Village
at Dallas Move into their Homes!

If you've always wanted interesting neighbors, look no farther than the Masonic Village at Dallas.

If there's one thing that all of the first three brethren who have moved into the new community have in common, it's an exemplary record of military service. In addition, all of the first five residents (including two of the brethren's wives) have traveled extensively throughout the world. And yet, when the time came to decide where to retire, all of them chose a cottage overlooking the breathtaking golf course of the Irem Shrine Country Club.

Bro. Marvin Cunningham, R.W.P.G.M., and his wife, Rosalie, enjoy their sunroom at the onset of spring.
Marvin A. Cunningham, Sr., R.W.P.G.M., said, "People think we're crazy doing this so young, but we wanted to do it while we have years of quality of life. Lots of people move (into a retirement community) when they can't enjoy their homes." He and his wife, Rosalie, would know this from experience, as they had spent a lot of time at the various other Masonic Villages locations during his years of service on the Committee on Masonic Homes and then as Grand Master. But what sold them on Dallas was a combination of their favorite things: the beautiful and peaceful mountains, the concept of living in a smaller community with the opportunity to get to know people more personally, and of course - golf!

Moving for the Cunninghams was not an easy task, as they had to pack up and sell two homes before moving into their new cottage. Now that they're settled in, they are thrilled with their new two-bedroom, two-bath cottage, which Mrs. Cunningham describes as comfortable and reminiscent of where she grew up. Their view of the golf course from their lovely sunroom is a major highlight, and Bro. Cunningham's eyes light up when he thinks of teeing off this spring.

"In another year you won't know this place," Bro. Cunningham says from experience as he looks out the window at the construction continuing on the new cottages in his neighborhood.

The Cunninghams look forward to using the walking paths at nearby College Misericordia, as well as their indoor track, and taking in some of the activities offered on the campus year 'round. They've also staked out the Frances Slocum State Park, and plan to take advantage of the many recreational activities in the nearby Wilkes Barre/Scranton areas, which offer everything from cultural centers and theaters to concerts and restaurants.

Bro. Cunningham is a veteran of the Korean and Vietnam Wars, having served in the U.S. Navy for more than 20 years before retiring as a Chief Dental Technician in 1977. He then worked in management capacities for the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections until his retirement in 1995.

If anyone knows his way around the Irem Country Club grounds, it's Masonic Village at Dallas resident Bro. Russel Havey. After checking out a number of other local retirement communities, he decided on the Masonic Village at Dallas, a location that brings back fond childhood memories of golfing with his parents. He sold the home which he custom-designed to his daughter, Deirdre, which keeps his two grandsons less than three miles away and allows for frequent visits. He also has a son, Sean, daughter-in-law, Sally, and a granddaughter in California.

Even at first glance, it would not take a rocket scientist to see that the Masonic Village is a prime retirement location - but a rocket scientist, indeed, has deemed it as such. Bro. Havey designed rockets for the Air Force, and spent eight years as a pilot and has been a carbon engineer, a marketing professional, a manufacturing manager and finally a professor at Wilkes University. His work sent him on travels around the world, including to Australia, Tokyo, Tasmania, Italy, Germany, England, Sweden, and yes, even on a flight over the North Pole, although he admits not having taken the time to pay a visit to Santa.

Bro. Russell Havey takes orders from Dusty the cat, who seems to be saying, "See, if you line it up just right, you can hit a birdie on the 15th green..."
A Mason and an Irem Shriner since 1962, Bro. Havey was "raised" at the country club, where his father belonged and his mother was a three-time golf champion. In fact, there is a bench honoring her on the fifth tee, which he sponsored with his stepfather. Bro. Havey remembers working as a lifeguard in the summers and watching the mounted patrol that once paraded on the old horse show grounds.

Bro. Havey and his "boss," Dusty the cat, enjoy their two-bedroom, 1 ½ bath cottage. "From my bedroom window I can line up putts on the15th green, the easiest hole on the golf course," Bro. Havey says. "It's an ideal location."

Bro. Jack and Virginia Haas originally had their names on a waiting list to come to Masonic Village at Elizabethtown, but did not want to wait any longer. When an Irem Shrine friend showed them a postcard he received announcing the Masonic Village at Dallas, they signed up immediately.

The couple has lived in homes throughout Pennsylvania and traveled all over the world, except for Australia, Africa and China, during Bro. Jack's career with Nationwide Insurance. "You name it, we've been there, except for the moon," says Mrs. Haas, a Past Worthy Matron of the Order of the Eastern Star's Kutztown Chapter.

Now, they love their new two-bedroom cottage, which is the same model they had toured in Elizabethtown. From their sunroom, they have a fabulous view of the pond and the fairway, and from their eat-in kitchen they overlook the woods. "I love it here, it's beautiful," Mrs. Haas said. "All the staff are wonderful."

Bro. Jack and Virginia Haas treasure their wall of family memories, which they proudly display in their home.
Bro. Haas is a highly decorated veteran. He modestly displays an impressive collection of medals, culminating in the Distinguished Flying Cross, the highest Air Force award for valor that a soldier can achieve, which he earned while flying B17s during World War II. An avid trout fisherman, Bro. Haas volunteered with the game commission for years and also donated numerous hours to public service with the VA Hospital.

Another couple who have expressed interest in the community are Clayton and Terese Karembelas. "Brother Clayton actually was my first contact in the area," said Bro. Joseph E. Murphy, CEO for the Masonic Villages. "He set up the first meeting that brought Grand Lodge, Irem Shrine and Masonic Village representatives to the table to discuss his vision for what is now the Masonic Village at Dallas."

Retired business owners and avid volunteers, the Karembelases are active in causes that benefit their community. "The Masonic Order always runs first class operations," Bro. Karembelas said. "This is a win-win for everybody - it's an opportunity to showcase the Masonic Order and the Shrine. It's refreshing to see it get off the ground."

For more information on how you can get in on this ground-breaking opportunity, call the Masonic Village at Dallas Administrative Office at (866) 851-4243 today!

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