Right Worshipful Grand Master 1980-1981

March 5, 1919 ­ May 25, 2004

The R.W. Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania has been saddened by the loss of one of its distinguished members, Brother Joseph E. Trate, R.W. Past Grand Master. Brother Trate passed away on Tuesday, May 25, 2004.

Brother Joseph Eugene Trate was born on March 5, 1919 in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, and died on May 25, 2004 in Dresher, Pennsylvania. His wife Isabel, having predeceased him, he is survived by his four daughters, Tina, Sandra, Deborah and Karen, and seven grandchildren.

He attended the public schools of Williamsport and continued his education at the University of Pennsylvania and Drexel University, Philadelphia, where he graduated with a degree in Electrical Engineering.

After serving in the U.S. Air Force from 1942 through 1945, Brother Trate was employed by the former Bell Telephone Co. of Pennsylvania. He held several positions while employed by Bell Telephone and retired as Executive Engineer.

He was Raised to the Sublime Degree of a Master Mason on October 28, 1954 in Lodge No. 3. Brother Trate served as Worshipful Master of his Lodge in 1960. He served as District Deputy Grand Master for Masonic District C from December 27, 1962 to December 27, 1972. He was elected and installed to serve as R.W. Junior Grand Warden in 1974 and 1975; R.W. Senior Grand Warden in 1976 and 1977, and served as R.W. Deputy Grand Master in 1978 and 1979.

Brother Trate was installed as the Right Worshipful Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania on December 27, 1979 in Philadelphia, PA. As R.W. Grand Master, he served as Chairman of various Grand Lodge Committees. The highlight of his term in office was being Chairman of the Grand Lodge 1981 Committee for commemorating 250 years of Freemasonry in Pennsylvania when he presided over the events that took place on June 24 through June 28, 1981.

As R.W. Past Grand Master, Brother Trate had served the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania as a member and Chairman of various Grand Lodge Committees. He spent countless hours serving with distinction as Chairman of the Committee on Fraternal Recognition from 1985 until his recent passing.

In York Rite Masonry, Brother Trate was a member of Fort Washington Royal Arch Chapter, No. 220; Cryptic Council, No. 51, Royal and Select Master Masons; Mary Commandery, No. 36, Knights Templar, and Girard Mark Lodge, No. 214. In Scottish Rite Masonry, he was a Member of the Scottish Rite Bodies in the Valley of Philadelphia and served as Sovereign Prince of the DeJoinville Council, Princes of Jerusalem in 1969 and 1970. He had also served as Master of Ceremonies of Benjamin Franklin Consistory. In 1972, he was coroneted a Thirty-third Degree Mason by the Supreme Council, Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite for the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction of the United States.

Brother Trate was also a member of Lu Lu Shrine Temple, A.A.O.N.M.S.; the Masonic Veterans of Pennsylvania; the High Twelve Club, International; and Benjamin Franklin Chapter, No. 16, National Sojourners, all in the Philadelphia area.

He was a member of Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church in Oreland, PA, and served as a member of the Church Council and Finance Committee. He was Treasurer of the Church and served as a Sunday School teacher over the years.

The Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania has lost a valuable colleague, and we are the poorer for his passing.

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