|Volume LVIII||November 2011||Number 4|
Life sometimes delivers strength and good fortune. It can also bring distress and disappointment. Handling the vicissitudes of life is unpredictable and serendipitous.
Bro. Bob Edwards, Prosperity Lodge No. 567, Riegelsville, has experienced the full gamut. He moved to the Masonic Village at Elizabethtown in 2006 and immediately made new friends and joined the Roosters' Woodworkers. His wife, who had Alzheimer's disease, had recently passed away, and he found the comfort and support he needed.
"I think it's a great place," Bro. Bob said.
He grew especially close to Helen Werner. She had lived at Masonic Village for eight years and also lost her spouse to Alzheimer's disease. The two found they had a lot in common, including a love of travel.
"I have no children and consequently I felt alone when my husband died," Helen said. "I found a companion eight years later. Living at Masonic Village at Elizabethtown and meeting someone to care about gave us both a sense of gratitude toward life."
Bro. Bob and Helen enjoy going to flea markets and traveling. They've been to Europe twice, Hawaii and Alaska, and rode the transcontinental railroad across Canada. Most recently, they visited Austria and cruised the Rhine River on their way to Amsterdam. Retired from Eastern Air Lines, Helen's travel log also includes Jerusalem, Greece, Italy, Russia, Germany, France, England, Norway and Denmark. Through his service in the Air Force, Bro. Bob has seen Japan, Korea, Australia and the Orient. Since they haven't explored much of the United States, they plan to visit the Grand Canyon and other National Parks.
The two have been so busy traveling, Helen has been a little lax in her painting - a hobby she rekindled while living at Masonic Village. She discovered her artistic talent more than 40 years ago while working for the air lines. One of the company's mechanics began an art club and taught oil painting, and Helen joined the club. Once retired, she and her husband moved to North Carolina where she participated in a local art club.
She and her husband then moved to the Masonic Village at Elizabethtown, where her husband passed away. Helen took a seven-year hiatus from painting, but she picked it back up with ease in 2006 when the Masonic Children's Home Advisory Committee approached her for a favor. They asked her to create watercolors of the Masonic Children's Home Dougherty and Weller cottages. Each painting was presented to Bros. Joseph M. Dougherty and Daniel L. Weller for their donations to the Children's Home Endowment Fund in 2006.
Bro. Bob's other hobbies include writing and poetry. He started his memoirs, and so far, is having a good laugh recalling memories. He served in the military for 26 years; six with the Navy and 20+ with the Air Force. While stationed at Westover Air Force Base in Massachusetts as a B-52 Gunner, he and his Electronic Warfare Officer (EWO) became Masons in Mount Holyoke Lodge in S. Hadley. Since they spent one week on alert and three weeks on flying status in Strategic Air Command (SAC), they participated in a special initiation similar to the One Day Masonic Journey recently held in Pennsylvania.
He values his membership in the fraternity and admires "... the brotherhood and fellowship you receive, plus knowing each Mason you meet has gone through everything you have and has made the commitment you have," he said.
Bro. Bob and Helen are highly impressed with the high caliber of care Masonic Village provides, even to those who can't afford it. To help support the Masonic Villages' mission, they have done multiple joint charitable gift annuities.
"We feel as though there are people out there who haven't been blessed as much as we have," Bro. Bob said. "We like to share as much as we can. There are people we know who need help. We try to support as much as possible."
Since their introduction at Masonic Village, Bro. Bob and Helen have supported one another through good times and bad. Their kindness and generosity will help others handle whatever life delivers in the comfort and care of the Masonic Villages.
For more information about charitable gift annuities, please see the back page. You may also contact the Masonic Charities at (800) 599-6454, or mail the reply form on the back page.
FARM FRESH GIFTS FOR THE HOLIDAYS
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