Bikes for Books (May 2015)

On May 22, Mt. Rushmore Lodge 220 presented four brand new bicycles and helmets to four children who won this year’s annual Bikes For Books Program in Rapid City, chaired by WB Ben Kirkland. Congratulations, kids!
Pictured are WB Ben Kirkland and WB John McKnight of Mt. Rushmore Lodge 220, with two of the four children who received new bicycles and helmets


Hill City High School Scholarship (May 2015)

Brother Owen Johnson, Past Master of Tin City Lodge No. 112 recently donated $5000.00 to be used for Hill City High School scholarships . The scholarship was named the Beverly Litch Johnson Masonic Memorial Scholarship in honor of his deceased wife and a $1000.00 scholarship will be presented to a graduating senior this year.
The Masons of Tin City Lodge wish to thank Owen for this very generous gift.
Worshipful Master Jack Welker and Past Master, Tin City Lodge No. 112, Owen Johnson



The Masons of Tin City Lodge No. 112 in Hill City recently presented three $1000.00 scholarships to three outstanding Hill City High School seniors. Receiving the Watson Parker Masonic Memorial Scholarship was Christopher Blumer, the Beverly Litch Johnson Masonic Memorial scholarship was Brianna Clemetson and the Tin City Lodge No. 112 Masonic Scholarship was Sarah Price.
Presenting the scholarships were Masons Mike Lewis and Bob Stanfiel.
Pictured from left to right: Bob Stanfiel, Sarah Price, Brianna Clemetson, Christopher Blumer and Mike Lewis


National Missing Children Day


From the South

Most Worshipful Brother Sol Star

A 1901 publication, The Great Northwest and its Men of Progress, described Sol Star thusly:

Some men have a genius for popularity. With no effort on their part they become a sort of social or political center from which there seems to radiate an aroma of good fellowship, permeating the entire community. Frank and generous; genial in disposition; every ready with a helping hand for a fellow in distress; jovial and social, yet, in serious matters keen and penetrating; sound in judgment; full of resources in emergency; energy unbounded, and a public spirit ready for war in the interests of his town, country, or state. These are some of the characteristics of a naturally popular man.

Sol Star was born in Bavaria, on December 20, 1840. Star and his family immigrated to the US in 1850 and settled in Ohio. In 1865, Star arrived in Montana by way of Missouri. He was appointed by President Grant as Registrar of the US Land Office in Helena in 1872. In 1874, he served as Territorial Auditor of the Commonwealth of Montana. He also served as personal secretary to the Governor. Star partnered with the first sheriff of Lewis and Clark County, and fellow Mason, Seth Bullock in the mercantile business. Together they followed the gold rush to Deadwood, Dakota Territory in 1876.

MWB Star was raised in what was to become Virginia City Lodge #1 in Montana (Virginia City Lodge #43, Kansas until the Grand Lodge AF&AM of Montana was formed in 1866). He served as the Grand Treasurer of the Grand Lodge in 1868. He was the first Worshipful Master of King Solomon’s #9 in Helena, Montana in 1867, and served again as WM in 1868, 1869, 1870 and again in 1873 and 1874. Star also served as Montana’s Grand Secretary in 1868 and 1869, was elected Deputy Grand Master in 1871 and was elected as the seventh Grand Master of Masons in Montana in 1873. In South Dakota, Sol Star is a founding signer on the Deadwood Valley Scottish Rite Charter.

When Star and Bullock arrived in Deadwood with their wagons filled with hardware goods and mining equipment on August 1st, 1876-just one day before the famous shooting of Wild Bill Hickok, they set up their store in a tent. Soon the pair was able to buy a lot on the corner of Main and Wall Streets and built their hardware store. They both quickly got involved in Deadwood politics, both serving as city councilmen, Bullock becoming Lawrence County’s first Sherriff and Star becoming the city’s postmaster. The pair invested in local mining ventures, bought several individual homesteads and created the SB Ranch, planting the first alfalfa crop in Deadwood Territory. They teamed up with Franklin Harris to start the Deadwood Flouring Mill, with Star taking on the role of general manager. The pair gave the Freemont Elkhorn, and Missouri Valley Railroad 40 acres of free right-of-way through their ranch and the railway built a station three miles from the county seat of Minnesela, creating the new town of Belle Fourche. The pair then offered free lots to anyone willing to move from Minnesela to Belle Fourche effectively stealing away the county seat.

Star was one of the first Jewish merchants in Deadwood, whose ranks quickly grew to over 30 percent. A synagogue was never built in Deadwood as the Deadwood Masonic Lodge was often used for Jewish services.

Star and Bullock’s hardware store burned down in 1894. Rather than rebuilding it, the pair built Deadwood’s first hotel on the site, a three story, 64-room luxury hotel with steam heat and indoor bathrooms on each floor at a cost of $40,000. The Bullock Hotel still operates on that site today. Continuing with his political service, Star was elected Mayor in 1884 and held that position for 14 years. Star was a member of the State Legislature for four years, first serving two years in the House and then two years in the Senate, where he also served as President Pro Tempore. He also served as the first president of the Republican state convention. Additionally he was the Clerk of Courts when Lawrence County was established and held that position until his death in 1917.

Mike Rodman, Senior Grand Warden  

From the West

I have been thinking lately about what attracts new members to our Fraternity. I was given a list of questions to answer before approaching an Eastern Star prospect by a Brother from Pierre. I have adapted them to Masonry, made some changes and additions and have included some of them here:

 What first attracted me to Masonry?

 Is that attraction still present today?

 What did I expect to get from Masonry?

 Have I gotten it?

 If I haven’t gotten what I expected, why am I a Mason today?

 What need in my life does Masonry fill?

 Why would I recommend Masonry to a friend?

 Why would a man want to become a Mason today?

 Why would a man want to join MY lodge?

 Why would a young man choose to come to Lodge, when there are so many other things to occupy his time?

 Why would a travelling/visiting Brother want to visit MY Lodge?

 What do Masons do?

 What does MY Lodge do?

 If you cannot answer some of these questions, or are not happy with the answers, what are you doing to change things?

 If you are not doing anything to help change things, why not?

These are fundamental questions every Mason, as well as Candidate needs to ask. Your Grand Lodge officers are working to help provide satisfactory answers for you and your Lodge. We are developing materials and training to improve Lodge leadership and help you find the “Light” you are looking for. We encourage you to give us your input on what is needed from the Grand Lodge and its officers to help you be more successful.

Yancey Smith   Deputy Grand Master  

From the Grand Treasurer-Secretary

In various areas of the current Masonic Messenger you will find the agenda and registration form for the 140th Annual Communication of the Grand Lodge which will be held at Cedar Shores in Oacoma, SD, Thursday through Saturday, June 18, 19 and 20, 2015. This information is also posted at this Web site. When you call for rooms you may find space tight at Cedar Shores since there were some rooms blocked off for a wedding prior to our booking. Cedar Shores is providing additional rooms for us at the new cabins overlooking Cedar Shores and at the Oasis Inn just back up the hill. Of course there are numerous other motels just off the Oacoma exit so there are plenty of rooms available.

This is going to be a great session! Besides our necessary duties to vote on proposed legislation, we need to elect our officers and committee members as well as install our new Grand Master, Grand Lodge Officers as well as the District Masters. There will be ample time to get reacquainted and have some fun. We are looking forward to having special presentations being given by members of the Supreme Council of Scottish Rite Southern Jurisdiction in Washington D.C. You will find their scheduled presentations in the agenda as well as their biographies and photos in this issue. We are particularly honored to have Admiral Bill Sizemore, Grand Executive Director of the Scottish Rite, Southern Jurisdiction, in Washington D.C. as one of our presenters. Brother Bill is a true American patriot and a great Mason. Don't miss his address at the Grand Master's Banquet Friday night the 19th.

Now for some specific information for the Worshipful Masters and Secretaries of our Lodges: you will find the Condition of Lodge report in your book of pre-printed reports. This year you will see we have a net loss in membership albeit is very small. After reviewing the reports I can see there are some Lodges that I personally know who raised more new Master Masons than the report shows. We can only report what the MORI report reflects and it is imperative that the information on MORI remains a current as possible. There also appears to be a larger amount of NPDs than in past years. If those numbers had been lower and all the new brothers had been entered in the MORI program, I feel confident our report may have shown a net increase in membership. If there is any way that these brothers that are reported as NPD and can be located and their status changed, it certainly would had been reflected in this report. Again, the MORI program is our membership data program and it reflects only what is entered from the Lodges. These numbers are your numbers as reflected as of January 1st. We cannot correct or change these numbers in MORI at the Grand Lodge office after the cutoff date or especially this late and without it appearing that we are cooking the books, so to speak. That would only mess us up long term which creates a whole host of new issues for us in the office. Again, only the Lodges create these numbers. If any of you have any MORI questions I have asked Gwen to be available at the Grand Lodge Session to work with you on a one-on-one basis. The bottom line is if it is not accurate at the cutoff date of January 1st, the report that runs will reflect the same inaccurate information. Please, use this system. We are here to help in any way we can. Thank you.

Denny Robinson, PGM  
Grand Treasurer-Secretary  

SD-CHIP in Rapid City

Volunteers worked at the Grand Lodge’s largest SD-CHIP, the annual Youth and Family Service’s Kids Fair SD-CHIP Event, which was held April 24th-26th in Rapid City. This year was another very successful event, with 429 child going through the program!


Grand Officers in Rapid City Parade

RWB Mike Rodman, Senior Grand Warden, and RWB Yancey Smith, Junior Grand Warden, represented MWB Douglas McFarland, Grand Master of Masons in South Dakota, in the April 18th NAJA Shrine Spring Ceremonial Parade in Rapid City. The new Grand Lodge magnetic car signs were made possible by a generous donation from MWB Robert Morrow, Past Grand Master of Masons in South Dakota.


Harmony Fêtes Ladies

Harmony Lodge #110, Hot Springs, presented its Ladies Appreciation Dinner on Tuesday, April 21, with special honors to their widows. The guests were entertained by the Sandstone Singers with a variety of patriotic and familiar songs. The ladies stated that they really appreciated the wonderful evening of food, friend and music.


VA Employees Volunteer for SD CHIP

On April 24-26, several VA employees volunteered to help with the SD Child ID Program (SD-CHIP) sponsored by the Masons of South Dakota at the Youth and Family Services Kids Fair. At no cost to families, families are provided with a photograph, height/weight, audio clip of their child, DNA swab, and dental impression to be kept by the parents in the unfortunate event of a child abduction, essentially having a ‛media ready’ packet.

Volunteers included Ron Johnson, Sharon Sulzbach, Sheila & Val Schweitzer, Lisa K. (SDSU nursing student), Amanda A. (SDSU nursing student), Becca Shamp, Stacia Shamp, Danelle Wetsit, Justine Peterson, Haley Lambert, Eden Lambert, Sally Becker, Kim Guilmett, Melissa Collins, Jared Schlager (SDSU nursing student), Michelle Hagen, Kelly Holt, Tonia Turpin, Justin Thurman, Nicole Ryan (SDSU nursing student), Taylor Kreutz (WDT nursing student).

 A child is reported missing every 43 seconds
 SD-CHIP is provided at no cost, and all items generated are kept with the parents
 This is the 5th SD-CHIP event that VA employees have volunteered.
 18,764 kids have been through the SD-CHIP event to date


The 141st Annual Session of the
Grand Lodge of South Dakota, A.F. & A.M. will be held
Thursday, June 18 — Saturday, June 20, 2015

Special presentations will be given by these officials of the Supreme Council, 33o, Scottish Rite Southern Jurisdiction, Washington D.C.

Admiral William G. Sizemore II, Grand Executive Director Keynote Speaker at the Grand Master’s Banquet on Friday evening.

Dean Alban, Director of Membership Services Membership Seminar on Thursday afternoon 1:30-3:00 P.M.

Sean Graystone, Superintendent of the House of the Temple. Program on the history of the House of the Temple at the Lodge of Masonic Research on Thursday afternoon at 3:00 P.M.


April 23, 2015

I am pleased to announce the promotion of Gwen Olson from administrative assistant position of office manager for the Grand Lodge of South Dakota, A. F. & A.M. Gwen’s promotion is effective immediately.
Gwen joined at our Grand Lodge team approximately a year ago. Gwen has done an excellent job in all aspects for our Grand Lodge. She is professional, cordial, and helpful to the lodges, Grand Lodge officers, brothers, and inquiring public. She is doing a wonderful job and we’re fortunate to have brought our team.
Please extend congratulations to Gwen.

Denny Robinson, PGM  
Grand Treasurer/Secretary  

Earth Day

Several members of Mt. Rushmore Lodge #220 helped in the City wide cleanup in Rapid City. This is the 4th year of doing this Community Project.

Many thanks to SW Zac Pengra, WM Dave Meltz, Tyler Mike Trobaugh, Bro. Dustin Willett, SD Brian Cole, PM John McKnight, JW Steve Barns and Bro. Brandon Herrera. Also pictured are Beth Anne Ferley with the Rapid City Waste Recycling Division and Anya Olverson of KNBN News Center 1.

Above is a video news link of this event with Masons from Mt Rushmore Lodge #220

Deputy Grand Master’s Report

It has been a great honor to serve as your Deputy Grand Master-Grand Master Elect for the 2014-2015 Masonic Year. It has been my pleasure to represent the Grand Lodge of South Dakota and you my Brothers at the following events during the past year:

 Participated in the 140th Grand Lodge Session in Oacoma. June 19-21, 2014.

 Attended the rededication of Attica Lodge #502 in Sloan, IA, on June 28, 2014

 Attended Grand Lodge Officers meeting in Oacoma on July 26, 2014

 Participate in the Heritage Music Fest with Elk Point Lodge #3, July 19, 2014.

 Attended the Annual Communication of the Wyoming Grand Lodge in Sheridann, WY, August 10-12, 2014.

 Attended the Masonic Service for Richard Decker PGM in Sioux Falls August 14, 2014.

 Attended the Midwest Conference of Masonic Grand Lodges in Madison, WI. August 15-16, 2013.

 Attended the Scottish Rite Foundation Meeting in Oacoma August 23, 2014

 Participated in the Grand Lodge Officers meeting in Oacoma August 23, 2014

 Attended the Mt. Rushmore Youth Exploration Area ground breaking ceremony August 24, 2014

 Participated in the Yankton Scottish Rite Advisory Council meeting August 26, 2014

 Attended the Installation of Officers at Jeptha Lodge #121 in Hudson September 2, 2014

 Attended the Grand Lodge Organizational Review Committee meeting in Oacoma, September 5, 2014.

 Attended Grand Trustee meeting in Oacoma September 13, 2014

 Attended the Annual Communication of the Iowa Grand Lodge in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, September 18, 19 and 20, 2014.

 Participated in the Yankton Scottish Rite Advisory Council meeting September 23, 2014

 Participated in Scottish Rite Reunion in Yankton October 3 and 4 2014

 Attended District 16 meeting in Hermosa October 11, 2014

 Attended District 13 meeting in Pierre on October 12, 2014.

 Attended District 15 meeting in Philip on October 26, 2014

 Presented Brother John Anderson his 60-yr pin at his home in Rapid City on November 15, 2014.

 Attended District 17 meeting in Sturgis on November 15, 2014

 Attended Jeptha Lodge #121 meeting on November 18, 2014

 Attended the Grand Lodge Organizational Review Committee meeting in Pierre, Nov. 22, 2014.

 Helped decorate the Grand Lodge Christmas tree at the State Capital in Pierre, Nov 23, 2014.

 Attended Incense Lodge #2 St. Johns Celebration, Dec 27, 2014

 Participated in the Grand Lodge Officers meeting in Pierre Jan 10, 2015

 Attended South Dakota Lodge of Masonic Research in Pierre Jan 10, 2015

 Attended District 13 One-Day in Pieree Jan 17,2015

 Attended Board of trustees meeting in Sioux Falls, January 24, 2015

 Attended the Annual Communication of the Nebraska Grand Lodge in Kearney, NE February 5 — 7, 2015.

 Attended the Conference of Grand Masters in Vancouver, BC, February 14 -17, 2015

 Met with Finance Committee in Oacoma February 28, 2015

 Attended the Grand Lodge Organizational Review Committee meeting in Oacoma, March 6, 1015

 Attended the Grand Lodge planning meeting in Sioux Falls, March 20, 2015.

 Attended the Minnesota Grand Lodge Communication in Duluth, MN Marchl 26-28, 2015

 Attended the Grand Lodge planning meeting at Cedar Shore Resort, March 30, 2015.

 Participated in the Scottish Rite Ceremony of Remembrance and Renewal in Yankton April 2, 2015.

 Participated in the Scottish Rite Reunion in Yankton April 10 and 11, 2015

 Attended Brookings Lodge #24 Past Masters Banquet April 18, 2015

 Participated in the awards banquet for the USD Dept. of Communication Sciences and Disorders for the Scottish Rite Foundation, Vermillion, May 1, 2015

 Attended District #1 Table Lodge in Worthing May 15, 2015

 Participated in Cornerstone rededication at Concord Lodge #13 in Watertown May 16, 2015

 Attended the Organizational Review Committee meeting, Oacoma, May 29, 2015.

 Attended North Dakota Grand Lodge Communication June 11 - 13, 2015

 Attended the Annual Communication of the Grand Lodge of South Dakota, June 17 - 20, 2015.

I have also been active in Elk Point Lodge #3, the Yankton Scottish Rite Valley and the Sahib unit of the Abu Bekr Shrine. I would like to take this opportunity to thank you, the Brethren of the Grand Lodge of South Dakota for electing me as you Deputy Grand Master - Grand Master Elect. It has been a great honor for me to serve you. Again I and my Lady Dianne thank you for the many courtesies extended to us during the past Masonic Year.

Donald A. (Don) Gray  
Deputy Grand Master-Grand Master Elect  

Tidings from the East

Where does the general public receive information about the Masonic Fraternity?

It appears that the public gets information about Masonry from many different sources. Some of it is legitimate and some of it is wrong, bigoted, and mean-spirited. I just did a quick Google Search for “Masonic Information” and found that the the sites first listed were legitimate and useful. Illegitimate sites were much further down the list. I began to think about this question recently when I visited with two different individuals outside the Craft on the same day. I visited with a good friend and colleague before a doctoral final exam on the campus. He knew I was active in the Masons and he asked me what I was doing in that regard. I am always pleased to talk about what Masonry is about, what we do, our history, and what I am doing with anyone who is interested. This friend is originally from China, so he had little or no exposure to Masonry previous to moving to the U.S. He had recently watched a television show about Freemasonry — one that gave a very negative view and was loaded with false information. But he told me that the material portrayed about Masonry in the program had to be false because he and I have been good friends for many years and I was not anything like the so-called “Masons” depicted in the film. We have all heard about or seen these anti-Masonic shows. What motivates people to create them is beyond my understanding. Perhaps a lesson to be had from this experience with my friend was that as Masons, we are always representing the Fraternity, and should keep this in mind with all our “transactions with mankind.”

That same evening several members of my Lodge met with a young man who planned to petition for membership. As an ice-breaker we often ask the prospect why he is interested in Masonry and what he knows about the fraternity. Many are surprisingly well-versed in Masonry and have done their “homework.” This curious prospective member became interested in Masonry through what I thought was a most unusual situation. He was visiting a friend in Montana and saw an odd symbol engraved on a stone of an old building. He had no idea what it was, but he realized that it must have some special meaning. He took a picture of it and went to the internet where he learned that the symbol was our beloved Square and Compasses. Then he began his investigation on-line and, being favorably impressed with what he read, wished to join our ranks. An important lesson to be had from this experience is the very critical need to keep our Masonic web sites up to date, chock full of useful information that explains what Masonry is about, including our principles and what we stand for, our link to the history of our country, and our charities. I have two brochures I carry with me that are published by the Masonic Information Center and I have passed them out to many individuals. They are entitled: “What Has Masonry Done for the World?” and “Who Are the Masons and What Do They Do?” Both are excellent resources for both Masons who want to explain what the Fraternity is about and to the non-Mason wishing to learn about Freemasonry.

This is my last missive to you as your Grand Master. It has been a wonderful year and I thoroughly enjoyed my time in the Grand East. I thank all of you for your support and trust in me to preside over the Fraternity this past year. I assure you that you are in very capable hands with my successors.

With best fraternal regards,  
Doug McFarland, Grand Master  

PGM Gerald Johnson Honored

Lily Lodge #62, Blunt - Harrold, celebrated as Gerald Johnson, Past Grand Master, received his 60-Year Pin.

Ashrama Temple No. 97, Daughters of the Nile Installs Officers for 2015

The Ceremony of Installation was held at the Masonic Center at 2:00 P.M. on Saturday March 28th. The installing officers were: PQ Carrie Lashly, PQ Patti Sperry, PQ Arta Salisbury, PQ Beverly Butler, PQ Gloria Hoffman, PQ Laurice Iseminger. The Supreme Appointees were presented. PQ Murial Kramer, Supreme Temple Banner Escort, PQ Chelsea Ness, Supreme Temple Banner Escort, PQ Kathryn Buechler, Supreme Temple American Flag Escort, and PQ Jill Butterfield, Supreme Goodwill Ambassador for the Central Area.

We are very proud to have four appointees from our temple this year. The Past Queens were introduced and PQ Carrie Lashly recognized many of the members for their longevity in the order. PQ Arta Salisbury was presented a Stepping Stone for Happiness for the many years of providing beautiful music for the temple as Princess Musician. She is retiring this year and will turn the piano over to a new Princess Musician.

The officers for this year are: Her Majesty, the Queen, Shelby DeVries; Jr. Past Queen, PQ Kathryn Buechler; Princess Royal, Valori Maher; Princess Tirzah, Stephanie Wood; Princess Badoura, Jessica Buus; Princess Recorder, Marcia Knutson; Princess Banker, PQ Laurice Iseminger, Princess Marshall, PQ Jill Butterfield; Princess Chaplain, Stacy Huizenga; Lady of the Keys, Sheila Reimer; Lady of the Gates, Nicole Stoll; Princess Nydia, Kristine Clark; Princess Zulieka, Dawn Rice; Princess Zenobia, Mary Schave; Princess Zora, Glenna Burns; Princess Zuliema, Cheryl McKiernan; Princess Musician, Nancy Ryger; Attendants, Viola Peterson and Kimberly Bergstresser.

One of our fundraising events we have in the works for this year is a Bake Sale at the Sanford Science Festival on June 13th. This event is held at the Sanford Center and is a great, free, family outing. In October we will host a Harvest Festival Luncheon, and in November we will hold our 4th Annual Vendor and Craft Fair at the El Riad Shrine. A portion of the funds raised is donated to the Daughters of the Nile Endowment Fund to support the Shriners Hospitals for Children.

2015 is looking to be a great year for Ashrama Temple #97!

In Memoriam

It is with a sad and heavy heart that I must report that MWB Ron Lockwood passed away early this morning after a courageous battle with cancer. Preliminary arrangements are that the Masonic service will be held on Sunday evening, April 12th at Miller Funeral Home in Sioux Falls and his funeral will be held on Monday, April 13, at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Sioux Falls. As soon as I have more detailed information regarding the exact times I will let you know. Please join me in keeping Ron's family in your thoughts and prayers.

Denny Robinson  
PGM & Gr. Treas./Secretary  

PGM Ronald Lockwood
Ronald E. Lockwood, 77, of Sioux Falls died peacefully on Tuesday, April 7, 2015, at Sanford Centennial Hospice. Family present visitation will be Sunday, April 12, from 2:00 to 4:00 pm at Miller Funeral Home, 507 S. Main Ave. with a Public Masonic Service to begin at 4:00 P.M.
A funeral service will be 11:00 A.M., Monday, April 13, at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, 909 W. 33rd St. with interment at Woodlawn Cemetery. Memorials may be directed to the Shriner’s Hospital for Children or the USD/Scottish Rite Children’s Clinic for Speech and Language Disorders.
Ronald Eugene Lockwood, son of Thomas and Mabel (Lee) Lockwood, was born December 10, 1937, in Sioux Falls. He grew up in East Acres in Sioux Falls. Ron enjoyed the company of his dog, Tiny. He also enjoyed hitching his horse to either a buggy or the sleigh. He even called on a young lady, Beverly while on horseback.
He graduated from Washington High School in 1956. Ron enlisted into the United States Air Force and served as a Fire Protection Specialist.
Ron was united in marriage with Beverly Kittelson on June 4, 1960, at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Sioux Falls. They resided at Ellsworth Air Force Base. While in Korea, Ron created a replica of the large fire truck he drove using balsam wood. This was one of his first attempts at woodworking.
Following his honorable discharge in December 1960, they returned to Sioux Falls and started their family. Ron began his career with Don Penny Construction, Ward Lumber Co., Teslow Construction, and entered into partnership with Howard Wolles before establishing his own business, Ron Lockwood Construction. Ron’s woodworking talents can still be found throughout Sioux Falls, around South Dakota and in Washington, DC.
After Beverly’s death in 2007, Ron adopted his side-kick, Silas, a Yorkshire terrier. Ron enjoyed challenges whether working on a new wood project in his shop or searching antique stores for a new found treasure.
Ron was a member of Our Savior’s Lutheran Church and St. Mark’s Lutheran Church. Ron was a proud Mason, and he had been very active in many areas of the Masonic family for over fifty years. He was a member of Unity Lodge #130 A.F. & A. M., and in 1992-1993, Ron had the opportunity to serve as Grand Master of Masons for the State of South Dakota. He had active roles in Scottish Rite Bodies, York Rite Bodies, El Riad Shrine where he was named Shriner of the Year in 1993.
Grateful for having shared his life are his two daughters, Susan Foster, Sioux Falls, and Kristan (Thomas) Tott, Woodbury, MN; four granddaughters, Kelly Brandner, Hartford, SD, Lorinda, Katherine, and Jacqueline Tott, all of Woodbury, MN; a great grandson, Boeden Brandner, Hartford, SD; one sister, Pat Biddle, Geddes, SD; several nieces and nephews; and a host of other relatives and friends.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Beverly; his parents, Thomas and Mabel Lockwood; and his brother, Marvin Lockwood.

SDCHIP in Rapid City

The annual Outdoor Expo SDCHIP event was held in Rapid City on February 13-15.

We had 195 children go through the program, which was coordinated by volunteers from the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology football team (73), physician assistants (20), the Rapid City High School Honor Society (25), the Western Dakota Vo-Tech Nurse ’s Program (20), and South Dakota Highway Patrolmen (4). Lodges in West River contributed 15 Brothers, with SDCHIP Chairman Larry Clark coming to see how we were doing.

Grand Officers in Duluth (March 2015)

Several officers of the Grand Lodge attended the Grand Lodge Communication of Minnesota on March 26 - 28, 2015, in Duluth, Minnesota. The Grand Master’s welcoming dinner was held on March 26 at the Duluth Railroad Depot and Museum. We were treated to excellent food and tours through the many locomotives in the basement area where the trains would come through, many carrying iron ore. It was a wonderful event.

Sr. Grand Warden Mike Rodman, Deputy Grand Master-Grand Master Elect Don Gray, and Grand Master Doug McFarland, standing in front of “Engine No. 1,” which brought the materials for the construction of the railroad in this part of the country.

Brother Seymour Raised (March 2015)

Congratulations to Mt. Rushmore Lodge #220’s newest Master Mason, Brother Nathan Seymour. He was passed and raised in a 1-Day event at Battle River Lodge #92 in Hermosa, on March 28, along with nine others from around the Black Hills.

Secretary John Hebrard, Master Mason Nathan Seymour, and his mentor, Jr. Deacon Paul Hartness

Brother Still Raised (March 2015)

Congratulations to our newest Fellow Craft, Brother Gregory Still as he is raised on March 26, 2015, in Mt. Rushmore Lodge #220; the Youngest Lodge in South Dakota.

SD Brian Cole, SW Zach Pengra, Tyler Mike Trobaugh, Brother Gregory Still, WM Dave Meltz, Chaplain/WB Ray Pearce, Brother Ken Kundel, and JW Steve Barns

James Philip Biography (March 2015)

This biography appears on pages 444-448 in History of Dakota Territory by George W. Kingsbury, Vol. IV (1915):

The history of South Dakota is still in the making, but there are those who wrote its early chapters whose names deserve to be honored and their memory perpetuated throughout all the years to come while this commonwealth endures. They are those who penetrated into the frontier regions, met the hardships, difficulties and privations of pioneer life and aided in planting the seeds of civilization which are now coming into rich fruition. Among this number was James Philip, usually known as Scotty Philip. There was a time when almost every stockman, from the owner of large herds down to the humblest cowboy of the northwest, knew him, and he went through every experience of life on the plains from the period of early settlement here to the present age of advanced civilization. At all times his efforts and his influence counted for progress and the capability and resourcefulness which he manifested in business brought to him substantial success.

Mr. Philip was born in Morayshire, Scotland, in March, 1858, a son of George and Catherine Philip. The father was a farmer, living at Auchness, Dallas, Morayshire, and it was upon the home farm that James Philip spent his youth and received the initial training that enabled him to become a successful agriculturist and stock-raiser in later life. He acquired his education in the common schools of his native village of Dallas and in 1875, when seventeen years of age, he came to the United States, wishing to enjoy the benefits and opportunities offered by the great and growing western country. He made his way to Wyoming and to western Nebraska and, going to Cheyenne, in the former state, there entered upon an engagement to act as cattle herder. After a year he went to the Black Hills, where he spent a winter among the pioneer prospectors and miners, meeting the usual difficulties and hardships of life in the mining camps. Subsequently he returned to Fort Laramie, Wyoming, where he secured employment as a teamster in the government service, being thus engaged until 1877. He next went to Fort Robinson, where he became an army scout, acting in that capacity during the Indian troubles of that period. In the meantime he had been employed as a cowboy with the first cattle outfit that utilized the range on Running Water, remaining there until the fall of 1878-9. Subsequently he freighted with a bull team from Chadron, Nebraska, to the Black Hills and from Fort Pierre to Deadwood over the old Black Hills trail, being thus engaged until 1882. About that time he located on Bad River, near where the town of Philip now stands, and turned his attention to the cattle business, in which he was always afterward extensively engaged until the time of his death on the 23d of July, 1911. In 1896 he effected the organization of the Minnesota & Dakota Cattle Company, with headquarters at Fort Pierre, and was made general manager, so continuing until January 1900, when he disposed of his interests. He afterward engaged in cattle raising on his own account and the business was conducted most successfully. He was widely recognized as one of the leading stockmen of the northwest. The Capital Journal of July 24, 1911, said of him: “He was known from Mexico to Canada and in all the stock yards of the country as Scotty Philip. His herds of cattle at times numbered many thousands and no roundup from the Black Hills to the Missouri river for more than a quarter of a century was complete without the presence of this cattle king, and at every shipping season his business was eagerly sought by the railroad companies. Mr. Philip a few years ago purchased the famous Du Pree buffalo herd and by an act of congress he fenced in about twenty thousand acres of land on the Missouri river above Fort Pierre, where this famous herd is kept.”

The buffaloes on the Philip ranch now number about four hundred and twenty-five and are valued at two hundred and fifty dollars each, although the hide with the head attached frequently sells at from six to eight hundred dollars, while specimens of the head mounted bring all the way up to five hundred dollars.

Mr. Philip was not alone deeply and extensively interested in the stock business, for after the building of railroads west of the Missouri River he became unusually active in support of the commercial and industrial development of that section and cooperated in every movement for the upbuilding of the business interests of Fort Pierre. For many years he made his home in that city and was interested in everything of a financial nature throughout the entire community. He was not only associated with the Minnesota & Dakota Cattle Company but was for many years a director in the Stock Growers Bank at Fort Pierre, in the Missouri River Transportation Company and various similar concerns. He had extensive landed interests in Stanley County as well as many business investments and he was among the leaders of his section of the state who believed in the efficacy of irrigation as the means of developing central and western South Dakota. He had the confidence of thousands of business men as well as plainsmen and nowhere that he went was he without friends and acquaintances. Physically he was a man large of stature and in any gathering of people he was a conspicuous and prominent figure.

Aside from business connections for profit or for the benefit of the town Mr. Philip was active in public affairs and was chairman of the first board of county commissioners in Stanley comity following its organization in 1890. Nine years later he was elected a member of the state senate from the district comprising Stanley and Lyman Counties, but his ambition was not in the line of office holding and, while he did not hesitate to support the principles in which he believed, he was willing that others should fill the offices. He ever voted with the Democratic Party and did all in his power to further its interests and promote its success.

In 1879, at Pine Ridge Agency, South Dakota, Mr. Philip was married to Sarah Larvie, daughter of Joseph Larvie, who was a French Canadian voyager and came to what afterward was the territory of Dakota in the employ of the Hudson’s Bay Fur Company. Her mother was a Cheyenne Indian, who was afterward with the Sioux and became adopted as one of them. Ten children were born unto Mr. and Mrs. Philip, five of whom are living: Olive, now the wife of Hugh M. Schultz, of Fort Pierre, South Dakota; and Hazel, Clara, Stanley and Roderick, all of whom live at Fort Pierre, as does his widow. Their home is on the Buffalo Ranch, about six miles north of the city, and they are widely and favorably known in this section of the state. Aside from his immediate family Mr. Philip had but one relative in South Dakota, this being George Philip, a well-known attorney of Fort Pierre.

Mr. Philip was a prominent Mason, holding membership in the various branches of that fraternity. He attained the Knight Templar degree of the York Rite, the thirty-second degree of the Scottish Rite and was a member of El Riad Temple of the Mystic Shrine at Sioux Falls. He became a charter member of Capital City Commandery, K. T. In the gallery of the Historical Society in the state capitol at Pierre hangs an oil painting of Scotty Philip. The above record of an eventful, useful, and busy life will in a degree perpetuate his memory, which is enshrined in the hearts of all who knew him. He was one of the typical pioneers of the northwest — resolute, determined and purposeful meeting uncomplainingly the hardships of frontier life and contributing in substantial measure to the work of general improvement and development, so that his name is inseparably interwoven with the history of the northwest.

Submited by Jason A. Glodt, Grand Historian  

Rapid City Lodge #25 Raises Two

On Tuesday, March 17, Rapid City Lodge #25 had the privilege of bringing two young men further light in Masonry, by raising Tyler Milslagle and William Smith to the Sublime Degree of Master Mason. Both young men had completed the full, long-form proficiency in both the EA and FC Degrees and will do so for the MM as well. Rapid City #25 is proud to call these men Brother.

The Brethren of Rapid City Lodge #25, assembled after the raising or Brother Tyler Millslage and Brother William Smith. Brother Millslagle is second from the left in the middle row, and Brother Smith is second from the left in the front row.

Happy Birthday Brother Cyril Beeching! (March 2015)

Brother Cyril Beeching of Belle Fourche Cedar Lodge #124 celebrated his 103rd birthday on March 13, 2015.

Many Brothers from around the Black Hills came to Brother Cyril’s birthday party at Ft. Meade VA Hospital Nursing Home, along with many of his friends and relatives. With coordination between his family and our Black Hills Masonic Service Representative, Brother John Hebrard, we got to surprise Brother Cyril and make his day happier.

Brother Cyril

The family could not thank us enough for showing support to this fine World War II hero. He loves to tell funny stories of his battlefield days.

Brother Cyril is already planning his 104th birthday, so put it on your calendar.


33 Master Masons Raised (March 2015)

On Saturday, March 14, 2015, the three Sioux Falls Lodges held a one day festival that resulted in 33 new Master Masons being raised.


Brother Theo Blair Raised (February 2015)

Mt. Rushmore #220 reported that Brother Theo Blair completed his Master Mason proficiency on February 26 in open lodge.

WM Dave Meltz, Brother Theo Blair and WB George Bauder (Mentor)

York Rite visits Mt Rushmore Lodge #220 (February 2015)

On February 26, the York Rite visited Mt Rushmore Lodge #220. Lodge Brothers learned the different degrees of the York Rite and saw many of the uniforms worn by its members. It was a great education in higher Masonry.

WB George Bauder, WB Jim Heald, B Mike Trobaugh, WB Bruce Crisman, WM Dave Meltz, WB Jake Smith and WB John Laughlin

In Memoriam" /> In Memoriam

It is with a very sad and heavy heart that I need to let everyone know that Chuck Kaufman, PGM, passed away last night. Information on funeral services is posted below. PGM Chuck was a giant in Masonry in South Dakota and will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved him.

Please be keeping Fern and the family in your thoughts and prayers. Thank you.

— Denny Robinson, PGM & Gr. Treas./Secretary  

Funeral arrangements for PGM Chuck Kaufman:

Tuesday, February 24

Visitation will be from 5:00 P.M. to 7:00 P.M. at the UCC Church, 226 E. Main Street, Vermillion.

The Masonic service will begin at 7:00 P.M. The Masons will gather in the church basement outside the dining room at 6:00. Use the east door to the basement — there is an elevator if you need one. Please bring your Masonic apron and gloves. After the Masonic service there will be an opportunity to share memories of PGM Chuck and coffee and cookies will be served.

If you have any questions, contact either:

Saturday, March 7

Memorial Service at 11:00 A.M. at the UCC Church, 226 E. Main Street, Vermillion.

If you need a motel room, contact:

Holiday Inn Express
1200 N. Dakota
Vermillion, SD
(605) 624-7600

Best Western
701 W. Cherry St.
Vermillion, SD
(605) 624-8333

Dr. Charles Newton Kaufman was born March 12, 1933, in Huron, South Dakota, to Charles A. and Belva (Janzen) Kaufman. He passed on Friday, February 20, 2015 at the age of 81, at his home in Vermillion. Chuck grew up and attended school in Freeman and Parkston. He served in the United States Armed Forces during the Korean War.

Chuck married the love of his life, Fern Ching, on June 3, 1956, in Castlewood. Chuck and Fern began their married life in Huron while Chuck was finishing his degree at Huron College. Their eldest son, Norman Charles was born in Huron and shortly after that they moved to Yankton, while Chuck was attending the University of South Dakota. Chuck did some research work for USD while living in Elk Point. They then moved to Vermillion where he taught in the Business School before attending Indiana University for his doctoral work. Their son Kevin Charles was born in Watertown in 1960.

The family then moved back to Vermillion in 1964 and their daughter, Nanette Fern, was born. Chuck resumed his teaching at the University. During his tenure at USD he was Director of the MBA program and later Dean of the Graduate School. Chuck had many professional accomplishments and also enjoyed working as a consultant. He was on the Yankton College Board of Trustees and given the honor of President Emeritus for almost five decades of service. Chuck retired from the University in 1999 after 35 years of service.

Hunting was one of Chuck’s favorite pastimes. He enjoyed gardening, making wine, reading and singing in the church choir. Chuck also enjoyed serving in many ways for the United Church of Christ Congregational both locally and statewide. He enjoyed keeping score at basketball games for over 25 years. Chuck enjoyed being a member of the Masons. He was Grand Master of the Masons in SD in 2001-2. He became Sovereign Grand Inspector General (SGIG) of the Scottish Rite Masons in SD in 2003. His interests in the Scottish Rite involved helping establish the Speech and Hearing Clinics in Vermillion, Sioux Falls, Rapid City, and Aberdeen.

Chuck’s lasting legacy is his family. He was a wonderful husband, father, grandfather, uncle, and friend to many. He is survived by his loving wife of 58 years, Fern of Vermillion, his sons; Norman (Sherie) Kaufman, Vermillion, Kevin Kaufman Sioux Falls, and Nanette (Mark) Christofferson, Glendale, AZ. His six grandchildren: Chris Kaufman and Kelly (Sherwin) Gilbert, Kendra and Natalie Kaufman, Matthew and Thea Christofferson, and one great grandchild, Hemera Gilbert. Chuck was preceded in death by his parents.

Grand Lodge Officers in Action (February 2015)

Your elected Grand Lodge line officers attended the Conference of Grand Masters of North America in Vancouver, BC. They brought back many ideas on how to continue to improve Masonry in South Dakota.


Poor Witness (February 2015)

— Del Bartels  

Take a simple test. What were your children wearing the last time you saw them?

If you had to, could you pick out their photo from 50 photos of similar children? What is their height, weight, eye color? Could you describe them clearly enough for police officers to help find them in a crowded mall? If worse comes to worst, what is their blood type?

You know the direction I am headed. Take this growing fear to the nightmare level. Could you identify a badly mangled corpse, such as after a car accident, a fire or the horror of 9/11?

Enough. I don’t want to think about such things.

So I don’t. I calmly think about the quiet, small town life. I once thought it was quaint when members of a vacationing family were all dressed exactly alike. Now I think it’s the only way to go. I used to put current school photos of my children in family albums. Now I keep those photos handy in my wallet ... for bragging purposes. My kids carry cell phones, because I like to talk.

I don’t think about horrible things. I record my kids’ height on a hallway wall to see how fast they grow. I take them to the dentist to try to forestall cavities and enrich their smile. I encourage the older ones to donate blood because it is simply the right thing to do. I casually demand that they have their identification recorded by the Children Identification Program (CHIP) because I am a Mason and it’s just one of the things Masons do.

Being a conservative and a person living in the Midwest, I don’t like anyone telling me what I can and cannot do, or keeping tabs on me, especially the government. My fingerprints are mine, not for the cops to have in some computer system. That’s for criminals. The CHIP material, though, is for the parents to keep. Only if ever needed, hopefully never, would that package be given to authorities. If one of my kids were missing, I would be shoving the CHIP package at those authorities, pleading and screaming and begging for their help. Thank God for Amber Alert!

I would gladly pay for the CHIP program. In a sense, since I am a Mason, I do pay for it. I pay for it so other people can use it. To them it is free. Fundraisers are done to help defray the cost of such programs. Still, to parents of children, the program is free.

I have a fire extinguisher and I rarely ever think about it. Hopefully I will never need to use it. I have identification records of my children. Hopefully I will never need to use them.

If a cow is branded, it is less likely that it will be stolen. If a community is known for supporting a CHIP program, wouldn’t that possibly deter someone from stealing a child from that community? I’ts not just the reason of being able to quickly and clearly publicizing the identifying factors of the kid, but also of so many people being alert because they are aware of and use programs such as CHIP.

I don’t like nightmares. So let’s not talk about the worse becoming the worst. Instead, let’s just play a silly game. What were your children wearing the last time you saw them?

Mt. Rushmore Lodge #220 Honors Brother Brian Cole

Congratulations to Senior Deacon Brian Cole on being selected as the Mason of the Year for Mt. Rushmore Lodge #220. He showed dedication and hard work to make his Lodge better than ever. Thanks, Brother Brian.

SW Steve Barns, SD Brian Cole, and WM Dave Meltz

Tin City Lodge Hosts Table Lodge (January 2015)

Tin City Lodge No. 112 lodge brothers held their 3rd annual Table Lodge January 24 at the Alpine Inn in Hill City. Fifty people were in attendance including Brothers of Tin City Lodge along with their spouses, significant others, visiting Brothers from the Grand Lodge of South Dakota, other area lodge members and guests. After everyone enjoyed the usual great meal at the Alpine Inn, Tin City Lodge Worshipful Master Jack Welker opened with “tonight we gather for fellowship. We gather for feasting and toasting.” Nine toasts were proposed and nine times our glasses were raised. VIVAT, VIVAT, VIVAT!


“Tough Enough To Wear Pink” (January 2015)

Mt. Rushmore Lodge #220, the youngest Masonic Lodge in South Dakota, is thrilled to be a sponsor for the 3rd year in a row of the “Tough Enough To Wear Pink” program at Rapid City Regional Hospital for helping with finding cures to many different cancers.

Front: SS Reed Foster, SW Zachary Pengra, WM David H. Meltz, JW Steven Barns and Sec. John Hebrard. Middle: JD Paul Hartness, Bro. Dustin Willett, SD Brian Cole, WB/Treas. Bill Carey and T. Mike Trobaugh. Back: WB John McKnight, Bros. Ken Kundel and Zachary Jensen.

Widows Sons Honor Grand Master McFarland

On January 22 in Sioux Falls, the South Dakota Grand Chapter of Widows Sons had the great honor and privilege presenting our Grand Master Douglas McFarland with a lifetime honorary member vest.

President Rob Myers presents vest to Doug McFarland

Among those present were Rob Myers (Pres), Steve Buterfield (Treas), Jeff Landborg (Sec), Wes Teal (Sgt At Arms), Tom Anderson (Guardian of Membership), Tim Lind (Chaplain), and other distinguished club members.

MWB Doug McFarland modeling his vest

Tidings from the East (January 2015)

I appear to be attending an increasing number of funerals lately. One likely reason is that I’ve lived in South Dakota nearly 30 years and have made many friends here in my adopted home state. As I listen to all the kind words said about the deceased, I wonder how often the departed heard these compliments over their lifetime. Kind words and simply recognizing a job well done go a long way to brighten one’s day and beyond. Positive feedback also lets the individual know they are doing a good job, are appreciated, and on the right track.

A colleague of mine who also recently retired from the faculty at South Dakota State University received such a compliment from a student 20 plus years after having the student in his class. Writing in the 2015 Guide to Higher Education, Adam Vinatieri discussed the impact his mammalian physiology teacher, Dr. Henry Kayongo-Male had on his life: Dr. Kayongo-Male “taught me how to work and study hard.” “Dr. Kayongo-Male’s class was one of the most difficult I’ve taken, and I had to study every night. Getting a high grade was one of my greater achievements. It helped me with work ethic in every facet, not just in the classroom, but also on the field.” In talking with Henry after this was published it was very obvious he greatly appreciated the recognition, and I know it affirmed that he was a good teacher and mentor. (You may remember Adam Vinatieri, a SDSU football standout and now a kicker for the Indianapolis Colts. He has won four Super Bowl rings with the Colts and the Patriots.)

Proper recognition of our hard-working and effective Brothers is also very important. We are a voluntary organization and outstanding work is not rewarded with a pay raise. We can, and we should recognize those Brothers who have gone over and above what is expected. They made the Lodge and the Lodge experience better for the Brothers.

The Grand Lodge recognizes a Mason of the Year in each District. The individual is chosen from nomination materials of distinguished Brothers sent to the District Master. In turn, the District Master submits the nomination packet of the District Mason of the Year to the Grand Master for consideration for Mason of the Year for the Jurisdiction. The decision is made by the elected Grand Lodge Officers.

There are a lot of well-deserving Brothers in South Dakota who are excellent candidates for these awards and the recognition that comes with it — I know, because I have met many of them! A notice about this and other awards will be sent out shortly to the Lodge Secretaries, Grand Lodge Officers, and District Masters. So, please be thinking about who you would put forward to your District Master for this prestigious award and recognition. In order to properly evaluate the nominations, supporting information including the Brother’s activities needs to be included. A letter simply stating “I nominate John Doe for the outstanding Mason in District X”will not be helpful. In recent years we have not had the response to this solicitation that it merits. Please make this a high priority for your Lodges. This recognition will make a big difference to those many valuable and hard-working Brothers.

With best fraternal regards,  
Doug McFarland, Grand Master  

Greetings from the West (January 2015)

In a year where the Masons of North America kicked off their civility program at last February’s conference of Grand Masters, it has been personally painful to me to view the acts of incivility, particularly toward our nation’s law enforcement professionals, broadcast on our television screens from across the country these last few months. While all of us cherish our first amendment rights, I would argue that if ever there is a time to show that Masons will set the example on civility for the nation to follow, now would be that time.

Masons here in South Dakota have long had a special, unique, close, working relationship with law enforcement on all levels. Our South Dakota Child Identification Program has for many years partnered with law enforcement groups in an unselfish effort to keep our children safe from harm. These law enforcement partners include Attorney General Marty Jackley and his team, the South Dakota Highway Patrol and the South Dakota Sheriffs’ Association. Besides these partnerships, many local police departments have also enthusiastically partnered with local lodges to make their SDCHIP events successful.

Attorney General Jackley, on many occasions, has publicly commended South Dakota Masons on our good works with the South Dakota Child Identification program. He, SD Secretary of Public Safety Trevor Jones, SD Highway Patrol Captain Craig Price, and SD Sheriffs’ Association’s Staci Ackerman, along with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children’s Callahan Walsh, headlined the South Dakota Mason’s Child Safety summit this past spring in Rapid City. Additionally, several SDCHIP Public Service Announcements have featured Deadwood’s Chief of Police Kelly Fuller.

Because of this special relationship with South Dakota’s law enforcement, we Masons are in a unique position to enthusiastically support the great job these professionals do day in and day out. Masons have literally spent hundreds of hours, shoulder to shoulder, working with these dedicated professionals in SDCHIP events in every corner of our state. We know them on a personal level, we call them friends and Brothers and we unabashedly show our admiration for the amazing job they do day in and day out, and for their partnership in helping us keep South Dakota kids safe. Celebrating this fantastic relationship is how South Dakota Masons are leading the way in civility.

Mike Rodman, Senior Grand Warden  

South Dakota’s First Grand Master (January 2015)

“The climate in the Black Hills is so damn healthy that you would have to kill a man to start a cemetery.”

—George Ayres  

George V. Ayres was born in Monroe Township, Pennsylvania November 1, 1852. His family slowly moved west throughout his childhood, finally ending up in Beatrice, Nebraska, where at age 17 he went to work as a store clerk to learn the retail business. When he was of age, he joined the local Masonic Lodge. He left Nebraska March 1, 1886, and proceeded to Cheyenne, Wyoming, by rail. There, he and a group of five hired a team and driver to haul their provisions to Custer City, South Dakota, while they walked, a journey that took 17 days in the severe March weather, sleeping outdoors along the trail. After trying his hand at prospecting, that May George moved to Deadwood and found employment cutting logs for the firm Thompson and Street. Another employee at the firm was Rev. Henry Smith, better known as Preacher Smith, who was killed along the trail on his way to given his Sunday Sermon.

Later that summer, George returned to Custer, working in a general store until September 1877, when he returned to Deadwood and started working at Lake’s Hardware, saving his money until he could purchase an interest in the store in 1882. He completed the purchase and changed the name to George V. Ayres & Co. Hardware Store. George also purchased the Bullock Hotel, was a stockholder in the First National Bank, and served as President of the Heidelberg Mining Company.

George served as Chairman of the Lawrence County Commission, where he was instrumental in getting the first highways in the Hills built. He also served as a member of the Deadwood city council, official of the US Land Office, Chairman of the Republican County Committee, vice-chair of the Republican State Committee, and the South Dakota House of Representatives.

George was a member of the Deadwood Business Club, the SD Retail Hardware Association, on the Board of Directors for the SD Children’s Home Society, President of the Black Hills Pioneers, where he presided over the dedication ceremonies for the Preacher Smith Monument on the 38th Anniversary of his death saying of Smith,“He was a quite unassuming gentleman, one of the plain people who go along and perform their duty as the see it, facing hardships, privations, and dangers and, if necessary, giving up their lives in the service of God and their fellow man.“

George also affiliated with the Deadwood Lodge in 1882, where he served as Master in 1885, 1903 and 1906. He was elected the first Grand Master of Masons in South Dakota in 1889, when North and South Dakota were granted statehood. His first act as Grand Master, in a spirit of fraternity and brotherly love, was to give the Dakota Territory Grand Lodge jewels to the newly formed Grand Lodge of North Dakota. His next act was to establish the Grand Lodge Charity Fund to help Masonic families in need. Today that fund has grown into a multi-million dollar fund that has helped untold numbers of Masonic families.

Doan Robinson wrote this about our first Grand Master: “He has utilized wisely the opportunities that have presented themselves and his busy life has not only won him individual success, but has been decidedly instrumental in promoting the public welfare along many lines of endeavor, and all who know him give him the respect which true worth alone can command.”

Mike Rodman, Senior Grand Warden  

Santa Visits Worthing Lodge #141 (January 2015)

On a foggy Saturday December 13 morning Santa and his elf found their way to Worthing to help make “Breakfast with Santa” a huge success. Worthing Lodge #141 hosted a pancake breakfast, hosted a CHIP event, and the children of the community had the opportunity to visit Santa Claus. The Lennox Independent newspaper provided coloring books for the kids along with each child left with a handful of candy and a treat bag from Santa’s bag.

We identified 31 kids through the CHIP program, received two petitions for membership and raised awareness for our lodge in the community.

It was great to have the Brothers of our lodge come together and work hard to make this event a success. Thank-you, Brothers!

A very special thank you to MW Doug McFarland and lady Sandy for being the star attractions at our event. There were about 100 kids that left their visit with Santa with big smiles on their faces with your help!

Aaron Zahn PM, Secretary/Treasurer, Grand Standard Bearer

Resurgam #31 Raises Two Brothers (January 2015)

On Tuesday, January 6, 2015, Resurgam #31 in Mitchell raised Corey Weerheim and David Sweigart to the sublime degree of Master Mason. We are very excited to see such young men showing interest in our fraternity!

Back: Jason Swindler, T; Craig Kelly, SD; Ryan Brech, M
Middle: Lennie Tucker, JD; Jeff Larson, SW; James VanOort, JW
Front: Brandon Manchester, SS; Corey Weerheim, C; David Sweigart, C; Troy Magnuson, M; Matt Hubbard, JS

James VanOort, King of Tyre, and Doug Papendick, King Solomon

Worshipful Brother Roy Snyder Honored (January 2015)

In recent weeks, email and phone contacts have been made between Secretary John Hebrard and WB Roy Snyder, the sixth Master of Mt. Rushmore Lodge #220, from 1958-1959. Brother Roy is an original member of Mt. Rushmore Lodge #220 when chartered in June 1953 and served most every chair. He started at the Senior Deacon on the first meeting on July 23, 1952, prior to the Charter being presented.

He is being sent a belated-60 Year Pin, a Grand Lodge of South Dakota Pin and a new Lodge #220 pin as he starts 68th year in Masonry. We are planning a special evening when he comes to Rapid City from Florida to accept his 70-Year Pin.

Mt. Rushmore’s Latest Master Mason (December 2014)

Please congratulate newly raised Master Mason Brandon Herrera of Mt. Rushmore Lodge #220. Assisted by Brothers of Rapid City Lodge #25, Brother Brandon completed the Master Mason Degree on December 16, 2014, at Rapid City Lodge #25.

In other news from Mt. Rushmore Lodge #220, recently many Brothers performed community service at the Rapid City Corner Stone Mission by cooking and serving a delicious dinner to those in need for a good, hot meal.

We split up into two crews: one cooked while the other served the food. Some Brothers did both. It is our way to give to the community.

Serving dinner were WB Ray Pearce, SS Reed Foster, Jason Cole (son of Brian Cole), Brian Cole, Chaplain Chris Sugrue and Secretary John Hebrard.

WB Ray Pearce, SS Reed Foster, Jason Cole, SD Brian Cole, Chap. Chris Sugrue & Sec. John Hebrard

New Pin (December 2014)

Mt. Rushmore Lodge #220, the Youngest Lodge of South Dakota, recently purchased its own Lodge Pin for the Brothers. JW Steve Barns designed the pin and won the contest.

Contact Secretary John Hebrard for information on purchasing them at [email protected]

Many thanks to WM Dave Meltz for getting the idea moving.


Social Media Policy Announced (December 2014)

The new Social Media Policy for South Dakota Masonry has been released.

From the Grand Treasurer-Secretary

The Holiday Season is upon us — are we ready? All of us get busy running here and there, trying to get everything we think that is important finished. We all try to provide that perfect holiday meal, give the perfect gift and attend all the important gatherings of family and friends.

With all the activities and the hectic schedules do we sometimes miss the reason for the season? I think often we do. Take time to appreciate what our Creator has provided for us.

Take time to really appreciate our family and friends. Slow down, smell the roses and give true thanks for everything you have. We are truly blessed with what we have, the friends we have made and the opportunities given to us to be a part of the world.

Remember the less fortunate, reach out to all and truly enjoy this holiday season. On behalf of all of us at the Grand Lodge office we wish you and yours a joyous holiday season!!!

Denny Robinson, PGM  
Grand Treasurer/Secretary  

One-Day Conferral

Tinta Lodge No. 116 of Langford hosted a One-Day Conferral on December 6, 2014. Nine new Master Masons were created in four northeast South Dakota Lodges — Coteau No. 54 (5), Tinta No. 116 (2), Redfield No. 34 (1), and Wessington No. 107 (1). MWB Douglas C. McFarland, Grand Master, and Yancey Smith, Jr. Grand Warden, were called upon to assist in the proficiency of the newly made Master Masons. Thank you to all who participated in a wonderful day.


Tin City Lodge #112 Raffles Grill (December 2014)

This summer Tin City Lodge #112 in Hill City raffled off a BBQ grill donated by Sears in Rapid City. The raffle was a good fund raiser for all the Lodge’s philanthropies. Ted and Connie Davies had the lucky ticket. Herb Cook and WM Jack H. Welker delivered the grill to the Davieses.

WM Welker and Ted and Connie Davies are waiting for some grilled steaks

Brother John A. Anderson Honored (December 2014)

Brother John A. Anderson was presented his 60-Year Pin by RWB Donald Gray, Deputy Grand Master - Grand Master Elect at his home in Rapid City on Saturday, November 15th, 2014.

RWB Donald Gray, Brother John A. Anderson, and Mrs. Anderson

Tin City #112 Hosts Dakota Smiles (December 2014)

On November 12, Tin City Lodge #112 hosted the Dakota Smiles Dentist and Dental Technicians, with help from Delta Dental, First Interstate Bank and the Lions Club. Carrie Mikkonen, program manager, gave us a wealth of information about how necessary education, prevention, and treatment is for children.

Carrie Mikkonen tells the story of Dakota Smiles

Mt. Rushmore #220 Welomes Three (November 2014)

Cold temperatures did not stop Mt. Rushmore Lodge No. 220 from conferring the Entered Apprentice Degree upon Brothers Dustin Willett, Nathan Seymour and Ryan Rehanek during a Special Meeting.

After the opening, WM Dave Meltz handed the reins over to SW Zachary Pengra to be the Master of the Lodge for the conferral. Everyone did a fabulous job. A new slide show for the 3rd Section was presented for the first time by JW Steve Barns, with the help of Secretary John Hebrard, who ran the computer-driven program.


Brother Poole’s 91st

Harold/Blunt Lodge helped Brother Wayne Poole celebrate his 91st birthday recently.


Grand Lodge Christmas Tree Decorated (November 2014)

This past Sunday morning (November 23, 2014) Grand Lodge officers decorated the Grand Lodge Christmas Tree at the capitol. There was a bulb for each of the 76 Lodges in the state. The bulbs indicate the name of each Lodge, its number, town of residence, and the date its charter was presented. The bulbs were designed by my wife, Sandy, and constructed by the ladies present.

Included is a picture of the Brookings Lodge’s bulb and other pictures including the cast of decorators and the finished tree. The theme of this year’s Capitol Christmas Tree program is: “125 years of Christmas in South Dakota.”

If you get to Pierre during the holidays, please take a look at the trees, especially the Grand Lodge Tree. Being chosen to decorate a tree at the Capitol is a great honor as the competition for the trees is great.

Doug McFarland, Grand Master  

Brother Shane Alexander Receives Award (November 2014)

President of the Chamber of Commerce Robert Stanfiel (right), Junior Warden of Tin City Lodge #112, had the honor of presenting the President*’s Award to Shane Alexander, Junior Decon of Tin City Lodge #112, for his service to the community. Shane’s Uncle Warren was known for always being the GO GO GUY had just passed away and now Shane has stepped up to that position in the community.

Robert Stanfiel said that the award had to go to someone well-rounded in both community and family. Shane is always in the background or on the front lines of any event going on in Hill City, whether it is a Lodge event or a community event. Congradulations to Shane and thanks for the good work from Tin City Lodge #112!


Brother Donald Ray (November 2014)

While on a personal trip to Fresno, CA, recently, Secretary John Hebrard traveled East to West to find more light. On a special stop in Merced, CA, he paid a visit to a 51-year Master Mason of Mt. Rushmore Lodge 220 and his lady. Brother Donald Ray and his beautiful lady, Ruby Ray, were totally surprised to have a member of his Lodge come visit while in the area. They chatted about his old military friends whom joined the new Lodge a few years after it was formed in Rapid City. Brother Ray had spent a few years at Ellsworth AFB flying B-52 bombers before being transferred to other bases and finally settling in Merced, outside of Atwater, CA, and Castle AFB. Brother John Hebrard returned to the East with a remembered visit he wanted to share with his South Dakota Masonic Brothers.


WB Jack Naeve Receives 60-Year Pin (November 2014)

Worshipful Brother Jack Naeve PM, Rapid City Lodge #25, was presented his 60-Year Pin at the annual Lodge #25 and #220 Thanksgiving Dinner in Rapid City on November 2, 2014. Many friends and Brothers were on hand for the presentation. Arlys Naeve, wife of WB Jack, placed the pin on his lapel. WB Jack gave his thoughts and comments on 60 years of Masonry.

The pin was presented by RWB Yancey Smith, JGW of South Dakota.

WB Jack Naeve and wife Arlys at the presentation of his 60-Year Pin.

Tin City #112: The FC Five... (October 2014)

Tin City Lodge No. 112 passed five Entered Apprentices to the FC degree October 8, 2014. Attending were brothers from Tin City Lodge #112, Rapid City Lodges #25 and #220, Custer City Lodge #66, Mt View Lodge #161 and Yankton Lodge #1.

Eric Rounds, Kade McVey, WM Jack Welker, Forrest King, Tim Ross and Rob Hawthorne

Tidings from the South (October 2014)

I recently attend the Imperial Shrine Membership seminar, where I was honored to represent South Dakota by giving a presentation on our 2013 membership gain. The Brethren and Ladies present are definitely committed to working together to achieve greater success for everyone.

The reasons for our membership gain are many, but a big part is our recruitment of new members, by individual Masons and through events such as rush parties. Our (relatively) new branding campaign, “Make Your Mark on History” has resulted in greater public awareness of the Fraternity, which has also yielded more interest and more men petitioning.

Another reason for our gains is the dedication of local Lodges to providing a worthwhile experience to their Brethren. Lodges are forming study groups, having Scotch and Cigar nights, inviting wives and kids to events and many other things to keep Brethren interested and coming back to Lodge.

I am confident that through the continued efforts of our Brethren, we will realize another gain in 2014.

Will your Lodge be part of that?

Yancey Smith, Junior Grand Warden  

Tidings from the East

Masonic Travels: “See some old friends, good for the soul.”

I have done a lot of driving across the upper Great Plains during my years serving in the Grand York Rite lines of South Dakota and now for the Grand Lodge. Except for some weather-related difficulties, it has been very enjoyable.

As most of you know, car radio reception can be spotty in some areas and even when available; it isn’t always what you wish to listen to. On occasion, I come across one of my favorite Bob Seger songs: “Hollywood Nights.” The story line itself is another topic, but one line in particular always hits a chord with me in why I enjoy traveling to Masonic meetings within and outside our jurisdiction. That is: “See some old friends, good for the soul. ” Even if I don’t hear this song, I think about this line while on the road. I am energized and excited to visit with so many good friends and their families. It is a special treat when a Masonic friend, I had not seen for some years is present.

Visitations are a great opportunity to catch up with news from other jurisdictions and regions of the state. It also offers us a chance to learn what others are doing to stimulate interest and activity within the Fraternity. We can all learn from the experiences of other jurisdictions — some will be successes that we might wish to try and others that might be “tweaked” to work in our jurisdiction.

Take advantage of the many opportunities to visit other Lodges and jurisdictions — it will be a very rewarding experience for you.

At any rate, Masonic travel is an opportunity to “See some old friends, good for the soul.”

With best fraternal regards,  
Doug McFarland, Grand Master  

Tin City Hosts SDCHIP Event (October 2014)

September 20, 2014, saw the Tin City Lodge Masons hosting a South Dakota Child Identification Program (SDCHIP) event at the Hill City Boys and Girls Club. Forty-nine children and young adults from the Hill City and Hot Springs areas were processed. Students from the Hill City School Band, Hill City EMTs and South Dakota Highway Patrol personnel collected the data.

Tin City Lodge WM Jack Welker and Membership Chairman Steve Barns working with Hill City School Band members

U.S. Interior Department Thanks Grand Lodge (October 2014)

On October 6, WB Mike Rodman received a thank you letter from Cheryl A. Schreier, Superintendent, Mount Rushmore National Memorial:

On behalf of the National Park Service and Mount Rushmore National Memorial we would like to take this opportunity to thank the Grand Lodge of South Dakota for the very generous cash donation of $5,000 to the Mount Rushmore Society on behalf of the Memorial.

It is through the generous support of philantrhopic donors like yourselves that Mount Rushmore National Memorial and the National Park Service are able to accommodate the millions of visitors that wish to expeirence Mount Rushmore annually, and share in the history of the Memorial and the natural, cultural, and historical heritage of this special, powerful place.

Thank you for caring about your National Parks and this great country!

With sincere gratitude,  

Cheryl A. Schreier, Superintendent  

Brookings Lodge No. 24 Awarded Historical Preservation Award (September 2014)

On September 25, 2014, Brookings Mayor Tim Reed presented the Historical Preservation Award to Brookings Lodge No. 24 for its work on the Lodge building.

Brookings Mayor Tim Reed presents award to W.B. Jeff Jung

The architect of the project gave a PowerPoint presentation of the work done to transform the first floor to its original structure. W. Bro. Jeff Jung accepted the award and did a fine job explaining to the mostly non-Mason audience what Masons do and described the history of the Fraternity and passed on to the Mayor and Historic Preservation Commission the Lodge’s appreciation for this distinguished award.

The award plaque

It was a great day for Brookings Masons and a great day for South Dakota Masons!

Brothers of Brookings Lodge No. 24

Tin City Lodge #112 Welcomes Two New Entered Apprentices (September 2014)

Wednesday night, September 24, 2014, Tin City Lodge #112 welcomed two new Entered Apprentices, Eric Rounds and Forrest King. Attending were Brothers from Rapid City Lodge #25, Mt. Rushmore Lodge #220, Battle River Lodge #92 and one Brother from Nebraska.

EA Eric Rounds, WM Jack Welker, and EA Forrest King

Mt. Rushmore Lodge #220 Welcomes New Entered Apprentice (September 2014)

Mt. Rushmore Lodge #220 in Rapid City welcomes its newest Entered Apprenticed, Gregory Still, flanked by SW Zac Pengra and WM Dave Meltz.

Lodge 220 Greets a Brother from New Zealand (September 2014)

Please welcome our overseas visitor to our Lodge by Brother Jim Bensen. Born in New Zealand, he and his Lady reside and have many businesses in Hong Kong. They are in the Black Hills past few days for the Strider Bike competitions as they own many Strider franchises in the Far East.

It was an honor to show him around, and we had a long chat about many different issues, including Masonry. It is his first visit to an American Lodge. He did visit Mt. Moriah in Deadwood this past weekend.

Secretary John Hebrard gave Brother Jim a South Dakota Grand Lodge pin as a memento.

We all wish Jim and is Lady a wonderful and fun-filled trip around the country. They are off to Washington state soon.

Brothers John Hebrard and Jim Bensen

Brother Orval Rogers Honored (September 2014)

Speirs Lodge #186 honored Orval Rogers with his 50 year pin recently. Jack Ferguson, District Master, made the presentation.

(L-R) Rod Rogers, son of Orval; Orval Rogers; and Jack Ferguson.

Past Grand Master Spies & His Lady, Bettie, Honored (September 2014)

On September 2, Grand Master Doug McFarland traveled to Jeptha Lodge # 121 in Hudson to be a part of the Lodge’s Installation of Officers. GM Doug also made a special Grand Lodge presentation to MWB Les Spies and lady Bettie for their “Exemplary Service to Masonry.” They both were presented plaques for their many years of service to and for the fraternity and a short, detailed account of their many accomplishments was noted. Also in attendance, representing the Grand Lodge, were RW Don Gray Deputy Grand Master; MW Denny Robinson PGM, GrandTreasurer/Secretary; and PGM Virgil Andersen. Both MWB Les and Bettie were very surprised and moved by their awards.

(Back: L-R) Grand Treasurer-Secretary Denny Robinson, PGM; Deputy Grand Master Don Gray; Grand Master Doug McFarland; and Past Grand Master Virgil Andersen honor Past Grand Master Leslie and Bettie Spies

Deadwood Archivist Catalogs Masonic Artifact (August 2014)

Just this week (August 28, 2014), Deadwood City Archivist Michael Runge discovered a Chinese Masonic artifact as he worked on cataloging artifacts from a 2003 South Dakota State archeological dig on property business partners and I owned at the time. The property is believed to have been the location of Deadwood’s Chinese “joss house,” which housed the Chinese Masonic Lodge, as well as the Chinese court of law in Deadwood. It was the site of the largest find of Chinese artifacts yet discovered in Deadwood.

This medal is one-and-one-half inches long and contains a double-headed eagle, an embossed square and compass logo, and the letters CFM, perhaps denoting Chinese Free Masons. On the reverse side are the numbers 3264.

Michael called WB Willie Steinlicht and me to examine the medal. We were grateful to have had a unique opportunity to see this truly amazing artifact.

— Mike Rodman, Senior Grand Warden  

South Dakota’s Masons Return to Mt. Rushmore (August 2014)

On Sunday, August 24th, South Dakota’s Masons once again got involved at the Mt. Rushmore National Memorial, participating in the groundbreaking ceremony for the Youth Exploration Area, a permanent facility that will provide more space for interpretive programming for children, along with the Mt. Rushmore Society, the National Park Service and other major donors. The hands-on educational programs are provided by the NPS for thousands of children and their families on topics such as animals and plants, the presidents, U.S. flags, and more.

The Grand Lodge AF & AM of South Dakota will also be honoring our Masonic Brothers, Gutzon and Lincoln Borglum, with recognition carved on the granite donor wall located on the south side of the Grand View Terrace, which will be viewed by the over 2 million annual visitors to the Shrine of Democracy.

(L-R) MWB Chuck Gilson, RWB Don Gray, MWB Jack Welker, Br. Herb Cook, RWB Yancey Smith, WB Dave Meltz, RWB Mike Rodman, Mt. Rushmore Society Board Member Kay Jorgensen, MWB Denny Robinson, WB Mikal Lewis.

Masons will continue to work with the Society and the Park Service to develop children’s programs on the founding of the United States. We also are planning a cornerstone ceremony for the Youth Exploration Area at the appropriate time.

I want to thank all the Masons of South Dakota for their overwhelming support on this project and reestablishing the Masonic commitment to Mt. Rushmore.

Mike Rodman, Senior Grand Warden  

A Thank-You Letter to Jack Welker & Tin City Lodge #112 (August 2014)

Hi Jack,

Thanks again for letting us go over to Scheels to get a quality bike Griffin can enjoy for years and then pass down to his sister.

The Hill City Library reading program was exactly the incentive Griffin needed to work hard on reading all summer. He’s still in the “sound out each word” phase of new reading, which can really be exhausting for a kid! The possibility that Griffin could win a bike from participating was really motivating. Thank you so much for your generous contribution to our Hill City youth. I think the smile on his face says more than I ever could about Griffin's gratitude.

Thanks again,
Karsi & Duane Grego

In Memoriam

Past Grand Master Richard Decker was born March 30, 1948, in Plainview, Nebraska. At St. John’s Lodge, #1, he was initiated as an Entered Apprentice on April 14, 1971, passed to the Fellowcraft on May 28, 1972, and raised to the degree of Master Mason on May 9, 1972. He affiliated with Pierre Lodge #27 in 2003.
Becoming a Life Member in 2003, Brother Richard advanced Masonry in numerous capacities. He was Master of Pierre Lodge #27 from 2005 to 2006, and served as Senior Grand Warden, 2009-10; Deputy Grand Warden, 2010-11; and Grand Master 2011-12. He was the fifth Grand Master to be from Pierre. He served as Grand Trustee from 2012 until his untimely passing on Tuesday, August 12, 2014.
Brother Richard was also an active Royal Arch Mason, serving as Grand Principal Sojourner and Grand High Priest in 2012. He had been an Illustrious Grand Master of the Cryptic Masons of South Dakota, Grand King of Royal Arch Masons of South Dakota, and Grand Commander of the Knights Templar of South Dakota. He had served as Knight Commander of the Temple and Deputy of the College of Honors for South Dakota. He was Ambassador to the General Grand Council of Cryptic Masons International and Cryptic Mason of the Year for South Dakota in 2006.
In the Scottish Rite, Brother Richard was a 33 degree, Master Craftsman and past director of the 30th Degree team.
Active in the Shrine, Brother Richard belonged to several parade units, including the Yelduz Horse Patrol and the El Riad Animal Unit. He was a member of the Order of Eastern Star, in both Yankton and Pierre.
He served as Senior Warden of the South Dakota Lodge of Masonic Research. Other Masonic organizations that he belonged to were the Red Cross of Constantine, Knight of the York Cross of Honor, Order of the High Priesthood, Order of Thrice Illustrious Master, Holy Royal Arch Knights Templar Priests, Masonic Veterans Association, National Sojourners and Senior DeMolay Legion of Honor and past Chapter Dad.
Masonry was in his DNA. “My brother and I joined together,” he said. “Dad was big into Scottish Rite, so I joined Scottish Rite. Then I got into the Shrine.”
Brother Richard was a highly decorated veteran of the U.S. Army, serving his country honorably for six years. He fought in Vietnam and earned the Bronze Star Medal for meritorious achievement in ground operations against hostile forces; the Army Commendation Medal for heroism in battle; the Purple Heart for being wounded in battle; and the Air Medal for participating more than 25 aerial missions over hostile territory.
A life-long Methodist, Brother Richard was active in the United Way.
Brother Richard was with the Department of Corrections for 21 years, and, as Budget Director, he handling the budget for all of its institutions. In addition to his state job at the Department of Corrections, Brother Richard chaired Pierre’s Board of Adjustment.
The Masonic Model Student Assistance Training Program was dear to Brother Richard. In a 2012 article in the Capital Journal he spoke of his concerns, “If they’re not showing up for school, their homework isn’t getting done, they’re distracted, [The Masonic Model Student Assistance Training Program] teaches [educators] to look at those signs and say, ‛Well, maybe we need to focus some more effort on that child.’”
Brother Richard received a B.A. in Business Administration and Economics, and an MBA from the University of South Dakota. He earned certificates from Notre Dame and the University of Colorado.
Brother Richard and his lady, Kathy, have 13 grandchildren in addition to their four children, Jennifer, Melisa, Scott and Brad. Kathy accompanied Richard on many of his trips around the state as Grand Master, and said most people knew Richard for his openness and his kindness.
A Masonic Service was held on Thursday, August 14, 2014, at Heritage Funeral Home and a memorial service was held the following day at Crosswalk Community Church in Sioux Falls. He was interred at the Black Hills National Cemetery.