"To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven. A time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to pluck that which is planted. A time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance." -Ecclesiastes, Chapter 3
This year we spent time remembering those Brothers who have been called to the Celestial Lodge above since our last meeting, and to honor their loved ones. We thank each and every woman with loved ones who are masons for their continued support, understanding, and patience as he joins in our Lodge functions, to further the great work of our fraternity.
Mourning is a form of rejoicing, a gratitude of love, both for memories and for life. Let us share in the understanding that mourning is a fair price to pay for the dividends of love we enjoy. Remember, even mourning is temporary, for death itself is as fleeting as life. Just as night's darkness is swallowed by morning light, soon the sting of earthly partings will be healed in the joy of future reunion where we can be together, forever.
The roll of the workmen has been called, and 6 of our Bothers have not answered to their name. They have laid down the working tools of our ancient craft and have been summoned to the Celestial Lodge above by the Supreme Grand Master of us all. No longer do they labor among us, guided by the Great Lights of Masonry. Their days are now illuminated by a far greater light, which we all know.
Our Brothers who have ascended to the Celestial Lodge since we last met a year ago:
Martin Hudson was born September 10, 1919. He grew up in Duluth and was a Denfeld High School graduate. He enlisted in the naval reserve in 1942, and he was a machinist mate third class in the engine rooms of the battle ships USS Arkansas, USS New Jersey, and USS Wisconsin in both the Pacific and Atlantic Theatres. After returning home, he worked for DW&P Railroad for 32 years. At age 35, Martin was raised to the sublime degree of a Master Mason on June 11, 1954, in Virginia Lodge #264. He was a member of the Aad Shrine, being a lifetime member of the "Pipes and Drums" group. Martin joined Eveleth Lodge #239 with the merger on October 31, 2015, and received a 60 year pin in 2014. Martin died on August 20, 2016, at 96 years of age and was a 62 year member of our fraternity.
Kendall Johnson was born February 22, 1943. He was a 1963 graduate of Tower-Soudan High School and then went on to Virginia Junior College. He served in the navy during the Vietnam War. At age 29, he was raised to the sublime degree of a Master Mason on January 6, 1972, in Ely Lodge #288. He served as Worshipful Master in 1982. He was employed by the City of Babbitt for over 30 years as a policeman. He served as a Boy Scout leader for over 25 years. Kendall joined Eveleth Masonic Lodge on February 15, 2016, as a dual member with Ely Lodge #288. Kendall died July 18, 2016, at 73 years of age and was a 44 year member of our fraternity.
Steve Skalko was born February 22, 1922, in Sparta location and had 11 siblings. He graduated from Gilbert High School in 1941. He started working at Lake Mine in 1944, and he retired from Erie Mining in 1983. He also owned and operated Skalko Landscaping, which was his passion. At age 29, he was raised to the sublime degree of a Master Mason on March 15, 1969, in Eveleth. He attended Lodge in Eveleth and was a frequent sideline member. He was also an avid storyteller. Steve received his 45 year pin by WM Steve Turner during a visit at Diamond Willow Assisted Living in Mountain Iron. Steve died August 22, 2016, at age 94 and was a member of our Lodge and fraternity for 47 years. By the way, Steve hauled his last load of dirt for his company at age 91.
Marvin Aune was born August 1, 1932. He was a 1951 graduate of Cook High School. He served in the US Army, serving in Austria during the Korean War. At age 23, he joined Vermilion Lodge #197. Marvin went on to work for REA (Rural Electric Association) as a lineman building power-lines to outlying communities. He retired as a parts man for REA in 1994. In 1992, Vermilion Lodge merged with the Virginia Masonic Lodge #264 where he was a member until Virginia merged with Eveleth in 2015. Here he received a 60 year pin. Marvin died January 8, 2017, at age 84 and was a member of our fraternity for nearly 62 years.
D. Kelly Campbell was born July 5, 1918. He was a 1935 graduate of Grand Haven High School in Michigan. He attended Michigan Technical University where he was the first student to graduate with honors while achieving two degrees. These degrees were in mining, specifically in engineering and geology. At age 30, he was raised to the sublime degree of a Master Mason on March 31, 1948, in a Lodge in Michigan. He held numerous positions with mining firms before accepting the general Manager position for Eveleth Taconite in 1963. He advanced to Vice President of Ore Operations when Ogelby Norton took over the site now known as Cleveland Cliffs property (or United Taconite). During his time at Eveleth Taconite, he transferred his masonic membership to the Eveleth Masonic Lodge on May 13, 1970. In 2013, he was awarded his 65 year pin. Kelly died February 7, 2017, at age 98, and he was just weeks away from becoming a 69 year member of our fraternity.
Raymond M. Martinson, known to all as "Doc" Martinson, was born April 25, 1925. Doc attended Eveleth High School and went on to join the navy, serving in the South Pacific airfields where he discovered his love for flying. After being discharged in 1946, he attended Eveleth Junior College, and then went on to the University of Minnesota where he received a degree in mortuary science. In 1953, at age 28, he was raised to the sublime degree of a Master Mason. He went on to work for the East Range Clinic. In 1975, he became the deputy coroner for St. Louis County. In 1980, he was named Chief of Staff at the Eveleth Fitzgerald Hospital. He worked in private practice as a physician well into his eighties, spanning a 57 year career. He was widely known across the Iron Range for being the team doctor for many Iron Range schools where he proudly sported his fur hats. He was well-known for his wit and storytelling. Doc was an Aad Temple member, otherwise known as a Shriner. Doc received his 60 year pin in 2013. He died on March 20, 2017, at age 91, and was a 63 year member of our Lodge and our fraternity.
And now we have remembered all of our Brothers who have previously traveled to that undiscovered country, from which who is born, no traveler returns.
To the widows of the Lodge: it is our desire that you remember your ties to us; a relationship wherein you will find friends who will assist you in times of need, join with you in times of gladness, and welcome you to a continued association with us as we continue our labors of Friendship, Brotherly Love and Truth. You are not alone. When moments may cause you to doubt, look to your pin as a symbol of comfort and be assured that we are here and that we care.
A parting poem,
Losing our Brothers
We lost a Brother, recently one night
But we felt such peace, as he followed the Light
Our brother can rest easy, with angels above
And as we share his gift, of laughter and love
Now the love in his eye, and the sound of his laughter
Will remain in our hearts, forever and after
Through all of his Brothers, he'll never be gone
Because through each one of us, his spirit lives on
We all have a purpose, and something to give
With each breath that we take, for as long as we live
It always has been, and will always be true
You were a Brother among us, and tonight, Brother, we honor you