F. Robert Findtner, 33
Eugene, Oregon

One man’s experience shows how the Masonic family can give support and inspiration throughout life.

My Masonic family has given me support and inspiration since I joined the Eugene Chapter, Order of DeMolay, at the age of 16 on January 23, 1934, 63 years ago. My Masonic support began immediately when my cousin, a Senior DeMolay, sent me his DeMolay pin to wear. I wore it proudly. The privilege of being a DeMolay allowed me to meet in the impressive Masonic Temple of Eugene, Oregon, with other boys my age who helped me understand myself at a time when I needed guidance and support.

F. Robert Findtner, 33

In the Eugene Chapter, I enjoyed a close relationship with Vernon Hoffman, an older DeMolay in the Chapter, who encouraged me and helped me get acquainted. Due to attrition, within two years I was installed as Master Councilor and by good fortune held the great honor of serving as Master Councilor at the same time as my younger sister was serving as Worthy Advisor of Eugene Assembly, Order of Rainbow for Girls. Naturally, we joined forces and developed many joint DeMolay-Rainbow dances and social functions which continued on through the years. My boy friends were all DeMolays, and Janice’s girl friends were all Rainbows.

All the DeMolay meetings were followed by a second social get-together at the local soda fountain, Seymour’s Cafe, one block from the Temple. Here DeMolay family relations were forged to last a lifetime. During our college school years, you would find us “familizing” most every hot summer night, after work, at Seymour’s and planning joint functions. What a wonderful Masonic family we had. It provided the support and assistance we needed for the rest of our lives, wherever we went, whatever we did.

As soon as Janice and I reached the age of 21, we took the next Masonic step. I petitioned a Blue Lodge in 1939, and Janice became an Eastern Star in 1941. Once a Master Mason, I found myself in a higher and broader level of Masonic family. World War II started December 7, 1941. I had been commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps on July 1, 1939, and soon found a Masonic and DeMolay family association in Honolulu in 1940-1941.

What a wonderful Masonic family we had. It provided the support and assistance we needed for the rest of our lives, wherever we went, whatever we did.

In 1942, on Tutuila, American Samoa, I had the chance to attend my first military “Square and Compass” club meeting and was surprised to see our top two Marine Corps Officers on Samoa, General Henry Larson and Colonel Victor Bleasdale, in attendance with all of us as members of our Masonic family. Since then my travels have given me many opportunities to meet and greet my military and civilian Masonic Brethren wherever I have been. Because of these many and continual Fraternal relationships, my life has been happier, more inspiring, more challenging, and more satisfying.

There is a saying in Amaranth, “Sweet in Our Memory.” I will always cherish the memory of my DeMolay “Dad,” Ernest Field; the Brother who raised me, Illustrious Dot Dotson, 33; the Brother who introduced me to the Scottish Rite in Little Rock, Arkansas, Howard Reep of Camden, Arkansas; the Brethren who supported me in Eugene Valley of the Scottish Rite, Illustrious Brothers Dot Dotson, 33, Paul D. Green, 33, Lyman D. Coburn, 33, Inspector David O. Johnson, 33, S.G.I.G. in Oregon, and Lionel Funken, Potentate of Al Kader Temple of the Shrine.

After 20 years in the United States Marine Corps, I found my old DeMolay buddy, Dave Van Fossen, offering me employment and training as an Industrial and Commercial Real Estate Salesman. Later, this training enabled me to receive employment as a building planner and budget controller with the state system of Higher Education in Oregon. Without Dave’s help this could not have happened. Support from my DeMolay and Masonic families made it possible.

We Masons are fortunate to have another family within our Masonic family--another family supporting us, encouraging us, and greeting us in our work. This is our family of lovely ladies who contribute so much to our activities and our work via their understanding of our great Masonic family relationships. They are involved in and a part of our family in so many ways: Amaranth, Eastern Star, Daughters of the Nile, Beauceant, Rainbow Girls, Job’s Daughters, and DeMolay’s Mothers Clubs.

Yes, Freemasonry is family, my family and yours. I was fortunate to have this family early in my career and throughout my life.