To help you understand the tremendous difference you make by supporting the No Mason Left Behind Project at Texas Masonic Retirement Center, we share the stories of two of our residents, with names changed to protect their privacy:
“I don’t have to worry about anything anymore.”
—Martin Morris, age 73
Retired Inspector – Loving Husband – Steadfast Mason
At 73, Martin Miller beams as he remembers being named All-District left end on Woodson High School’s 1960 championship football team. His prowess on the gridiron was likely honed at home. As the youngest of 10 children growing up in Woodson, Texas, population 300, he learned to work hard and help carry the load for his family and community.
In 1969, Martin and his young wife, Betsy, moved to Tarrant County, following a job opportunity with the Texas Highway Department. He worked his way up through the ranks to become an inspector and later accepted the same position with the City of Arlington. During those years, he became an active Mason, joining Handley Lodge, Kerrville Lodge, and Sweet Home Lodge.
With a decent sum set aside for retirement, Martin felt set for his older years. But, nothing prepares a family for devastating illness. Betsy suffered a debilitating stroke resulting in paralysis on the right side of her body. A few months later, she was diagnosed with lung cancer.
To care for Betsy, Martin quit his full-time job and took part-time positions. Even with insurance, the costs were overwhelming. In the five years prior to Betsy’s death, bills resulting from her catastrophic medical conditions wiped out their savings. With no children, Martin now faced his older years alone and in serious financial difficulty.
With support like yours for the No Mason Left Behind Project, Martin moved to Texas Masonic Retirement Center a year ago. As he says today, “I don’t have to worry about anything anymore.”
“I can grow old here with dignity. I appreciate being able to live here as the mother of a Mason. I feel it was the Lord’s will and I am very thankful.”.
—Ruth Ann Goodman, Age 84
Retired Bookkeeper – Master Seamstress – Devoted Mother
Expenses were mounting for Ruth Ann Goodman, age 84. Her home outside Conroe, Texas, had problems. A new roof was needed, major plumbing repairs were called for, and now the local city authorities were talking about annexing her property. This meant new taxes added to her already challenging budget.
After retiring as a bookkeeper for Harris County, Ruth Ann diligently developed her lifelong love of sewing—becoming an expert seamstress. She spent hours creating embroidered table linens, handcrafted quilts, and monogrammed clothing to sell, in an effort to help make ends meet. But, her sewing income was not going to offset these daunting new financial challenges.
Ruth Ann reached out to her son and daughter-in-law for help. Both had strong ties to Masonry. Her son had been involved with multiple Lodges and Shrine activities in the Houston area for years.
Together, they researched the possibilities of qualifying for a move to Texas Masonic Retirement Center. They shortly determined that this decision was an answer to prayer.
“I can grow old here with dignity. I appreciate being able to live here as the mother of a Mason. I feel it was the Lord’s will and I am very thankful,” says Ruth Ann.
Her eyes light up as she describes one of her favorite things about living at Texas Masonic Retirement Center: “They gave me my own sewing room. It’s right next door to my apartment. I make quilts and embroidered table runners and other things for them to raffle off. It’s my way to give back. They have been very good to me here.”
Want to make a donation to the No Mason Left Behind Project 2018? You can use our secure online donation service or print out and mail in the form below. We look forward to paying tribute to your kindness and benevolence.
If you prefer to mail your individual donation, just print out and complete the form below:
Purchase items on Amazon.com and a portion of your purchase can be donated to Texas Masonic Retirement. Sign up for the Amazon Smile program and help our residents.
For more than 100 years, gifts received through wills and other planned giving options have built a tremendous foundation of care for older Texas Masons and their loved ones. We will be glad to visit with you personally to better explain the many options available for planned giving. Feel free to call Gary Blair, Superintendent, at 817.275.2893 or send an email to gary@MasonicLiving.org.
Planned Giving Options: