DONALD WARREN VOSE 1911-2008
Deputy Grand Master, 1963
Grand Master, 1972-1974
50TH MASONIC ANNIVERSARY, JUNE 1983
From TROWEL, Fall 1983, Page 8:
It was a banner occasion on Thursday, June 2, 1983, when the brethren of Columbian Lodge, A. F. & A. M., of Boston, Massachusetts, paid honor to their own Past Master and dedicated Brother Mason, Donald Warren Vose, who had been raised to the sublime degree 50 years previously in 1933.
The photo pictures a distinguished suite of past Grand Masters who journeyed to the Lodge to add their greetings to the honored guest of the evening where he had the honor of escorting the Grand Master into the Lodge room along with the many guests who accompanied him.
From left to right are: Wor. Russell P. Mead, Master of the Lodge; Most Worshipful J. Philip Berquist, Grand Master; the honored guest, Most Worshipful Donald W. Vose, Past Master of the Lodge and Past Grand Master; Most Worshipful Whitfield W. Johnson, Past Grand Master; and Most Worshipful Arthur H. Melanson, Past Grand Master.
The evening's program was enhanced by a fine "circumambulation" of the Lodge wherein Wor. Graves D. Hewitt, Past Master, acted as a conductor for the honoree and escorted him around to six pictures hanging on the walls of the Lodge hall portraying the "six jewels of Columbian Lodge" in the persons of all six of their brethren who had served Massachusetts Masonry as Grand Master of the Grand Lodge.
Among his many titles and awards, our honored brother Vose serves as the Grand Commander of the Grand Commandery of Knights Templar of Mass. and R. I. He's been the Commander-in-Chief of Massachusetts Consistory, Scottish Rite, and has been coroneted with the 33rd degree.
60TH MASONIC ANNIVERSARY, JUNE 1993
From TROWEL, Fall 1993, Page 22:
Columbian Lodge Honors Most Worshipful Donald Warren Vose
Celebrating his 60th Masonic Anniversary, June 3, 1993
M.W. Donald Warren Vose, his wife, Dru, and members of his family.
After the Grand Master brought the greetings of the Grand Lodge, the Lodge was closed, and the brethren and guests repaired to Anthony's Pier 4 Restaurant for the Columbian Lodge Annual Lobster and Strawberry Festival.
After dinner. Wor. Michael Smith, Master, introduced visiting Brethren and presented birthday carnations to the Brethren celebrating their Masonic birthdays. R. W. D. James Phillips, P. D. D. G. M., Lodge Historian, presented the following historical record of M.W. Bro. Vose.
Columbian Lodge was chartered in June. 1795. and has the distinction of being one of the 19 Lodges having its charter signed by M. W. Paul Revere.
From its membership. Columbian Lodge has had six of its sons elected Grand Master since 1795. the sixth being M.W. Donald Warren Vose. M. W. Bro. Vose's introduction to Masonry goes back to the early 1900s with his grandfather. Bro. Julian Vose. who was a member of Oriental Lodge of Edgartown. His father, Wor. Leroy Vose. was Raised in Columbian Lodge of Boston and later affiliated with Oriental Lodge and there served as Master.
At age 21. M.W. Bro. Vose petitioned Columbian Lodge and became a Master Mason in June. 1933. He was appointed to the office of Inside Sentinel in the fall of 1933 and served in line continuously for a total of 16 years, becoming Worshipful Master in 1947.
He had been a student at Curry College where he studied theatre arts which was to carry into his Masonic life. He took his Masonic work seriously. He delivered the Lodge ritual with exceptional skill attracting the attention of Grand Lodge, York and Scottish Rite leaders which eventually led him to the Shrine. The Scottish Rite Valley of Boston was a second home to M.W. Bro. Don during the 1940's where he made a name for himself as a cast member. His experience in theatre arts and acting enabled him to handle the most difficult roles. He became Commander-in-Chief of Massachusetts Consistory, serving in 1958, 1959, and 1960.
He joined the Shrine-Aleppo Temple in 1941 and was appointed Second Ceremonial Master in 1968 by Potentate Hubert N. Bernard. Jr. His progress in the Shrine was interrupted when he was elected Grand Master. After his term as Grand Master, he again returned to the Shrine and was elected Potentate in 1976. During his term of office, the Barbo property in Wilmington was purchased and became the home of Aleppo Temple.
M.W. Bro. Vose was appointed to serve as Junior Grand Steward in 1950. After serving one year as District Deputy Grand Master for the Boston 1st District, he was appointed Deputy Grand Master by M. W. A. Neill Osgood. He received the Henry Price Medal in 1963: was appointed the Grand Representative of Brasil Rio Grande de Sol, serving until 1983; and was appointed Grand Representative of South Dakota in 1982. In 1960 he received his 33rd Degree at Symphony Hall. The speaker for the Supreme Council Session that year was his friend, U.S. Senator and Mason. Bro. Leverett Saltonstall.
M.W. Bro. Don was Eminent Commander of St. Bernard Commandery #12 of Boston in 1964 and was elected to line in Grand Commandery in 1977. He served as Grand Commander of the Grand Commandery of Knights Templar and Appendant Orders of Massachusetts and Rhode Island in 1982. In 1972 M. W. Donald Warren Vose was elected and installed Grand Master, the seventy-fourth to hold the office, beginning with Henry Price.
During his term of office, M.W. Bro. Vose exhibited his genuine concern for our Fraternity. The familiar booklet titled. Freemasonry - A Way of Life, a first step to explaining our Craft to non-Masons; the requirement for a DeMolay Committee Chairman in each Lodge, to reach out to a great resource; the laying of the cornerstone of the Museum and Library at Lexington; and serving as President of the Conference of Grand Masters are but a few of the many accomplishments by M. W. Bro. Vose.
M.W. Bro. Vose has been active in the Salvation Army in Boston, serving as Chairman of the Greater Boston Salvation Army Advisory Board for three years. He was made a life member of that board. He was chairman of fund raising for the Community Hospital on Martha's Vineyard and chairman of the Duke's County Historical Society's Capital fund raising in Edgartown. He is also an active member of the Rotary Club.
He has a strong commitment to the Wellesley Hills Congregational Church where he served as a deacon for four years, taught Sunday school for three years and was superintendent of the church school for three years.
Professionally, he is the Chairman of the Board and President of the Edgartown National Bank on Martha's Vineyard. Known as the "Flying Grand Master", he pilots his own Cherokee 160 to and from his beloved island. Martha's Vineyard. In his busy schedule, he continues as an emeritus member of the Board of Governors, Shriners Burns Institute. Boston.
As the tides ebb and flow with endless energies, so our Past Grand Master continues to serve his Craft and humanity with equal vitality, and we have an opportunity to honor such an admirable, distinguished and exemplary man and Mason, Most Worshipful Donald Warren Vose.
Mrs. Mildred Lovering; Mrs. Dru Vose; M. W. Donald Warren Vose, P. G. M.; and M. W. David W. Lovering. Grand Master.
FROM PROCEEDINGS, 2008
From Proceedings, Page 2008-156:
Brother Vose was born in Edgartown, Massachusetts on December 27, 1911, and passed to the Celestial Lodge above in Edgartown, Massachusetts on October 1, 2008: 96 years, 10 months and 4 days. His passing leaves a vacancy in the loving memory of many Masons of our times as well as his beloved family.
Born the son of Leroy and Gladys (Pease) Vose, Don spent his childhood days at his maternal grandfather’s farm on the island of Chappaquiddick. A more complete fitting tribute to the non-Masonic life of our Brother can be found in the October 3, 2008 edition of the Vineyard Gazette with many interesting facts of Brother Vose’s life outside of Masonry. (Which is attached and is to be included in the Grand Lodge Proceedings). Brother Vose was educated in the Edgartown schools and was a graduate of Cushing Academy in Ashburnham, Massachusetts of which he later became a trustee. He later attended the Curry School of Expression in Boston with an eye to having a future in theatre or the films. Following that Brother Vose attended law school at Boston University.
In 1940 he married Drucille Bevin, an acquaintance from Cushing Academy, and settled down in Wellesley Hills while still maintaining his home in Edgartown where the family spent much of the year as long as school was not in session. Don was well known for his hospitality and the “Hamburger Sundays” at the Boat House in Edgartown. When once invited you were always welcome to come back on any of the summer weekends. He was the President of the Edgartown National Bank, and as such, you would never find him in anything other than a business suit, regardless of where he might be during banking hours. His love of the water was a lifelong addiction even to his racing sail boats until he was 90 years of age.
Brother Vose was raised to the Sublime Degree of Master Mason in Columbian Lodge on June 1, 1933, becoming Worshipful Master in 1947. In 1950 he was appointed as a Grand Steward in our Grand Lodge and followed that as the District Deputy Grand Master of the Boston First Masonic District in 1962 in which position he only served one year. The following year, 1963 he was appointed as the Deputy Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Masons in Massachusetts, under the leadership of Most Worshipful and Reverend Thomas Sherrard Roy, Grand Master, who had recognized Brother Vose’s leadership abilities and thus put him in place as a Permanent Member of our Grand Lodge to eventually become the 74th Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts, the third ranking Mason in the world of which he was justly proud and proclaimed on many occasions throughout his life.
Brother Vose was active in all phases of Masonry; York Rite in which he became the Commander of St. Bernard Commandery No. 12 in 1964 and eventually the Grand Commander of The Grand Commandery of Massachusetts and Rhode Island in 1983. He was also very active in Scottish Rite and was the Commander in Chief of Massachusetts Consistory. He was Coroneted an Honorary 33°, a member of the Massachusetts College Societas Rosicruciana in Civitatibus Foederatis and the Chief Adept for many years.
Brother Vose was also a Past Potentate of Aleppo Shrine and was primarily responsible for moving its location from Boston to its present headquarters in Wilmington. A constant worker for youth and a director of the Shrine Burns Hospital, Donald was also an Honorary Legionnaire in the DeMolay Legion of Honor. There were few if any Masonic organizations in which Brother Vose did not hold membership.
Brother Vose did everything with flair. Life was his stage and he was always very much a part of it. I will always remember his admonition to everyone, whether doing your job or ritual or anything at all remember this, he would say; “Whatever you do, do it magnificently”.
And as no memorial to Most Worshipful Brother Vose would be complete without a recitation of his most memorable quote, I present the following:
"I bring you the warm fraternal greetings of the 250th Anniversary Committee of the Grand Lodge of Masons in Massachusetts, the Grand Commandery of Knights Templars and Appendant Orders of Massachusetts and Rhode Island, the Salvation Army, Cushing Academy, and the Edgartown National Bank."
Farewell dear friend, may God ever have you in his heavenly keeping.
FROM TROWEL, WINTER 2008
From TROWEL, Winter 2008, Page 6:
Brethren and friends of Most Wor. Donald Warren Vose have fond memories of the man and Mason. His welcome to the 250th Grand Lodge Anniversary was legendary and he relished being asked to deliver those remarks until his passing on October 1, 2008, at age 96, during this, the Grand Lodge’s 275th Anniversary.
“. . . I bring you the warm fraternal greetings of the 250th Anniversary Committee of the Grand Lodge of Masons in Massachusetts, the Grand Commandery of Knights Templar and Appendant Orders in Massachusetts and Rhode Island, the Salvation Army, Cushing Academy and the Edgartown National Bank.” Having heard this many times over the years, hundreds of his Masonic brethren would warmly join him in saying “. . . and the Edgartown National Bank.”
On his birthday, December 27th, when we celebrate the Feast of St. John the Evangelist and install Grand Lodge officers, several hundred of his loving brethren would join in singing Happy Birthday to their senior Past Grand Master. And having presided over Massachusetts Consistory from 1958 to 1961, he would join his peers and current Valley of Boston leaders at the annual Past Commanders Weekend for a friendly game of 99, where he was the center of affection and attention. It is said that he would take his winnings and trophy back to the island each year and deposit them in the vault at the Edgartown bank.
The thousands of Masons who attended these occasions over the years learned much about the life of this Masonic leader and man from Edgartown. They learned that he was a contributor to many public and Masonic organizations; an aspiring actor with ever a twinkle in his eye; and a grandfatherly Mason beloved, esteemed and watched over by his brethren.
Born in Edgartown in 1911, he spent much of his childhood working on his grandfather’s Tom’s Neck Farm and his father’s Tower Hill poultry farm, or fishing on his father’s boat. He liked to race a small sailboat, act in school plays and undoubtedly save his pennies at the Edgartown National Bank.
Interested in the theater and movies, he attended the Curry School of Expression and spent time in Hollywood, but returned to Massachusetts to study law at Boston University. He worked in sales for the Curtis Publishing Company in Boston, after which he formed the Copley Advertising Agency. Bro. Vose was elected president of the Edgartown National Bank in 1957, following in his father’s footsteps in the bank founded by his grandfather. Most Wor. Bro Vose served as president of that bank for 51 years. He learned to fly so he could quickly travel between Edgartown and his home near Boston, and continued to pilot his plane until he was 83.
In 1940, he married Drucille Bevin, whom he had known while at Cushing Academy, and they entertained in their Edgartown home for many years. He enjoyed flipping hamburgers for many in the community on Sunday afternoons at his boathouse.
Our Grand Master not only followed his forefather’s steps into banking, but also into Masonry. His grandfather became a Mason on Martha’s Vineyard and his father joined Columbian Lodge, Boston.
Masonry was a very important part of his life and Bro. Vose earned the respect of his brethren. In 1993, during his 60th year in Masonry, he was recognized as the sixth Master of Columbian Lodge to become Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts. He also served as Potentate of Aleppo Shrine and was a member of many other Masonic organizations. The Martha’s Vineyard-Oriental Lodge apartments are named in his honor. He was actively involved with the Shriners Burns Hospital in Boston, and it was during his term as Potentate that Aleppo decided to move from the grounds of what is now Boston’s Prudential Center to new quarters in Wilmington.
Yet Masonry was only part of his life. He also took leadership roles in the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital, the Dukes County Historical Society, the Wellesley Hills Congregational Church, the Federated Church in Edgartown and, as highlighted in his Anniversary welcome, the Salvation Army and Cushing Academy.
Most Worshipful Donald Warren Vose enjoyed a long and very beneficial life, and will be deeply missed by all those he touched.
OBITUARY NOTICE FROM THE VINEYARD GAZETTE
President of Edgartown National Bank Dies at Home on Tower Hill at Age of 97.
By PHYLLIS MÉRAS
Donald W. Vose, for 51 years the president of the Edgartown National Bank and for a dozen years the chairman of the board, died peacefully in his sleep at his Tower Hill home in Edgartown on Wednesday. He was 97. Affable, neighborly and generous, Mr. Vose was known around Edgartown as much for his good deeds, his dapper dress, his storytelling and his warm heart as he was for his banking activities. At the time of his death, he was the senior Past Grand Master of the Masons in Massachusetts.
He was born in Edgartown in 1911, a son of Leroy and Gladys (Pease) Vose. Many of his happy childhood days were spent at Tom’s Neck Farm on Chappaquiddick that his maternal grandfather, Benjamin Warren Pease, owned. There, when farming chores were done, he would drive his grandfather’s car to deliver poultry and vegetables, for no driver’s license was required then on Chappy. Better yet, after dark, he could spear eels in the mud and then see that they got to the wharf in Edgartown in time to be shipped to New York for dinners the next night.
If, instead, he chose to stay at his father’s Tower Hill farm, Spring Valley Poultry Farm, he might hay, or go bluefishing in a boat of his father’s. The Tower Hill land had been bought in 1903 by his grandfather, Julien W. Vose, a founder of the Edgartown National Bank who had first come to Edgartown on a visit from Brookline when he was just out of MIT. Boating of one sort or another was a favorite childhood pastime and would remain such all his life long.
Donald Vose attended the Edgartown School and was a graduate of Cushing Academy in Ashbunham. He was interested in dramatics and active in theatrical productions at both schools. Later, he attended the Curry School of Expression in Boston with an eye to having a future in theatre or films. Many remarked on the similarity of his looks in his youth to Orson Welles. Indeed, Mr. Vose spent six months in Hollywood at one stage in his life exploring the possibility of a screen career, but decided in the end that he wished to come back East.
After the Curry School, he attended law school at Boston University before going to work in the 1940s for the Curtis Publishing Company in Boston, in sales promotion. Then, with a partner, he formed the Copley Advertising Agency. In 1940, after a previous marriage to Elizabeth Jones had ended in divorce, he married Drucille Bevin, whom he had known in his Cushing Academy school days, and they moved to Wellesley Hills. There, he frequently performed on stage in Wellesley Players Club productions, and in World War II when there were no young men to play roles for Barswallows productions at Wellesley College, he would sometimes be part of college productions. At Edgartown National Bank Christmas parties, he never failed to play Santa Claus. He was also known for spontaneous poetry recitations. His children especially remember one at the time of his 50th wedding anniversary. He and his wife and children and children’s spouses were all on a trip to Disney World. As they waited in line to enter the Norway Pavilion at Epcot, suddenly Mr. Vose — to the delight of bystanders — began to recite Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s The Skeleton in Armor, filled with references to the far north and Norsemen.
Though his work in Boston was in advertising, he had a penchant for banking in his genes. Not only had his grandfather been a founder of the Edgartown National Bank, but his father — along with farming and later selling radios and appliances — had been the bank’s president. So in 1957 Donald was delighted when he was elected to succeed his father as bank president. All the same, he kept his Wellesley Hills residence since his post did not require an on-site presence. But to make getting back and forth to the Vineyard for bank meetings easier, he asked the late Stephen Gentle to give him flying lessons, and soon he was commuting to bank meetings by air. His first plane was a Piper Tri-Pacer, but he gave it up when it flipped over after landing in a snowdrift at the Katama Airpark. He was undaunted as a pilot, however, and soon bought a Piper Cherokee. He continued to fly until he was 83. He also happily drove an electric car for many years, remarking cheerily that it could always make it “to Gay Head and halfway back.”
Until 1998, he and his wife continued to divide their time between Wellesley Hills and Edgartown. When on the Vineyard, some of his happiest times were either in or out on the water. As a boy, he had raced Raven, a Dory class sailboat, in Edgartown. Fifty years later, he and Drucille were racing Sunbeam, their Herreshoff 12 1/2 in Edgartown Yacht Club races. They were presented with a special sportsmanship award in their later years. Mr. Vose continued to race until he was 90, and at the yacht club’s 100th anniversary celebration three years ago, he was asked and delightedly agreed — to be aboard Miss Asia, Gerret D. Conover’s vintage reviewing boat. As recently as two summers ago he was still going out on the water on good days on his son Warren’s 38-foot cabin cruiser. In younger days, he was renowned for the length of time he could swim underwater.
After his marriage to Drucille their honeymoon was spent on a cruise to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Later, they frequently cruised in the Caribbean and in Mexican waters and in the South Pacific. Always a diplomat, Mr. Vose would frequently comment to his hostess after a dinner party that he had known three great chefs in his life — his grandmother Vose’s cook, his chef on the French liner Normandie and “you.”
A traveler on land as well as air and sea, he and Drucille attended their daughter Dianne’s 1966 marriage to Thomas Durawa in Nigeria, where they were both Peace Corps volunteers. “He embraced all kinds of people. He was an amazing storyteller, a very generous man. A lot of people who weren’t his nieces and nephews at all called him Uncle Don and looked up to him,” said Mark Lovewell, whose father John is his cousin.
Drucille Vose died in 1999. In the years since, Mr. Vose continued to travel — most recently to Hawaii where nieces and nephews have homes. At home, he enjoyed entertaining and Sunday lunch at the Vose family boathouse was a ritual for generations of Edgartonians who would be invited out to a hamburger party after church. There, Mr. Vose gleefully grilled the hamburgers. As many as 100 might be invited. These Sunday boathouse parties had been inaugurated by his father in the 1940s. He also delighted in grilling just the right cut of swordfish on a special grill outside his house. “He had a round charcoal grill,” former fishmonger, good friend and bank director Everett H. Poole remembers. “He had to have two huge steaks cut so they would cover the entire grill. They had to be exactly two and 3/16 inches thick. He’d come up to my market at Menemsha with a wooden stick to measure them before he bought them.” He also enjoyed dining out.
Among his pastimes was photography, of which he was a master. Taking family pictures, either stills or films, was a specialty. He also was an expert chess and checker player. And being a Mason was a most important part of his life. At his front door, he kept a carved Scottish Rite Supreme Council cornerstone. He presided over many Masonic organizations and rose to the top of the Masonic fraternity, obtaining the honorary 33rd degree and becoming Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts from 1973 to 1975. On the Island, he was affiliated with Oriental-Martha's Vineyard Lodge, and the lodge room is named in his honor. Since his birthday was Dec. 27, the opening day of the Masonic year when new officers are elected, he was sure to hear some 800 Masons heralding him with Happy Birthday when he was at Boston Grand Lodge meetings.
His community involvements included a leadership role in the capital campaign for the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital in 1969. He served on the board of directors of the Dukes County Historical Society. He was active in the Congregational Church in Wellesley Hills and in the Federated Church in Edgartown. He had been chairman and was life member of the advisory board of the Salvation Army in Boston and was a member emeritus of the board of trustees of Cushing Academy. He was also a member emeritus of the board of governors of the Shrine Burns Hospital in Boston and was Potentate of Aleppo Temple in Wilmington, where he was instrumental in acquiring the temple building.
He is survived by four children and their spouses: Donna W. Vose and her husband Dr. Gregory Palermo of Plainfield, N.J. and Edgartown, Dennise Vose Croft and her husband Louis of Hubbardston, Dianne Vose Durawa and her husband Thomas of Edgartown and D. Warren Vose, Jr. and his wife Anne of Edgartown. He also leaves eight grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren: Donna’s children Alexandra Scott and James Rowell, Dennise’s daughters Catherine Curry and Cornelia Carnazza, Dianne’s sons Nathan Durawa and Matthew Durawa, and Warren’s sons David Vose and Stuart Vose. He was predeceased by his sister, Marjorie Vose White. His cousin John Lovewell of Edgartown survives him. He is also survived by his companion Diana Sundeen.
A memorial service will be held on Saturday, Oct. 18 at 2 p.m. at the Federated Church in Edgartown.
Gifts in his memory may be sent to the Federated Church, P.O. Box 249, Edgartown, MA 02539, the Vineyard Nursing Association, P.O. Box 2568, Oak Bluffs, MA 02557, the Martha’s Vineyard Museum, P.O. Box 1310, Edgartown, MA 02539, or the Masonic charity of your choice.
First Published in the Vineyard Gazette on October 3, 2008. Newspaper material copyrighted by the Vineyard Gazette, Inc. Reprinted by Permission.