LEWIS L. HUSTON 1909-1997
Deputy Grand Master, 1970
From Proceedings, Page 1997-24:
Brother Huston was born on February 23, 1909, in Centerville, Iowa, the son of Lewis H. Huston and Phebe Grace Huston. His father claimed descendency from Scottish, Irish and Dutch ancestry, while his mother claimed Scottish and English heritage. Lew was fiercely proud of his ancestral background and often said this is what gave him his strength ofcharacter and his desire for perfection.
Life was never easy for Lew, but he never complained. At an early age, his family, which included a younger sister, Helen, moved to Nicaragua, where his father owned and operated a banana plantation. His mother wanted to be sure Lew and Helen's education would never suffer while they were abroad. She brought with her all the American school books she could carry. Lew attended the local schools and had to learn their language. His mother also continued their education at home. Due ts his mother's insistence, Lew earned to read at an early age. He never gave up his love of reading. Although his eyesight was flawed, he never stopped reading until 1992 when he was legally declared blind. Even then his love of the written word and thirst for knowledge never ceased for his loving wife of sixty years, Ruth, read to him daily from the many medical journals and publications sent to his home. He wished to keep pace with the wonders in the world of medicine even though he had retired from practice due to failing health after he suffered a cardiac arrest in 1979. He often said, "My eyes may be gone and my body weakened, but my brain is still functioning and must be continually nurtured as long as I remain on this earth."
In the 1920's, during the Banana Republic Rebellion, Lew's father lost his plantation. The government wanted him to stay on as its manager, but Lew's father declined the govemment's offer. He brought his family back home to Iowa where Lew finished his formal education, graduating from Washington High School in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
Lew's love and desire to help people lead to his wish to study medicine and become a doctor. He was advised by his father that he would have to earn most of his money for college, as his father was a hardware salesman and had a limited income. To earn the money necessary, Lew worked summers on farms in Iowa while still in high school. He leamed what hard work and doing without really meant. Also, during the school year and after graduating from high school, he worked in the fast food business at the local railroad station. He learned things very quickly by watching others. Once, while working in the fast food business, the cook had an altercation with the owner and quit. Lew approached the owner and said he had watched the cook and felt he could do all the baking, including the bread and pies, as well as preparing the meals equally as well as the cook had done. The owner gave him the chance and he perfomred most admirably. He held the cook's position until he left for college. He entered the University of Iowa and graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in 1932. He applied to Harvard Medical School.and was accepted and graduated, receiving his medical degree in 1934.
After leaving Harvard, Lew joumeyed to Springfield, Massachusetts, to intern at the Springfield Hospital, now known as Baystate Medical Center. While serving his internship, he met and fell in love with a young nurse, Ruth E. Gillespie, whom he later married and became his loving wife and companion of sixty years. Also, during his internship, he met Doctor Nelson Hatt, who came from Hawaii to become the first Chief Surgeon at Shriners Hospital in Springfield.
After Lew's internship, he returned to Boston for additional haining in Orthopedic Surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital and Boston's Childrens Hospital. It was during this period of his career that Ruth E. Gillespie of Watertown, Massachusetts, the young nurse that caught his eye and Lewis Lee Huston of Iowa entered into that long commitment of love and marriage of sixty years which is a rare commodity in today's world.
After completing his training in Boston, he returned to Springfield with his bride and opened an office as an orthopedic surgeon. He also served on the Board of Surgeons at Shriners where he worked with his friend Dr. Hatt. Dr. Hatt was impressed with the young surgeon and offered him a partnership in his own practice which Lew accepted. The two doctors worked as a team in private practice as well as at Shriners until 1942, lyhen they both answered their country's call and entered the army the same day as orthopedic surgeons.
Lew entered the service as a Lieutenant in 1942 and when he was discharged in 1946, he had attained the rank of Major. Because of Lew's talents, he was the last of his group that went into the service in 1942 to be discharged. After his separation from the Amry, Lew returned to Springfield to resume his practice. However, his friend and mentor, Dr. Nelson Hatt, had retumed to Hawaii and resumed his private practice.
Lew had many loves and interests. He was an accomplished musician and singer and was able to play several musical instruments. Because of his love for the soil, and his early life on the farms, he enjoyed gardening and took great pride in growing roses. He never gave up his fondness for cooking and could be found in the kitchen of his home baking bread. Also, due to his early training while his father was traveling, Lew leamed to do many jobs around the house, including electrical and plumbing work, a Jack-of-all-Trades as the expression goes. Due to his love of reading, he developed a photographic memory. He could read a page from a book once or twice, and then could repeat it verbatim, even our Masonic ritual. He was a man of strong morals and convictions and allowed no one to alter or change him without proving beyond a shadow of a doubt that Lew was in error or there was a better way to accomplish the task.
His Masonic career, like his life, was many and varied. He commenced his quest for light in Longmeadow Lodge as an Entered Apprentice on November 13, 1941, became a Fellowcraft on December 11, 1941, and a Master Mason on January 8, 1942, and served as Master of Longmeadow Lodge in 1952-1953. He was Deputy Grand Master under Most Worshipful [Herbert Harold Jaynes in 1970, a holder of the Henry Price Medal and he received the Veteran's medal in 1992. He enjoyed permanent membership in Grand Lodge and served as a Grand Representative to Maine since 1969 and as a member of the Education Department.
He was a member of all Scottish Rite Bodies in the Valley of Springfield, having joined in the Spring class of 1942. He served as Thrice Potent Master of Evening Star Lodge of Perfection from March 1958 to March 1960 and was coronetted a 33° Mason in 1961. He was a member of all the York Rite Bodies of Springfield and served as Eminent Commander of Springfield Commandery #6 in 1969 -1970. He held membership in Saint Matthew's Conclave Red Cross of Constantine and was Puissant Sovereign in 1975. He was a member of Philalethes Society, the Conesponding Circle Quatuor Coronati, and Melha Temple AAONMS and was a member of its Director Staff and Past Master's Unit. He was a member of the Royal Order of Scotland.
He was also a member of the Congregational Church and was a regular attendant at the First Church of Christ of Longmeadow, where he served on the Diaconate for three years.
His professional avocations consisted of membership in the American Medical Society, American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons and Boston Orthopedic Club. He served as an Orthopedic Surgeon on the staffs of Baystate Medical Center, Holyoke Hospital as their Chief of Orthopedic Service, the Wing Hospital in Palmer, Mary Lane Hospital in Ware, the Wesson Matemity Hospital and as a consultant to Shriners Hospital in Springfield.
Lew's life had not been without sorow. He lost his only sister and only child, his son Lewis Lee Huston, Jr., in 1992. During his life, he battled poor eye sight, heart problems, and cancer of the face, before losing the strength in his legs that reduced him to using a walker and later a wheelchair. Through his determination, he refused to give up and with the help of his wife and friends, but continued to walk even if it was only a few feet. It was this latter affliction that finally led to his decision that Ruth could no longer care for him at home. He and Ruth were in the process of petitioning for admission to our Masonic Home in Charlton. Unfortunately, before the paperwork could be completed and in the 88th year of his life, the Master called and he laid down the working tools of the craft and answered to his call on Tuesday, December 31, 1996. Lew is survived by his wife, Ruth, a grandson, Robert L. Huston, and a granddaughter, Debora Huston of Raleigh, North Carolina.
We shall all miss our brother, for our lives have been truly enriched by him - His steadying influence, his smile, his strong convictions and dedication, his love for all mankind and his ever readiness to help and counsel us will long be remembered by those of us who knew him. As we go forward to cope with the many problems that will face us, I know that when we glance back over our shoulders, Lew's image will always be there. He was truly a friend, a strength, a mentor and above all, a Mason's Mason and our brother.
Sleep well, my brother, for you have truly earned that right and privilege given only by Him who guides our fate.
FEAST OF ST. JOHN, DECEMBER 1969
From Proceedings, Page 1969-385:
Most Worshipful Grand Master, Distinguished Guests, and my Brethren:
As a physician I must say that too much of this is not good for my constitution. These kind words overwhelm me. I am very happy to have this opportunity to express my pleasure at this high appointment and to give my assurance that I will try to fulfill my duties in such a way that I may merit the confidence and trust that have been reposed in me, and on behalf of all of us appointed Officers to promise our allegiance and support to you, Most Worshipful Sir, to this Grand Lodge and to Masonry in Massachusetts.
I will talk to you for just a few moments, if I may, on a subject which I think is near to all of us, in fact during the day today several men have spoken about it not knowing that I was paying particularly close heed to what they were saying.
We don't need to be reminded that we are living in a critical time. The newspapers tell us of cruelties, of indifference to the sufferings of others, of crimes of passion and violence, of race riots, burning and looting, of the inability of us to walk on the streets of some of the cities in this country, and of threats and wars. There is a cause for these which lies in the envy, greed, indifference, malice and hatred of one man for another, one race for another, and one nation for another.
There is an answer to this. It isn't a magic incantation or a simple panacea that can be applied. The answer requires work on our part. I am firmly convinced that the application of the principles of Masonry, particularly tolerance, truth, charity, justice and most important of all brotherly love, are the answers. When I was a small boy — and this was quite some time ago since I have reached the missile age, thirty-nine and holding (laughter) — I learned a motto. We learn to do by doing. We learn to do by doing. In other words, it is fine for us to teach and discuss the principles of Masonry but until we practice them we haven't accomplished all that Masonry has to offer.
You know that Masonry makes better men of good men. I am firmly convinced that it is also a reservoir of the principles that I have mentioned, which are waiting to be used in a world of this type; so that each of us by practicing them now, and inducing others to practice them now, the now that runs from here to eternity, this now; if we practice all of these virtues we will fulfill the scripture;—let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in Heaven. And by letting our light shine and kindling light in others, our Brothers, our friends, we will push back the darkness of ignorance and evil. You know that opportunity knocks, but each of us must open the door.
I am happy at this time to wish all of us a happy new year of achievement and service to our God, our country, our families and our great Fraternity.
Thank you. (Standing applause)