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STEPHEN C. LUCE, JR. 1890-1982

Senior Grand Warden, 1924


Stephen Carey Luce, Jr. was born at the Town of Tisbury Village of Vineyard Haven on the Island of Martha's Vineyard, November 25, 1890. The son of Stephen C. Luce and Mary J. Luce, he was educated at the Vineyard Haven Public Schools and graduated from Bryant & Stratton Business College in 1909. He was appointed Cashier of the Martha's Vineyard National Bank on his twenty-first birthday, November 25, 1911, and was elected President of the bank in 1933.

Elected County Treasurer of Dukes County in 1916, he did not seek re-election, but served for more than twenty-five years as a member of the Board of County Commissioners, Dukes County with various terms as Chairman of the Board. He served as an Elector in the 1952 Electoral College Presidential election; Vice President and Director, Martha's Vineyard Co-operative Bank, Vineyard Haven; Trustee and Member of the Corporation, Wareham Savings Bank, Wareham; President, Trustee and Chairman of the Executive Committee, Martha's Vineyard Hospital; Trustee and Member of the Corporation New England Deacons Hospital, Boston; Trustee and Member of the Corporation of the Children's Hospital, Boston; Member of the Corporation of Massachusetts Memorial Hospital, Boston, Treasurer and Director, Mayhew-Nevin Memorial Fund, Treasurer and Director, Martha's Vineyard Chamber of Commerce, Vineyard Haven. For more than 60 years, Carey Luce had a unique place on the Island. It was to him that many people turned for counsel - businessmen with problems, politicians asking his influence; parties to family feuds or disputes, anyone with most any kind of problem- This was a measure of his place in personal and community relationships.

He held many public offices, Trusteeships and Administrative posts without end, yet it was his personal qualities and particularly his shrewdness exercised from his office in the Martha's Vineyard National Bank, rather than any special incumbency, that accounted for his influence. His mind was always in a state of readiness, his natural cordiality ever present, and he was quick to balance alternatives and to act on his knowledge of people, character and circumstance. He told good stories, nicely apropos, which helped in handling a wide range of situations.

In 1919 he married the former Bertha Tillon of Vineyard Haven, whose death occurred on August 12, 1960; there were no children.

Except for business or pleasure trips, his entire life was spent on Martha's Vineyard.

Masonic History

"Right Worshipful Stephen Cary Luce Jr., Senior past Senior Grand Warden of the Grand Lodge of Masons in Massachusetts, was conducted to the East where he was decorated with the Henry Price Medal, in gold, by Most Worshipful Donald W. Vose, Grand Master, commemorating his installation fifty years ago as Senior Grand Warden m December 27, 1923." (Excerpt from the 1973 Proceedings of Grand Lodge) In the York Rite, our Brother was exalted in Vineyard Royal Arch Chapter, April 30, 1918; Knighted in Sutton Commandery #16, New Bedford, June 6, 1918; Greeted in Cambridge Council, Royal and Select Masters, June 7, 1922; Charter Member Cape Cod Council, October 5, 1965. In the Scottish Rite he joined Fall River Lodge of Perfection, Fall River, March 1, 1920; Samuel C. Lawrence Council, Princes of Jerusalem, Fall River, March 1, 1920; Saint Andrew Chapter of Rose Croix, Fall River, April 5, 1920; Massachusetts Consistory, Boston, October 22, 1920; Affiliated, Old Colony Consistory, Fall River, November 30, 1953. Created a Sovereign Grand Inspector General, 33rd Degree Honorary Member of the Supreme Council on September 23, 1953. He joined Aleppo Temple A.A.O.N.M.S. on August 14, 1920. The funeral service was held on Monday, March 8, 1982 at two o'clock in the afternoon at Christ United Methodist Church in Vineyard Haven with the co-pastors, The Rev. Dr. Helen M. Oliver and The Rev. Dr. Helen R. Oliver, officiating. The homily was given by the Rev. Dr. John T. Golding of South Orleans and the prayers were offered by the Very Rev. Francis B. Sayre, Jr. During the service there was a violin solo, Adoration (Borowski), by Helen Oliver and the reading of Selected Verses from the Biblq poems by Edwin Markham and Crossing The Bar by Alfred Lord Tennyson. The Organist was Barbara Smith. Interment was in Oak Grove Cemetery, Vineyard Haven. Right Worshipful Brother Luce died in his ninety-second year at Oak Bluffs, Martha's Vineyard, on Friday, March 5, 1982. Respectfully submitted, Donald W. Vose
A. Douglas Stewart
James M. Beckman
Distinguished Brothers