Anita, An Unmarried Daughter Of A Mason,
Helped By Donations Like Yours

Facing Lung Cancer & Loneliness After a Life of Missionary Service – Anita's Story


Anita, age 74, shares a family photo including her father. His Masonic membership provided her with eligibility to live at Texas Masonic Retirement Center. With serious health problems after a life of missionary work in Asia, she now enjoys safe surroundings and a concerned staff.

"I had no money. My health was not good. The folks at TMRC said, ‘We have an answer for you. Come live with us.’”

Feeling alone and invisible in a small apartment in Houston, Anita, age 74, also faced serious health problems. Over the coming months she would be diagnosed with lung cancer that had spread to her bones.

Anita remembers the day she decided to move to
Texas Masonic Retirement Center, “I had no money. My health was not good. Gary Blair, the TMRC Superintendent, came to visit me in Houston. He said, ‘We have an answer for you. Come live with us.’”

Anita attending a Christian wedding in Macau, an area near Hong Kong (second row, third from left)

“My dad was a Mason and I have no idea if he knew he was preparing a way for me. But he did. I am an unmarried daughter of a Mason and that

relationship made it possible for me to live here.”

Growing up in Spring Branch, a tiny community about an hour north of San Antonio, Anita says, “I knew when I was 10-years-old, studying in a one room schoolhouse, that I wanted to serve God and be a schoolteacher overseas.”

With laser-like focus, this courageous and inspirational woman set out on a path to accomplish her goals.

Although no one in her family held a college degree, Anita headed to Mary Hardin Baylor University in Belton, graduating with a master’s degree in education. Returning to Spring Branch, she taught English for 13 years.

As she approached 40, Anita heard from friends about a Southern Baptist missionary teaching position in Macau, a region located on the south coast of China, across the Pearl River Delta from Hong Kong.

Billy Graham, renowned minister, visited Anita’s missionary school campus as a young man. She met him and snapped this photo.

“I jumped at the chance to live my dream of teaching and serving God. It was a wonderful and thrilling experience. I taught the children of missionaries for 26 years. In 1999, I developed shingles and a rare virus. I just physically couldn’t do it anymore,” says Anita.

Anita returned to the United States with no job and little savings. Settling in a tiny apartment in Houston, her health continued to decline and depression closed in.

At the suggestion of her sister and friends, she contacted Texas Masonic Retirement Center. Gary Blair, Superintendent, drove to Houston to meet with her. His words, ‘We have answer for you. Come live with us,’ changed Anita’s life.

“Deciding to move to Texas Masonic Retirement Center was a hard decision, but now I believe it was the best thing in the world for me. I believe that the touch of God is here. I was recently in the hospital for nearly two months with issues from lung cancer. When I returned, they helped me with pain control, love, and attention. I needed that help. I am very grateful to live here.”

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Leave a Legacy - Planned Giving

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

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