Jack & Elgie
Active In Masonic Organizations for 50 Years
Helped By Donations Like Yours
NOTE: Names changed in video to protect privacy
Active in Masonic organizations for 50 years – Solid Citizens – Sharing Musical Gifts
Jack and Elgie met in 1944 in Paris, Texas. He was home on leave from the Navy as WWII raged in Europe; she was chatting with teenage friends during a break from her job at the local soda fountain.
Jack had dropped out of high school at 17 to fight for his country. Two years later, he was among the lucky servicemen working stateside maintaining wartime bomber planes and cargo aircraft.
“I wanted a girlfriend, as any young man would. I spotted this pretty little girl talking with a group of friends. I went right over and struck up a conversation. Found out her name was Elgie and that I could see her anytime at the soda fountain. You better believe I was right over there the next day eating a banana split!” recalls Jack.
The couple exchanged letters for the next two years. Their long-distance courtship blossomed into love with Jack and Elgie marrying in February 1946. He was 20; she was 18.
On active military duty in the early years of their marriage, Jack and Elgie were stationed at the naval air base in Corpus Christi. After his discharge, the couple returned to east Texas, their families, and friends.
No strangers to hard work, as both grew up baling hay and picking cotton on the farms of their sharecropper parents, they moved in with Elgie’s parents and took any job available.
In the evenings, the couple joined family and friends in singing and playing musical instruments. Jack strummed the guitar while Elgie played upright bass, piano, and string bass. Music continues to this day to sustain and lift their hearts, as well as, bring joy to others.
With an eye toward a more stable future, Jack visited an aunt in Fort Worth and applied for a job at General Dynamics (now Lockheed). Hired almost immediately, he spent the next six years performing overhaul maintenance and engine work on the huge B-36 “Peacemaker” bomber planes.
Laid off from GD in the 1950’s, Jack moved to Timco to work on experimental fighter jets and spacecraft. In 1960, he joined Bell Helicopter to build and test helicopter transmissions, staying on for the next two and half decades.
Although our dear Elgie passed away in 2022, we are honored to share her words with you:
"We worked all the time," said Elgie. During those years, Elgie had her hands full raising their daughter and two sons, plus owning and operating two full-service beauty salons. “We had between 6 and 8 beauticians in the shops, plus I did hair, too. Jack cleaned up at night and repaired the dryers and other equipment.
With so many job and family responsibilities, they still found time to join Masonic organizations. Jack said, “In 1956, I joined the Blossom Lodge and Paris Lodge. Elgie joined Eastern Star. We were both active--I was Worshipful Master at Blossom three times and she was Worthy Matron twice in Depot. Plus, in later years, I achieved Scottish Rite KC 32nd and KCCH.”
All these years of Masonic service added up to Jack receiving a 50-year “A” certificate. In 1986, the couple retired to a four-acre ranchette near their original roots in Paris, Texas. “If anything, we worked just as hard, but now it was growing a garden, volunteering for the church, helping at the fire department, offering free hair styling, and participating in Masonic Lodge and Eastern Star activities,” said Jack.
After fourteen years of “retirement,” the property upkeep and extensive volunteering proved too much to handle. Jack had undergone heart surgery and their children wanted them closer to their homes in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.
“We moved to a small place in Joshua, outside Fort Worth. We had plenty of good times, but after we’d been there about ten years, our lives were getting really difficult. I was 84 by this time and Elgie was 82. She had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease and that meant she really depended on me. Because my vision was failing, I couldn’t drive and I couldn’t pay our bills without someone helping me.
We faced either moving in with our children or moving to Texas Masonic Retirement Community. We looked at our situation and decided to donate our home and estate, so we could move here, get the help we needed, and enjoy the rest of our lives,” said Jack.
“In February 2018, we celebrated 72 years of marriage. In that time together, we both loved living here! As Elgie's condition changed, they took care of us, took us to the doctor, bought our medicine, and have a Country Store with personal items. Plus, I go play music at Stewart’s RV Park, between Alvarado and Keene, on Tuesday nights from 7 to 9 with the Good Times Band. Come out there or stop by here most any day and you’re welcome to join in on our sing-a-longs.”
Jack and Elgie’s many years of dedicated service to Masonic organizations and assistance from of the No Mason Left Behind Project allowed them to live as couple in safe surroundings and enjoy a rich life, with help just a few steps away. Today, Jack continues to share his musical gifts with others from the safety and fellowship of Texas Masonic Retirement Community.
The No Mason Left Behind Project helps provide older Texas Masons and their qualified loved ones with all-inclusive 24 hour a day/7 days a week accommodations at Texas Masonic Retirement Community--including medical services and nursing care. The cost of these benefits exceeds $2.5 million annually.
Want to make a personal donation to the No Mason Left Behind Project? You can use our secure online donation service or print out and mail in a donation form. We look forward to recognizing your kindness and benevolence.
Donations from Lodges, Chapters, Councils, OES, and other Masonic organizations make a tremendous difference!
Check our Lodge Donation Summary for more information about donating and recognition for your Masonic organization.
If you prefer to mail your individual donation, just click below, print the form out and mail it back to us with your donation at the address listed at the bottom:
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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 [email protected].
Planned Giving Options:
- Life Insurance
- Living Trusts
- Remainder Trusts
- Charitable Gift Annuities