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VillageVoice Always Growing p. 12






Fall 2019 Vol. 29, No. 4


The Masonic Villages include locations in Dallas, Elizabethtown, Lafayette Hill, Sewickley and Warminster. Submissions for the winter issue of the Village Voice are due Dec. 17. Public Relations Department Masonic Village, One Masonic Drive Elizabethtown, PA 17022 For more information, call Masonic Village’s Public Relations Office at 717-367-1121, ext. 33383, or email The Masonic Villages is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Admissions to the Masonic Villages are approved or disapproved primarily on the basis of need. Decisions concerning admission, the provision of services and referrals of residents are not based upon the applicant’s race, color, religion, disability, ancestry, national origin, familial status, age, sex, limited English proficiency or any other protected status.

Inside this Issue 3 New Leadership Staff Join Masonic Villages

COVER STORIES Always Growing

4 A Mission Accomplished

13 The Joy of Gardening

6 Autumn Day 2019

14 A Farmer’s Work is Never Done

8 Biscotti for All 10 Life in Rhythm

16 Everything’s Coming Up Roses

22 Holiday Giving

18 Nature’s Nurturer

24 Masonic Villages’ Wish List

20 Steward of the Peony Cottage

25 Memorial Gifts 27 Honorarium Gifts


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On the cover: Resident Eleanor Howe (see her story on p. 18).

New Leadership Staff Join Masonic Villages

MIKE ROWE has been named executive director for Masonic Village at Elizabethtown. He is responsible for providing direction and oversight for matters that affect residents, employees and customers in all lines of services provided by Masonic Village. This includes budget preparation and management and occupancy and community relations. Previously, Mike served as executive director of Patriots Colony Life Plan/ Continuing Care Community, located in Williamsburg, Virginia, which houses more than 500 residents. Mike has a Bachelor of Science in business administration from Florida State University and earned his Master of Healthcare Administration from Virginia Commonwealth University. He and his family reside in Lititz.

MATTHEW MAYO has been named assistant executive director/nursing home administrator (NHA) for Masonic Village at Elizabethtown. With more than 15 years of experience, Matthew is responsible for ensuring all health care policies, procedures, systems and programs are in compliance with state and federal regulations. He will also direct the planning process for the implementation of new health care services and ensure successful financial performance from health care departments. Previously, Matthew served as the NHA for ManorCare Laureldale, a 198-bed facility in Berks County, and was previously a regional director of operations for 10 buildings in Central Pennsylvania. Matthew graduated with a Bachelor of Science in longterm care administration. He holds a Master of Business Administration from York College of Pennsylvania.

BRENDAN DEGENHART has been named director of mission review for Masonic Villages. In his position, he will identify, evaluate and implement strategic and financial initiatives for the organization. His office is located in Elizabethtown. Most recently employed at Girl Scouts in the Heart of Pennsylvania as the chief financial officer, Brendan has more than 25 years of experience in financial planning and analysis. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business from Bloomsburg University and a Masters of Management from Pennsylvania State University. Brendan resides in Harrisburg with his wife and daughter.

Matthew resides in Lititz with his wife and two children.


A Mission Accomplished A Note from Retiring CEO Joseph Murphy

PEOPLE HAVE ASKED ME IN VARIOUS WAYS WHY I CAME TO AND STAYED SO LONG AT MASONIC VILLAGES. I have thought about these questions over the years and the answer always comes to the people we serve and the team that provides our Mission of Love every day. I have seen or heard about staff members doing things they thought of as an ordinary part of their day, but residents and families saw them as extraordinary and special. Sometimes it is as simple as smiling and being friendly, while sometimes they are specific actions. I also have heard how beautiful our campuses are and the difference the Mission has made in someone’s life. No matter where I have gone, people want to share their positive experience at Masonic Villages with me. 4

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A specific story shared with me was regarding a family coming to pick up their mother to attend a wedding. The family expected to spend hours dressing and preparing their mother for the wedding, as she had dementia and did not remember how to dress for such an event. Upon arriving, their mother was already in her favorite dress and recently had her hair styled. The family did not understand how this occurred. In talking to staff, the family members found out their mother’s caregivers had listened to the family over the years talk about how important it had always been for their mother to get ready to go to church. A member of the family told me they realized their mother was loved and respected, and our team members treated her like family; a “Mission of Love.”

Over my 45 years, I have observed staff members support each other because they see each other as family. I have witnessed residents work together to help and express appreciation to employees. I have seen board members stay focused on a vision and values and prioritize our residents and team members as a core part of our Mission. I came for what I thought would be a couple of years while I finished college, but then staff, residents, board members, volunteers and donors taught me how important our Mission of Love is to so many people and their families. My wife, Barb, and our family are blessed to have been a part of this tremendous Mission over the last 45 years. God bless all of you!


Autumn Day Save the date for next year’s event! Saturday, Sept. 26, 2020 APPROXIMATELY 6,000 VISITORS enjoyed the beautiful Masonic Village at Elizabethtown campus and spent quality time with members of the Masonic fraternity, friends and residents on Sept. 21. Festivities included musical entertainment, traditional Autumn Day fare, clowns, farm market stands, sales of crafts and hand-carved items made by residents and Masonic organization booths. Masonic Children’s Home residents and Pennsylvania Masonic Youth Foundation youth groups offered activities for kids. The Masonic Blood Club hosted a blood drive in conjunction with the Central Pennsylvania Blood Bank. In the Masonic Health Care Center, residents enjoyed food, music and games. A Pumpkin Roll fundraiser raised $220 to benefit the Masonic Children’s Home. Kids enjoyed decorating their pumpkins and watching them race down the hill (below)!


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Biscotti for all THE SCENT OF ALMOND AND VANILLA WAFTS from Angie Myshko’s kitchen, out into the hallway and down the corridor at Masonic Village at Lafayette Hill. Angie is baking her famous biscotti, and the delicious smells are making everyone hungry. Angie, who moved to Masonic Village seven months ago with her husband, Joe, bakes almond and anise biscotti and sells them at the village’s Gift Shop, two in a pack for only $1. “They can’t keep them in stock!” Angie said. “People keep asking, ‘when are you going to bake them again?’” Biscotti are Italian almond biscuits that are twice baked until they are golden brown and delicious. “Biscotti last forever. They are so dry that they don’t mold,” she said. “They are the perfect little treat.” 8

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When Angie moved to Masonic Village, she learned the Gift Shop sold handmade items. She asked if she could sell her biscotti as a way of giving back, or as a “donation to the community,” since all the proceeds from the shop go back to Masonic Village. The Gift Shop agreed to sell 20 biscotti packets, but they went so quickly, Angie was asked to bake more. She has sold more than 200 packs of biscotti since May. Some months she bakes more than others. “I make them when I can or when I want to make them,” she said. The entire process from mixing the ingredients to cooling the biscotti takes about two and a half hours. Each batch contains about 48 cookies. “My husband gets the ‘ends,’ the remains or the cookies that come out too thin,” she joked, pointing to a bowl full of buttery scraps.

“Baking is all absorbing. You have to focus and pay attention. It’s my mental health time.” This is not the first time that Angie, an avid baker, has sold her biscotti in a store (she also enjoys making macaroons and Italian pizzelle cookies). She initially baked them as a volunteer at Washington Memorial Chapel’s Cabin Shop, which serves snacks and lunch fare in Valley Forge National Historical Park. “I used to help them roll Easter eggs and chocolate,” she said. “They asked if I knew how to bake, and I started making my biscotti and selling them as ‘Angie’s Biscotti.’” Angie grew up in Philadelphia, the youngest of six children from parents who were born in Italy. Her birth name is Angelina Acquaviva, which means “water of life.” Baking and cooking have always been a major part of Angie’s life. She began baking as a small child and would always help her mother in the kitchen. “Baking is all absorbing,” she said. “You have to focus and pay attention. It’s my mental health time. I don’t think of anything else. It’s also instant gratification. You see the results right away.” Angie first discovered Masonic Village when she visited a friend who lived here. She saw what the village had to offer and fell in love with it.

“My son is a Mason, and he wanted me to live here,” she said. “When we finally made the decision, he was so thrilled, he and my daughter cried. He didn’t want to have to make the decision for us.” At Masonic Village, Angie and Joe have found a support system and connected with friends in a very short period of time. “The employees are great, the residents are so caring, what’s not to like?” she said. “It’s a second family here. It’s where we should be right now.”


Life in Rhythm PATRICIA GARFINKEL FELL IN LOVE WITH POETRY at a young age. Listening to her mother’s voice as she read books and poems sparked something in Patricia. “Most things you read to young children are rhythmic,” she said. “Some kids are fascinated by it, and others throw the book across the floor. It has carried through generations that way. My mother read to me a lot. I just grabbed at that.” Patricia, a resident of Masonic Village at Sewickley, started writing some of her own poetry in the latter years of grade school. In between attending college, raising a family and focusing on a career as a political speech writer, the rhythms and rhymes of poetry continuously beat in her heart.


feel, what you think and how you see things. Things that frighten you, don’t frighten other people.” Since 1980, Patricia has published four books of poetry. Her latest, “Antarctic Siren Song,” was released in 2019. Her accolades include winning Poetry-in-Public Places and Moving Words awards, and she was a Fellow at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts and president of the Washington Writers Publishing House for two years. She also co-authored “Invitation to a Country Called Aging,” with friend and fellow poet Myra Sklarew.

Patricia’s only formal training in poetry came from poet Henry Taylor, a professor at American University, who wrote more than 15 books of poems and won the 1986 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. She studied with him for three years. The two were close friends until his death last year.

Professionally, “to pay for groceries,” she worked as a teacher and speech writer. Among her roles, she was a science policy analyst and speech writer for four consecutive directors and deputy directors for the National Science Foundation (NSF). The foundation has jurisdiction over U.S. programs in Antarctica, a place not many people have the chance to see. Upon receiving an invitation from Neil Lane, a former NSF director, Patricia had a chance to go to Antarctica in January 2010, at the age of 70. The trip remains vivid in her memory.

“Genuine poets write from the center of themselves,” she said. “Two poets can look at the same thing and come up with completely different poems. It’s what you

The flight to the arctic was the first hurdle. She flew from Dulles Airport in Washington, D.C., to Los Angeles. From there, it was 14.5 hours to Sydney, Australia, and then four

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“As a poet, you write about anything your eyes pick up: something you’ve seen, something you’ve eaten or somebody you’ve talked to. The world inspires you.”

hours to Christchurch, New Zealand. She quickly lost track of time zones. A flight left daily from Christchurch, making a 5.5 hour trek to McMurdo Station in Antarctica. Her first flight was cancelled due to the weather, and her second flight made it 4.5 hours before having to return to base because of whiteout conditions. On the third day, dressed in layers of extreme weather clothing which swallowed her tiny frame and carrying a bag “the size of a walrus,” Patricia landed in Antarctica. Daylight lasted 24 hours, and all visitors had to obey strict rules, which included leaving no trash behind and being allotted two twominute showers per week. The only permanent residents of the continent and surrounding Southern Ocean are penguins, whales, seabirds, seals, fish, squid, krill and phytoplankton.

“I just was living in another world. It was magnificent and dangerous,” Patricia said. “Everything is the extreme. It’s bitter cold, but you ignore the cold because you know to bring heavy clothing. You need most to be aware of a crack in the ice or a hole somewhere because if you fall, there’s a chance you could fall very far. It was a way to learn about the world in a very unique place.” The vast terrain, the animals, the bitter cold and the scientists risking their lives to explore the unknown left an indelible impression on Patricia; the perfect fodder for not only a poem or two, but an entire book of prose. As Patricia wrote in her poem, “Light and Dark,” from “Antarctic Siren Song”:

Antarctica toys with our balance tests endurance Chuckles at our frailty

“Before Antarctica froze, they actually had people living down there, and they put up buildings,” Patricia said. “Then the environment began to change and collapse, and we got ice at the bottom of the world. Now it’s melting, and it’s frightening. It’s one of the reasons why I wanted to write this book. I wanted to explain in many ways that there is nothing permanent in the world.” Others can get a glimpse of this fleeting world through Patricia’s words, which she wrote as much for herself as for others. “I don’t think you can ever explain what pulls somebody to something,” Patricia said. “I just think that you feel it in the very center of yourself. As a poet, you write about anything your eyes pick up: something you’ve seen, something you’ve eaten or somebody you’ve talked to. The world inspires you.”




In addition to fresh air, reduced stress and increased mobility, gardening provides an inner fulfillment, helping residents stay rooted while growing in many ways.


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“It’s a challenge ... but there’s a tranquility in watching them grow.”

string beans, lettuce, kale, herbs, cucumbers, squash, zucchini, potatoes, red beets and lots of annuals. “I’ve always enjoyed gardening,” Lori said. “Getting food was secondary. It’s a challenge, especially growing vegetables, but there’s a tranquility in watching them grow and having fresh produce. “I have found it’s very easy to stay inside my comfortable villa rather than be outside in the fresh air and sunshine. If it weren’t for my garden calling, I would be indoors and in front of the TV much more than I should.“ All gardeners have their share of best practices and are eager to share them with their green-thumbed friends. Lori credits the advice of others for helping her grow better vegetables and has found compost from the local township is the most beneficial way of getting healthy soil.

The Joy of Gardening LORI STROBEL GREW UP IN LUZERNE, PENNSYLVANIA, later moving to the Philadelphia area. She was in her previous home for 50 years without any plans to move back to Northeast Pennsylvania. However, after her son died unexpectedly in 2014, she found herself returning to the area where she had spent the first 21 years of her life.

“Once I had a patio installed and put in a garden, I remember sitting in the backyard and saying ‘I am at home now.’ Time heals,” Lori said. “When I moved back here, I was quite surprised to recognize the beauty of the area I had long forgotten. I came to realize it’s a healthier environment than living on my own in a house that constantly needed upkeep and maintenance.”

Lori’s home at Masonic Village at Dallas was the start of a different phase of her life. It was a chance to reconnect with family and old friends in the area, and embrace her retirement. Her new villa didn’t quite feel complete, however, until she added a garden.

Lori’s backyard at Masonic Village is lined with trees, giving her a convenient and private spot to plant her oasis. She has some raised beds, which are easy for her to access without having to bend down on her knees. Depending on the season, her crops include tomatoes,

While she finds tranquility in the garden, Lori must occasionally remind herself gardening is fun. “I tend to get over-involved and stressed because I can’t do it all and have asked for help several times,” she said. “I consider myself active for my age, but even so, I can’t do what I used to. When I work alongside another person, we get a lot done in a mere two hours.” Lori continues to find a sense of healing and fulfillment digging through the dirt and nurturing her harvest. “It’s a joy of gardening and a desire to be more active that inspires me,” she said. “I am very grateful to be involved in gardening, which keeps me rooted to my new home. It is an activity people can do on their own and can do as much, or as little, as they want.”


“I’ve always had a science-based mind. I realized I wasn’t good with blood; plant science is where I find my enjoyment. There are so many fascinating things about plants, and there’s more and more being discovered every year. Science must keep up with global concerns. I continue to learn, and that’s exciting.” His family ran a processing farm, which means it converted raw harvested agricultural products into marketable ones. After Tad graduated from college, his dad recommended he gain some managerial experience, so he applied at Masonic Village as orchard manager. After a few years, he had settled into his role and built a life in Elizabethtown for his wife and first daughter who attended the day care center on campus. Processing in the 1990s was dismal for farms, and his family sold their land.

A Farmer’s Work is Never Done THERE IS A LOT THAT DRAWS FARMERS TO THE LAND – the chance to provide food for others, working sunup to sundown in the great outdoors and watching tiny seeds transform into a bountiful harvest. There is equally as much that can push them away – Mother Nature’s varied temperament, invasive insects and economic influences. For Tad Kuntz, farm market manager at Masonic Village at Elizabethtown, he’s learned to take the good with the bad. It’s what keeps him up at night and 14

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gets him out of bed in the morning. Tad is a fourth-generation fruit grower. His vast knowledge comes mostly from his father, uncles and his grandfather, who learned from his dad (Tad’s great-grandfather), and partially from Delaware Valley College, where he majored in horticulture and minored in chemistry. College was beneficial, but nothing compared to his experience in the fields. “I always assumed I’d be doing it the rest of my life,” Tad said of farming.

For 29 years, he’s managed Masonic Village’s 80-acre orchard, which grows 57 varieties of apples, 40 varieties of peaches, nectarines, pears, plums, sweet and tart cherries and pumpkins. In addition to overseeing the planting and harvesting of crops and pest management, he runs the Masonic Village Farm Market, which includes the Orchard View Café. Among the skills he’s added to his resume along the way are social media manager, ice cream taste tester and baker. “When I came here, the farm market was small,” Tad said. “The store grew with me. We’ve grown together.” A farmer’s job is year-round. For Tad, if he’s not caring for crops or stocking the farm market, he’s attending conferences on the newest variety of apples, the latest pest management options or marketing best practices. He’s also made it a tradition, one which his two grown daughters have also adopted, of

stopping at every farm market he passes during road trips.

it and only half the harvest makes it to market.

“I have a lot of goals for the orchard and farm market,” Tad said. “I had a list of about 200 things when I started, including pick-your-own, hay rides, etc., and I've been able to check off quite a few. I’m focused on little things now and really try to listen to the customers.”

Tad looks at market demand, as well as the economics behind it. The low unemployment rate has meant fewer people looking for jobs as fruit pickers, which leaves more work for Tad and his current staff.

Despite its wholesome nature, farming involves lots of risks and is constantly evolving.

“Farmers have to be gamblers,” Tad said. “You can do everything right, and Mother Nature can throw you a curve ball. It might be a hurricane or a new insect or bacteria. Just when you thought you mastered it, you have to start all over. If a person makes a job look easy, it means they’re doing it well.” Pests management takes up about half of Tad’s time from April through July. When new pests arrive from other parts of the world, their predators don’t come with them. Farmers can’t bring foreign insects into the country, so they need to find other ways to destroy them. Two years ago, farmers finally got stink bugs under control, only to have the spotted lanternfly invade. Fortunately for Tad, this species hasn’t found his orchard yet, but he keeps his eyes peeled every day. There are more than 400 insects, 200 fungi, bacteria, molds, rots, rodents and mammals that can impact fruit and vegetable crops. Tad practices integrated pest management, which combines biological, cultural and conservation practices with modern technology. Sighting a single pest does not always mean control is needed. Understanding the level at which a pest becomes an economic threat is critical to making pest control decisions. If a pest is caught early, Tad can take steps to prevent an infestation, which saves money in the long run. To ward off infestations, he uses beneficial insects and mating disruption techniques, among other methods.

“I’m constantly looking at the future,” he said, “and what can we do to improve variety and remain economically feasible. The job is never done. As farmers say, ‘you have to make hay while the sun shines.’” Since much of Tad’s education took place in the fields, he’s always felt a strong calling to ensure future generations understand the importance of knowing the source of their food. For 20 years, he gave a presentation to every fourth grade class in Elizabethtown and Donegal Area School Districts. Former students, and now their children, greet him as Farmer Tad at the farm market. “Educating our young is so important,” he said, “and education for parents is just as important. There is a lot of bad information out there, and it’s better to get it from the source.” Both his daughters inherited his affection for chemistry, although they opted for the medical field. One has graduated college, with the other still attending. The few hours and days he’s not at the farm market, Tad enjoys reading about horticulture and makes an annual drive (albeit taking a different route each year) to Florida to catch the Phillies’ spring training, scoping out at a few farm markets along the way. Whether he is battling bugs or bad weather or mastering social media marketing, Tad has grown alongside his crops. Fueled by his curiosity, after three decades, he continues to feel at home in the orchard.

“It’s how I spend my waking hours,” he said. “After all, it’s in my blood.”

Never entirely happy with what he’s growing, Tad also largely focuses on the orchard’s variety of produce. He’s already monitoring next year’s harvest and considering what new trees to plant. In the late 1980s, the advent of gala apples opened the door to increased consumer expectation for a variety of tastes and flavors in their apples – sweet and tart. About 10 new varieties of apples appear on the market each year, with EverCrisp being one of the newest. Honeycrisp remains popular due to its sweetness and crispness, although from a grower’s perspective, it’s not easy since insects love


Everything’s Coming Up Roses ELEANOR AND FRANK SHEPHERD CAN LITERALLY “SMELL THE ROSES” at the Masonic Village at Lafayette Hill. That’s because Frank planted them. Frank has taken his passion for gardening and joined forces with residents Louise “Clay” Ratcliffe and Gary Clabaugh to help beautify the Lafayette Hill campus, one bulb at a time.

“My wife, Eleanor, wanted flowers, so I started planting,” Frank said. “I enjoyed seeing the fruits of my labor. Now, I plant at my place and at my neighbor’s place, too. It’s very self-satisfying when someone compliments the flowers.” Gary, who serves as head of the Village’s Grounds Committee, said his goal has always been to make the campus more “colorful.” He plants a wide selection 16

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of items including daffodils, tulips or other plants. “There were already a lot of shrubs and trees when I moved here, but not a lot of color,” he said. “Flowering things cheer people up. And there’s a lot of enthusiasm among the residents for what we are doing.” Gary and Clay are both amateur gardeners. Gary’s grandfather had a commercial flower garden when he was younger, and Gary quickly became interested in gardening. “When my wife was alive, she really liked flowers. I surrounded our house with flowers. I’ve been involved (with gardening) most of my life,” he said. Clay said that gardening clears her head during turbulent times. “I just love having my hands in the soil,” she said. “It’s a great stress or depression

“I just love having my hands in the soil. It’s a great stress or depression reliever, and you also get something that’s pretty.”

reliever, and you also get something that’s pretty.” Frank was in the British Merchant Navy for 14 years. He had never planted anything before, but after he and his wife moved to Masonic Village nearly four years ago, he became interested in gardening. It quickly became a hobby. Gary estimates he spends about 10 hours a week gardening, whether he is planting for himself or at a resident’s request. Often, a resident will purchase a plant, and then ask Gary, Clay or Frank to plant it in the soil. In addition to the annual budget, Masonic Village also helps to fund some of the resident gardening. “Most of what we’ve done has been funded by the residents,” Gary said. “Some of them may be unable to do the physical labor, but they want something beautiful in their space. Flowers just make life better.”


Nature’s Nurturer


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ELEANOR HOWE IS A GIFTED GARDENER, but that shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone who meets her. Her caring touch and kind heart make her a natural when it comes to growing flowers and vegetables. As she works in her garden plot at the Masonic Village at Sewickley, it is clear gardening is not a task for Eleanor, but a pleasure. Whether she’s picking weeds or plucking produce, she can often be heard singing her own tune, “The breeze in the trees puts me at ease.”

“I admire nature – the beauty, complexity and functionality of flora and fauna are amazing,” Eleanor said. “I like to nurture things, especially people, plants and pets.” In addition to raising flowers and vegetables, she raised her family and worked as a librarian and teacher. “It was a wonderful career,” she said. “The goal of service – of helping students to learn to read and continue reading beyond the classroom, to do research and to enjoy their reading and research – it just fit me. Football players celebrate when they score a touchdown. I did it quietly when I helped someone find a book to read or a resource with information they needed. I also enjoyed developing the library collection to meet their needs and organizing the collection for easy and efficient access to materials.” She loved being a parent and nurturing her children. Together they read books, dyed Easter eggs, hiked and carved pumpkins for jack-o’-lanterns, which she’d later bake and use their flesh in many recipes – long before the current pumpkin culinary craze swept the country. In 1993, when she moved from Lancaster to Allison Park, near Pittsburgh,

she planted more vegetables, herbs and blueberry bushes. She used some and gave away the extras. In June 2018, she moved to the Masonic Village at Sewickley. She loved a lot about the village, and learning it had garden plots was an added bonus. Her son helped her prepare the soil and transplant some of her vegetables and herbs from her previous home. Eleanor’s formula for good soil and blocking weeds includes two to three inches of mushroom manure, under 10 layers of newspaper sheets, under two to three inches of pine bark nuggets. Her other secrets? “You need sun and water in the right amounts for each plant,” she said. “I don’t use herbicides, pesticides or chemicals. The Lancaster County Amish taught me that when I shopped at their stalls in Central Market. I’ve also talked with organic gardeners.” Her village garden includes cherry tomatoes, garlic, tarragon, rhubarb (transplanted twice from her home in Lancaster), sage, Greek oregano, rosemary and asparagus. She also grows chives, parsley and lavender on her apartment patio.

“I enjoy my plot,” she said. “There’s nothing like eating a ripe cherry tomato fresh off the vine or picking fresh herbs to add to meals.” Eleanor also enjoys the fresh air and mental break while gardening. “Gardening gets you outside,” she said. “Your mind is on something else. You can sit and listen to the sounds and look over the beautiful grounds here. Ten to 20 minutes of daily exercise outside is good for your mental and physical health.” Eleanor has already begun making modifications for next year’s garden. She finds that evaluating, changing plans and evolving as a gardener is a good way to keep challenging yourself. “Gardening is an experiment,” Eleanor said. “You don’t always know what is going to happen. If something didn’t work out, you figure out what went wrong and try again. You try watering more or less and adjusting the soil or available light.” Eleanor puts a lot of love and time (and a little mushroom soil) into her garden. The results satisfy her appetite and her soul.


Steward of the Peony Cottage ELIZABETH “LIZ” SEVERINO HAS A BUSINESS CARD THAT SMELLS LIKE FLOWERS. The design on the front of the card features peonies, of course, and below them is Liz’s name and a title: “Steward of the Peony Cottage.” Liz has always been interested in peony flowers since her mother grew them when she was a child, but she didn’t always grow them herself. During her life, Liz found she had a love for animals and a talent for communicating with them. For years, she has helped people and animals attain healing in their lives and bodies. About 10 years ago, Liz helped a couple who owned a peony farm. She didn’t ask for anything, but they thanked her with around 120 peonies. “Every single color was a color that I didn’t even know existed,


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and I got so excited. That was the beginning,” she said. From then on, Liz started growing peonies all across her property.

“I planted peonies wherever peonies would fit,” she recalls. In 2016, Liz made the decision to move to Masonic Village at Elizabethtown, and she wanted to bring as many of her peonies with her as possible. She started planning and did even more research on the different types of peonies to find out how she could create themed gardens around her new home.

After discovering Masonic Village at Elizabethtown was founded in 1911, Liz was determined to create a Historical Garden that would be visible from the main road and would include only peonies that were available to buy and plant during that time period. “It’s really important to me to honor what I’m doing here and what Masonic [Village] is doing with their Mission of Love and the history and respect that goes along with it,” Liz said. With the help of Masonic Village’s landscaping staff and her peony farm friends, Liz successfully moved 51 peony plants of 22 different

varieties from her former home to her new cottage, replanting them last November in locations suited to their type. Thankfully, all but four of the plants survived the replanting and are thriving. They came up the very next spring and yielded 32 blooms, a rare occurrence for relocated peonies. Along with her Historical Garden, Liz planted peonies in four other themed gardens. At the side of her cottage, visible from the sidewalk, is the Drama Garden, filled with peonies of “the whitest whites and the darkest reds” to create the dramatic look. At the back of the house, underneath

her bedroom window, is the Mission of Love Garden with soft-colored peonies to signify the caring nature of Masonic Village staff. Below her prayer and meditation room window, she planted the Heavenly Scents Garden, which includes the most aromatic of the peonies. Next to her patio sits the most magnificent and largest of the flowers Liz owns – her favorite – the Karl Rosenfield peony.

season, which ends around mid-June. This creates what Liz calls a “rolling effect” of beautiful blooming flowers. Since peonies can live 100 years, Liz knows her peony legacy will live on after her, to be passed on to whomever lives in her cottage next. But for now, Liz remains “Steward of the Peony Cottage.”

Liz also has secondary gardens; one is a Zen Garden at the back of the house that features a statue of a Buddha. The other is on her neighbor’s property, named “Rosie’s Garden,” since Liz gave her neighbor, Rosie, some of her plants. Because of the variety of peonies Liz grows, they will bloom at different times. There will always be blooming peonies during every week of peony


For the Love of Angels This season, honor your special angel through Masonic Villages’ annual “For the Love of Angels” campaign. Due to the increasing administration costs, the annual angel ornaments and service of remembrance will not be offered this year. The desire and need to put more of your donations toward Masonic Villages’ Mission (and less toward administration costs) is the reasoning behind this decision. Look for a “For the Love of Angels” appeal in your mailbox, or make a gift in honor or memory of your angel by completing and returning the enclosed envelope. Your gift can benefit (1) Masonic Villages, (2) Masonic Village Hospice or (3) The Helping Hands Fund, which supports Masonic Villages employees across the state through personal emergencies, hardships or natural disasters. For questions or for assistance in making your gift, call the Masonic Charities Office of Gift Planning at 1-800-599-6454.

Gift Boxes for the Holidays!

When ordering a gift box (available online): • Please choose fruit butters and preserves from catalog listings. •W  e will select the best apple varieties available, unless otherwise specified. • J arred goods may be replaced with many other products. Prices may vary – call for details. • Gift certificates available. Customized gift boxes are available year ‘round. Those containing fruit are available September - March. Shipping costs vary. Call 717-367-4520 for details, or order online at

Financial information about Masonic Charities can be obtained by contacting us at 1-800-599-6454. In addition, Masonic Charities is required to file financial information with several states. Colorado: Colorado residents may obtain copies of registration and financial documents from the office of the Secretary of State, (303) 894-2680, Florida: SC No. 00774, A COPY OF THE OFFICIAL REGISTRATION AND FINANCIAL INFORMATION MAY BE OBTAINED FROM THE DIVISION OF CONSUMER SERVICES BY CALLING TOLL-FREE, WITHIN THE STATE, 1-800-HELP-FLA. Georgia: full and fair description of the programs and activities of Masonic Charities and its financial statement are available upon request at the address indicated above. Illinois: Contracts and reports regarding Masonic Charities are on file with the Illinois Attorney General. Maryland: For the cost of postage and copying, documents and information filed under the Maryland charitable organizations laws can be obtained from the Secretary of State, Charitable Division, State House, Annapolis, MD 21401, (800) 825-4510. Michigan: MICS No. 11796 Mississippi: The official registration and financial information of Masonic Charities may be obtained from the Mississippi Secretary of State’s office by calling 1-888-236-6167. New Jersey: INFORMATION FILED WITH THE ATTORNEY GENERAL CONCERNING THIS CHARITABLE SOLICITATION AND THE PERCENTAGE OF CONTRIBUTIONS RECEIVED BY THE CHARITY DURING THE LAST REPORTING PERIOD THAT WERE DEDICATED TO THE CHARITABLE PURPOSE MAY BE OBTAINED FROM THE ATTORNEY GENERAL BY CALLING (973) 5046215 AND IS AVAILABLE ON THE INTERNET AT REGISTRATION WITH THE ATTORNEY GENERAL DOES NOT IMPLY ENDORSEMENT. New York: A copy of the latest annual report can be obtained from the organization or from the Office of the Attorney General by writing the Charities Bureau, 120 Broadway, New York, NY 10271. North Carolina: Financial information about this organization and a copy of its license are available from the State Solicitation Licensing Branch at 1-888-830-4989. Pennsylvania: The official registration and financial information of Masonic Charities may be obtained from the Pennsylvania Department of State by calling toll-free, within Pennsylvania, 1-800-732-0999. Virginia: Financial statements are available from the State Office of Consumer Affairs, P.O. Box 1163, Richmond, VA 23218. Washington: The notice of solicitation required by the Charitable Solicitation Act is on file with the Washington Secretary of State, and information relating to financial affairs of Masonic Charities is available from the Secretary of State, and the toll-free number for Washington residents: 1-800-332-4483. West Virginia: West Virginia residents may obtain a summary of the registration and financial documents from the Secretary of State, State Capitol, Charleston, WV 25305. REGISTRATION IN THE ABOVE STATES DOES NOT IMPLY ENDORSEMENT, APPROVAL OR RECOMMENDATION OF MASONIC CHARITIES BY THE STATE.


Fall 2019 Issue

Three Ways to Give to Masonic Villages this Holiday


Make the Season Brighter for Our Residents!


Purchase items to help our residents experience joy, continue lifelong interests and feel dignified as they age and receive care. Visit to view and purchase items. Items include books, games, clothing, crafts and more. Consider purchasing an item as your gift to a loved one this season!

Choose from more than 25 items!




Authorize a specified amount of money to be electronically transferred directly from your checking account or credit card to the Masonic Villages monthly. This is the easiest form of giving - plus, there are no worries of checks getting lost, stolen or destoyed, and you will receive a year-end statement of monthly giving for easy tax preparation. You can cancel your authorization at any time. To join, call 1-800-599-6454 or visit


When you shop at AmazonSmile for your holiday gifts, Amazon will donate 0.5% of the purchase price to Masonic Villages. Bookmark this link, so all your eligible purchases will benefit Masonic Villages every time you shop:


QTY ITEM UNIT COST Adult Daily Living Center 3 Wheelchairs $400 1 Exercise machine $2,300 Bleiler Caring Cottage Wi-Fi (semi-annual fee) $180 1 Camping trip $5,000 Masonic Children’s Home 1 Indoor flag stand $300 1 Electronic equipment $500 1 Sports equipment $500 Masonic Village at Dallas 1 Three-tiered cart $75 2 Dog waste bag dispenser $175 1 Gazebo $5,000 Masonic Village at Elizabethtown Special meal service events for $15 residents who exhausted funds Mobility shuttle rides $15 233 Fluoride treatments (not covered) $20 Hair care service gift certificates $25 Special bus trips/entertainment $25 Gift cards to restaurant for hospice $50 Clothing gift certificates $50 Home care gift certificates $50 Wheelchair ponchos $75 Wellness personal training sessions $90 Transportation for hospice patients $100 Gift cards to a local spa $100 for hospice patients Hospitality cart supplies $100 Wellness center memberships $120 Special events trip for hospice $150 8 iPads $500 1 Fireplace insert for Grand Lodge Hall $1,000 2 Blanket warmers $2,800 1 Health Services Response Team vehicle $15,000 Masonic Village at Lafayette Hill Drama lessons/activities for residents $3,000 Masonic Village at Sewickley Portable sound system $1,000 Outdoor movie screen and projector $2,000 10 Beds and mattresses $2,500 1 Four-channel E Stimulation (electric) $4,400 Nordic Wellness Chair $8,375 1 It’s Never 2 Late (computer system) $9,000 Masonic Village at Warminster 1 1 1

Wheelchair scale Stand-up/Hoyer lift with scale Enlarge small pond in courtyard

$2,500 $9,600 $35,000

MASONIC VILLAGES’ WISH LIST You can make a difference in the lives of our residents!

Thank you to the following contributors: Bleiler Caring Cottage Anonymous: Folding chairs Elaine K. Bleiler: Activities Joseph Calabro: Activities Julia E. Linn: Folding chairs Masonic Children’s Home Boyd Watterson Asset Management: Day trip to Philadelphia Union soccer game Christenson Investment Partners: Day trip to Philadelphia Union soccer game Wayne M. and Nancylee Garafola: Various items Logan Lodge No. 490: Day trip Evelyn Hunter-Longdon: Shed repair and furniture Ronald A. and Judy A. McKnight: Various items National Investment Services, Inc.: Day trip to Philadelphia Union soccer game Rooster Woodshop: Summer activity Frederick P. and Mary Jane Sample: College books Masonic Village at Elizabethtown Anonymous: Hospitality cart supplies, hair care gift certificates and a DVD player Margie Brown: Baseball tickets for hospice patients Culp Family Foundation: Blanket warmers Hamilton Day Lodge No. 814: Local restaurant gift certificates Richard Holt: Blanket warmer Sherwood L. and Jean A. Kneebone: Tickets to baseball game for hospice patients Marlene Roth: Transportation for hospice patients Dorothyann M. Rowland: Week at the shore for hospice patients Masonic Village at Lafayette Hill Dorothyann M. Rowland: Winter Ball Event Masonic Village at Sewickley Anonymous: Trash/linen cart

There is an all-inclusive wish list posted on, or feel free to contact the Office of Gift Planning at 800-599-6454. Please note that if funds donated for any item listed are over-subscribed, the funds ill be used for additional wish list items or needs in the same service area.


Fall 2019 Issue

Thanks to Our Donors Memorial Gifts The following memorial gifts were made May 1 - July 30, 2019. Below is a list of individuals (names shown in blue) whose loved ones have made a gift in their memory to one of the five Masonic Villages. We have taken great care to ensure the accuracy and thoroughness of the names listed below. If an error has been made, please contact the Office of Gift Planning at 800-599-6454; 717-367-1121, ext. 33430; or by emailing Thank you. Earl F. Abel Whitfield Lodge No. 622 John Adkinson Cheryl Adkinson Carl Alercia Jerry and Jan Benuck Ronald C. Anderson Carol Anderson William and Alberta Ardell Diane Ardell Snear Frances M. (Ward) Baringer Jerry and Jan Benuck Charles and Marianne Decker Forrest and Gloria Schucker Thomas and Jane Waite Tom and Rita Yucha William H. Bartle Howard and Larene Castor Robert L. Batdorf Maxine Meck Carol Palm Martin H. Bayer Camilla Anderson Joseph and Elizabeth Barnes Diane Cantelmi Lillian Decker Margarete Ehmann Loretta Gallagher Nancy Lopez, Carol McGee, Max H. Starke and Robert Starke John and Joan Newfield George and Annabelle Reider Joel and Annette Santolla Bob and Sue Taber George Volz Edward Weisser Betty Ann Beaman Craig and Patricia Beaman Ray Beyers Nora Beyers Wayne C. Blecher Helen Blecher James E. Bohr Peter and Darlee Bohr Joseph A. Breckons Sunset Lodge No. 623 Richard F. Brenneman Lynne Brenneman Raymond Brensinger, Jr. Donald and Jean Bolton Marie Bowman Evelyn L. Briel Thomas and Claudia Stephens Eric Brown Anthony DiBattista Roger S. Brown David Nimick William Brunner John and Nancy Brunner Charles and Hilda Buehler Clintin and Karen Probst

Gordon D. Burns William and Sandra Burns Richard and Peggy Case Sylvia and Dennis Ulion Margaret “Ginny� Ceneviva Joe and Verna Ceneviva & Family Richard Fletcher Marie Walsh Philip H. Chamberlin Alice Chamberlin William D. Chilcote Beth, Kim, Deb, and Pansy Federation Donald S. Clark George Clark Claire Coffey Slater Funeral Service Morris L. Crafton Sunset Lodge No. 623 Oma D. Day, Jr. Hackenburg Mount Moriah Lodge No. 19 Jason L. Dean Richard Dean Thomas P. DeFroscia Pattie DeFroscia Chester A. and Marian E. Derk Chester and Barbara Derk, Jr. M. Grace Di Massa Jim Heckman Deanne Molinari Barbara Zell Jim Donnon John and Joan Groves Laura W. Dove Albert Dove Laura (Betty) E. Doyle David Nimick Joseph (Joe) Dranoff Harvey Sokoloff George W. Drescher Lenore Drescher Charles Dressler Dale Dressler Manon Duck Bruce and Joan Howarth John and Frances Duval Diane Roth Jay F. Eberly Ron and Pam Lasecki Larry and Marsha Weinstein Providence Eshelman Joseph and Joan Falzone Yvonne Fafata Robert Fafata William and Charlotte Feurer Martin and Irene Feurer Victor and Amparo Flores Edgar and Rebecca Flores Mary C. Garrison David and Debra Rosensteel Patricia Zasadny Gaydosh Edward Gaydosh Edna E. Getty Fred and Sue Ulmer Jack L. Gillmore Doris Longenecker Martin and Doris Gotsch Jane and Joseph Bruton David R. Graham Sharon Graham William N. Graves Houseman Lodge No. 211 Elmer L. Gutshall Mary Gutshall


Richard E. Haas Margaret Haas William Harris Judith Harris Joan Hartman Patricia Weatherly Ruth H. Hasenauer Mary Jane Keim Reuben R. Heller Whitfield Lodge No. 622 William O. Henney Janet Henney Sterling P. Hepler Duane and Nancy Hepler Betty M. Herriott David Herring Joyce L. Hess Elizabethtown Chapter No. 407, O.E.S. Vicki Gillmore Ken Hess Mike Hess and Ann Hood Charles and Loretta Hill James and Mary Hill Jerome L. and Kathryn Hitz Paul Thompson Virgie Hoffer Glenn and Ruth Hoffer John F. and Violet J. Hull Glenn Hull Rudy Hummel Joan Hummel David and Alicia Hunsberger Timothy and Fay Pletcher Irene L. Jochen Al Jochen Meredith F. Johnston Houseman Lodge No. 211 Mary K. Judy Jenifer McClain Raymond Keener Dale and Gail Stump Adrienne J. Keiser Larry Keiser Clark R. Klopfer Margaret Weidman Virginia Knight Robert and Jacque Knight Eva and Peter Kolchin John and Barbara Kolchin Joseph Korpics Nicholas and Sharon Katsafados Douglas Krissinger Ann Krissinger George Krissinger Ann Krissinger Charles and Rita Ledig Al Ledig James (Jim) Leonard Marion Attaviano Bryan and Eileen Hill Donald Levine Marcia Levine Harris Levine Marcia Levine Lloyd K. Lewis Hackenburg Mount Moriah Lodge No. 19 Constance (Connie) M. Light Ray and Ruth Dice Elizabethtown Chapter No. 407, O.E.S. Carolyn Galvin Julie Hohman Donald and Carolyn Kreider Ken and Donna Patrick Elvin and Jestena Yeagley Dominick Lizzi David and Alda Lizzi Walter F. Long, Jr. Franklin-St. John’s Trinity Lodge No. 221 Anthony and Jean Loy Clintin and Karen Probst Anna M. Lubic John Atanasoff Joyce Matich Rita Vorkapich Irene Lutz Susan Wagner Pat and Mabon MacDonald George MacDonald


Fall 2019 Issue

Marie Massa Michael and Rebecca Maxwell Truman Mast Kenneth and Elaine Bleiler Bruce and Joan Howarth Kurt Steven Matlock David and Helen Hughes Audrey J. McBride Gregg McBride Barre A. McClay Sunset Lodge No. 623 Brinton (Britt) L. McCully Bob and Anne Ayer The B. Good’s and Alex A. E. and Carole Laich Janice Stuck Robert Earl McGee Christopher McGee Eileen McNiff Wendy Smith Robert E. McQuaid Lake Lodge No. 434 James B. Meanor Franklin-St. John’s Trinity Lodge No. 221 Robert R. Melisko Judith Melisko Mr. and Mrs. Roland Messick John and Marguerite Ziegler Paul E. Meyers Donald Meyers Perry P. Meyers Richard and Joan Graybill Joyce Miller Jo Anne Malone Sara M. Miller Lisa and Scott Hetrick Lillian Milliron Eric and Lois Milliron Harry S. Mills Skip and Elizabeth Mills Mildred N. Muffley William Muffley Frank Murawski Lorraine Murawski James C. Nickle Thomas and Terry Kamerzel Francis J. Nooney Donna Nooney Barrett Oliver Christine Barrett Walsh Keith Carl F. Olnick Carol Olnick Robin Papai The Apple Blossoms, Past Matrons of District 25 Paul D. Purnell Judith Purnell Samuel S. Raup Edith Raup Donald J. Redlich Alvin and Iris Goodman H. Stanley Redline Duane and Doris Redline Ronald A. Reibie Irene Reibie Rena Renshaw Ron and Coleen Renshaw Rose Resanovich Marie Bowman William B. Robeson Gary Robeson Betty Rohrback Robert and Sharon Rohrback Carole A. Roth Just Play LLC William C. Rowland Dorothyann Rowland Thelma Russ Masonic Village at Dallas Residents Association Michael J. Sacco Lake Lodge No. 434 Sidney Salkovitz Hackenburg Mount Moriah Lodge No. 19 Vernon C. Sanders Thomas and Carol Sanders Esther Scheuermann Jim Heckman Howard and Edith Kane John Letsch and Adalena Wilson David M. Schirm, Sr. David Schirm Helen Mae Schleeter Lynwood Schleeter Otto G. Schmidt Frank Johnson

Mary M. Sellers Mary Yeager Al Shader Bruce and Joan Howarth John G. Shaffer John Shaffer Margaret Sheaffer Marie Eck Robert and Nancie Weaver Winona Sheffler Marvin Sheffler Brenda L. Shetron Norman and Anita Thatcher David Adam Shetron Norman and Anita Thatcher Lucille Shroyer Nancy Baker Ray Simpson Vicki Gillmore Jim Heckman Millie Sinopoli Henry Sinopoli Lester V. Smith Douglas and Gloria Smith Thelma Speidel Mark and Marjorie Fisher Donald L. Stahl Richard and Kay Bigley Ruth E. Steeb Peter and Mary Steeb Grant Stetzler Berks County Bicycle Club Dorie Stine Ann Wildasin Richard Stuncard Michael and Cecelia Uhron Mary Fager Tapasto Richard and Joan Bergan Carolyn Sue Thatcher Norman and Anita Thatcher Nancy Marie (Hitz) Thompson Paul Thompson Henry Tiger Hackenburg Mount Moriah Lodge No. 19

John Townsend Bryan and Eileen Hill Tony Treser Howard and Rose Treser James A. Tuley Susan Tuley Edward Vernon Gene and Barbara Geesey Edwin D. Walters Leidos Herman and Blanche Walters David and Alice Bechtel Alan Davis Warnick Alan Warnick Fred Washkevich Louise Washkevich Sherwood and Mary Jane Watts Judith Harris E. Nelson Weir Bruce Weir Irving L. Weiss Hackenburg Mount Moriah Lodge No. 19 Robert Wellington Thelma Wellington John Werner Keith and Jan Werner Paul R. West Andrew Vandegriff Robert Karl Williams Christopher McGee Leonard N. Wolf Carol Wolf World War II Veterans Frederick and Marjorie Kepner Frederick Wuestner Fidelity Technologies Corporation Bruce and Joan Howarth Carl Wert Archie B. Young Edwin and Merlene Young Jeanne Young William and Helen Young

Honorarium Gifts The following honorarium gifts were made May 1 - July 30, 2019. Below is a list of individuals (names shown in blue) whose loved ones have made a gift in their honor to one of the five Masonic Villages. James Andrews Ginny Andrews Ruth Barkley Dianna McCommons Ben Franklin 2 Staff Fred and Sue Ulmer Charity Lodge No. 144 John and Joan Lee The Dinsmores Donegal Area High Twelve Club No. 686 Ruth (Elizabeth) Henry Charles Telfer Anne Kinkle Susan Davis Lafayette East Gilbert and Donna Book Mary and Randy Mase Mary Reeser Martha White Randy Mase Howard and Edith Kane Leatrice Warner Masonic Village of Sewickley Nurses & Aides Chris O’Donnell

Joseph (Joe) E. Murphy Anonymous William Brady Robert and Debra Dluge Grand Chapter of Pennsylvania, Order of Eastern Star, Inc. George Hohenshildt Evelyn Hunter-Longdon Paul and Delores Reichart Joseph Simon Floyd and Carolyn Sowers James and Frances Stark Warfel Construction Company Marvin Wedeen Betty L. Nickle Thomas and Terry Kamerzel Cindy Phillips Ray and Pat Horn Esther Scheuermann John Letsch and Adalena Wilson Stephanye Smith Heath and Holly Mackley Janice Werner Keith and Jan Werner Morgan Wrightstone Earl Peters James A. and Harriet E. Yoder Kevin and Colette Lindsey Carrilee Zimmerman Hamilton Day Lodge No. 814


MASONIC VILLAGES One Masonic Drive Elizabethtown, PA 17022-2219

Masonic Village at Lafayette Hill Villas at Masonic Village at Dallas

OUR CARING COMMUNITIES and services assist individuals, families and children in realizing their potential and enjoying the highest possible quality of life through the traditions of Freemasonry. Our Values: Quality of Life, Respect for the Individual, Quality Service and Outreach.

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Village Voice - Fall 2019  

Village Voice - Fall 2019  

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