Right Worshipful REID JAMES
Past Grand Lecturer of the Grand Lodge of Virginia
As Grand Lecturer, Reid James Simmons
brought to the Office of Grand Lecturer all of
the dedication, scholarship, and tact which this most important
Office requires. He held countless Schools of Instruction
across the face of our Commonwealth, and, as the custodian of
our ritual, insured its purity, the accuracy of our
knowledge of it, and dedicated himself to improving the
ritualistic ability of every Master Mason and officer in our
Grand Lodge. Whenever there was any difficulty of a ritualistic
nature, every individual, from the Grand Master to the youngest
Entered Apprentice instinctively turned to this wonderful Mason
to obtain his opinion.
His wise counsel was not limited to ritualistic matters but dealt
also with many of the other issues which face Grand Masters and
others who would lead this Fraternity. On many occasions, counsel
was taken and led our Masonic leaders to a proper decision
in difficult circumstances. Most of those who are present here
today knew Reid James Simmons, understood his character, his
ability, and knew that when it was said he is, "Mr. Mason," that
we meant he epitomized every characteristic which this Fraternity
desires to bring forth and to strengthen in its membership. He
served the Craft well in every office which he held and
was a truly outstanding representative of all for which we
The Life of Right
Worshipful Reid James Simmons
Reid James Simmons (1923 - 1993) was
born November 21, 1923 in Mt. Airy, North Carolina. He attended
public schools in Surry County and graduated from Franklin High
1941. In March 1942, he volunteered for service in the
United States Marine Corps. He
was ultimately assigned to the 25th Marine
Regiment, a part of the 4th Marine Division.
He saw action with this Division across the South Pacific, including
Roi-Namur in the Marshall Islands, Saipan, and the
Marianas. He received the Purple Heart three times for
injuries sustained in combat
and was severely wounded on Tinian Island in the
Marianas. He was discharged in 1946. Reid was proud of his
Marine Corps association and
proudly wore the lapel pin of the Order of the Purple Heart.
discharge from the Marine Corps, Brother Reid attended the
School of Printing at Nashville, Tennessee and worked in several
printing offices before
finally obtaining employment at the U. S. Government Printing
Office in Washington,
D. C., from which he retired in 1980.
Brother Simmons received his degrees in Elmer Timberman Lodge
No. 54, with the Master Mason's Degree being conferred on June 5,
1959. He was an honorary member
and served as its Worshipful Master in 1969, as Secretary
of that Lodge from 1971 to
1974, and as a Trustee from 1975 to 1993.
He was an
honorary member of Springfield
Lodge No. 217 and Sterling Lodge No. 268. He was also a member
of A. Douglas
Smith, Jr., Lodge of Research No. 1949 and the Tennessee
Lodge of Research.
activities include membership in Annandale Royal Arch Chapter
77; Faith Chapter No. 177, Order of the Eastern Star; and
Alexandria Scottish Rite Bodies, 33°, I.G.H.
Always interested in the ritual, Brother Simmons was appointed
District Instructor of Work
for Masonic District 1-B in 1969, and to the Committee on Work in 1970.
He served as District Deputy Grand Master for Masonic District 1-B in 1973. Reid was appointed
Grand Lecturer of the Grand Lodge of Virginia, succeeding Right
Worshipful Charles Armistead Sinclair, Jr., on February 14,
A highly respected
and devoted Mason, Right Worshipful Brother Simmons was awarded
the John Blair, Jr., Medal in 1982, and the George Washington
Distinguished Service Medal in 1990.
Right Worshipful Brother Reid passed to
the Celestial Lodge Above on September
9, 1993 after a long bout
with cancer. An Evening Memorial Service was conducted by
Elmer Timberman Lodge No. 54 on September 12, 1993, with most of
the Grand Lodge Officers and Past Grand Masters present.
Religious services were held on September 13,
1993, at Everley-Wheatly
Funeral Home in Alexandria, Virginia, with interment
immediately following at Arlington National Cemetery with full military
honors being rendered by the United States Marine Corps Honor
Guard and Band.