Warren G. Harding Lodge #260

In Memory

Right Worshipful Brother "Jerry" Lingle

Remembering RWB Jerry Lingle

by Glenn A. Samples, P.M.

I would like to share with you how Jerry Lingle and I met. Well it was on the day of my conferral on May 1st, 2004, and there were about 27 men going through their degrees to become a Master Mason. We had all been assigned to groups of three and to what lodge room we were going to be conferred in. Worshipful Brother Jerry came in and must have felt that we did not have any organization to where and what we were supposed to be going and doing. So he did the natural Police Officer thing he started traffic control. I did not know that Brother Jerry was a Police Officer and I was a little taken back by this. Well I was not very Masonic at the time by letting my passions start to take over my feelings about this guy and how he was messing things up but also being new I was not going to say anything.

It was about a month or two later I happened to meet WB Jerry again. He had come to visit my Lodge in Poulsbo. It was at this time I felt more comfortable with being a Mason and chose to introduce myself to him and give him a bad time about messing up our arrangements at the conferral. During this conversation is when we both learned that we were public servants. That was the start of our friendly rivalry of Fire and Police or as RW Brother Jerry would say Police and Fire. He gave me a bad time because I out ranked him by being a Captain and he was only a Sergeant, and he got away with telling me what to do.

A year later I had organized a Masonic Family outing to a Rainiers Baseball game at Cheney Stadium. We had a BBQ before the game and then went to watch the game. Well WB Jerry bought tickets for him and his family. Well because of the distance between us I was not able to get him his tickets before the day of the game. So I had to wait outside the gate for him. In doing this I missed dinner because he chose to go the long way around. When he showed up I asked him if he would have made it on time if we had been serving coffee and donuts instead of the BBQ. He laughed and said that was right. I was able to get back at him later that night for causing me to miss dinner. As the seventh inning came around the Rainiers Staff was looking for volunteer. This person would lead the stadium full of fans with the singing of “Take Me Out to the Ball Game”. Well guess who I nominated? That’s right WB Jerry. When he got up there to sing his head could have been mistaken for Rudolph’s nose at Christmas time. He was so red for two reasons. First was because he really could not sing very well and second he did not know the words to the song, but being the good hearted and fun person that he was he lead the stadium in singing the song. I never let him live that down.

RWB Jerry and I had a special friendship because we were both civil servants and we are both Masons. We never were able to spend really anytime together other than at Masonic functions because our schedules always conflicted. But whenever we were together it was like we had been friends and rivals of service our whole careers. We never missed a beat.

I was always able to call him and ask for counsel when I needed it. Especially during this past year, I have been going through some very difficult personal problems in my family. Jerry was really the only brother mason that I knew that could comprehend the challenges I faced both in the career and serving as Master and how it affected my family life. His counsel was very meaningful and helpful for me. This is how much respect and trust RWB Jerry had for our relationship; after he had been elected to the Grand Line I joked to him that I never see him riding his motorcycle anymore. I said, “I will just have to come down and drive it just so that it does not cease up.” He turned to me with a very stern look and said, “My Brother anytime you want to, you can come down and ride my bike. No questions asked and you can even wear my helmet.” My reply to him was, “Well that is one thing that I can share with you because our heads are about the same size.” Really it just meant so much to me that he would make such an offer. But that was Jerry always being there to help a friend.

Jerry you will be missed but never forgotten. You are forever in my heart and I will do my best to live and share the way you did.