Grand Master Robert W. Sanborn 1982-1983

Sanborn GM PhotoRobert W. Sanborn was born in Geneseeville, Michigan on February 10, 1929. His family moved to Clio shortly after his birth. He graduated from Clio High School and started his own retail gasoline business at the age of 19. In 1952 he changed to the wholesale petroleum business and owned the Sanborn Oil Company in Clio.

On April 2, 1950 he married Donna Jeanne Scott. They were blessed with three sons and a daughter.

He was raised as a Master Mason in Vienna Lodge No. 205 on January 30, 1951. He was duly elected as Worshipful Master in 1958. He was an officer for 30 years and was Treasurer. He was the Chairman of the Dedication Ceremonies of Clio’s new Masonic Temple in 1969. He served as President of the King Solomon’s Club in 1961.

In Grand Lodge, he served as Representative to the Board of General Purposes District No. 20, in 1969 and was President of the Board of General Purposes from 1973-1974.

He is a member of Flint Rapids Chapter No.116, R.A.M.; Genesee Valley Commandery No. 15, K.T., Flint; Flint Council No. 56, R. & S.M.; Flint York Rite College No. 5; Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite 32° Valley of Bay City; Elf Khurafeh Temple A.A.O.N.M.S., Saginaw; received the York Rite College Gold Honor Award in May 1972; Order of the Purple Cross York Rite College; Worthy Patron, Vienna Chapter No. 283, 1964-1965; Mallet Club of Michigan; Vehicle City Masonic H-12 No. 673; Honorary Memberships in Salyersville, Kentucky Lodge No. 769; Honorary Memberships in 13 Michigan Lodges; Member of St. Martin Conclave Red Cross of Constantine; Honorary 33° Mason; Served as Commander-in-Chief of the Bay City Consistory 1997-1999.

He was with the Clio Area Fire Department for 25 years, and retired as Fire Chief in 1980. He served the Township of Vienna in various positions for 42 years. He was a member of Bethany United Methodist Church, served as Chairman of the Trustee Board, Chairman of Administrative Board, Superintendent of Sunday School and served as head usher, Boy Scout Troop No. 201, and an Honorary Kentucky Colonel. He retired after 50 years in business in Clio.

He became Most Worshipful Grand Master on May 26, 1982. He also served as Right Worshipful Grand Treasurer from 1983-1989.

Grand Master Ira S. Slaven 2007 – 2008

Ira Slaven Still 2


Ira Sherman Slaven was born in Taylor, Michigan on February 1, 1942, the third child of AY and Ruby Slaven.  Ira was educated in Taylor Schools and graduated from Taylor Center High School in June 1960.

He joined the U.S. Air Force and was stationed at K I Sawyer Air Force Base in Marquette and then at Kincheloe Air Force Base in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan.

After his discharge he attended Henry Ford College, studying for a career in Mortuary Science.  While working as a medical technician for Taylor Ambulance in 1965, he met Gayle Dornton in the Emergency Room of Oakwood Hospital.

They were married on October 5, 1968 and were blessed with five children, Joseph, Judith, Joanna, Jayson and Jessica.  They have six Grandchildren, with number 7 & 8 on the way.

While working for the ambulance company Ira accepted a challenge from a fellow worker and wrote the exam for a position with the Taylor Fire Department as a Firefighter.  Ira was hired shortly thereafter and retired in 1996 as Fire Inspector.

Ira began his Masonic journey while serving with the Air Force in Sault Ste. Marie when he petitioned Bethel Lodge #358.  After his discharge he transferred his membership to Golden Ark Lodge #595 and served as the Secretary for a total of more than 23 years, serving as Worshipful Master in 1977and is currently a Life Member.

Ira’s other Masonic affiliations include a plural membership with Allen Park Key Lodge #580; Valley of Detroit Scottish Rite, where he served as Most Wise Master of Mt. Olivet Chapter of Rose Croix; Detroit Commandery No. 1, K.T.;  Monroe Council #1, R.& S.M.; Monroe Chapter #1, R.A.M.; Moslem Temple Shrine; Nankin Chapter, O.E.S.;  and Al Matta Grotto.

Grand Master Wayne Turton 1990 -1991

Wayne Turton GM Photo

Most Worshipful Grand Master, 1990-1991

Wayne E. Turton was born in Felicity, Ohio on January 1, 1929. The family moved to Centerville, Ohio when Wayne was five years old. He obtained his elementary school education in the Centerville and Miamisburg schools and his high school education at the Centerville High School, graduating in 1947. After high school, Wayne was sponsored by the Frigidaire Division of General Motors Corporation and graduated from General Motors Institute in Flint, Michigan in 1952 with a BBA degree, majoring in accounting. In 1956 General Motors transferred him to its Central Office in Detroit where he was assigned to supervisory and management positions in Data Processing and Data Systems Analysis. Before his retirement in 1985 he was associated with the Information Systems and Communications Activity Section in Facilities Construction and Management.

Wayne married Mary Emma Buriff on September 11, 1948. They have been blessed with three sons and two daughters and nine grandchildren.

Wayne was raised as a Master Mason on September 27, 1954 in Rock Moriah Lodge No. 740 in Centerville, Ohio. He transferred to Farmington Lodge No. 151 in 1961 where he served as Worshipful Master in 1974. He served as High Priest of Union Chapter No. 55 in 1968, Grand High Priest of Royal Arch Masons of Michigan in 1978-79, Deputy General Grand High Priest for the East Central Region of the United States and General Grand Master of the Third Veil, and is now serving as a Trustee of General Grand Chapter Royal Arch Masons Int. He served as Thrice Illustrious Master of Northville Council No. 30 Royal and Select Masons and Commander of Northville Commandery No. 39. In the York Rite College, he served as Grand Governor for the State of Michigan 1979 through 1982, Herald General 1982 through 1985, Governor of Prince Edwin College No. 8 in 1984 and was elected a Regent of the Sovereign College in 1990. He is a member of the Scottish Rite Valley of Detroit and Moslem Temple Shrine. He holds membership in the Aries Grotto; Allied Masonic Degrees; National Sojourners; Order of the Eastern Star; Order of Amaranth; White Shrine of Jerusalem; Societas Rosicruciana in Civitatibus Foederatis; Royal Order of Scotland; the Philalethes Society; Holy Royal Arch Knight Templar Priests; Tall Cedars of Lebanon; and serves the DeMolay Foundation of Michigan as a member of the Board of Directors and Treasurer. Among the honors he has received are the York Rite Sovereign College Order of the Purple Cross; General Grand Chapter R.A.M. International Silver Medal of Distinguished Service; DeMolay Cross of Honor and Honorary Legion of Honor; Rainbow for Girls Grand Cross of Color; and Job’s Daughters Grand Triangle of Honor. He was active in Boy Scouts for 17 years and served as Scout Master, Committee Chairman and Explorer Advisor. He has been a member of Orchard United Methodist Church since 1959 and served as treasurer for over 8 years.

Wayne was installed as Michigan’s Most Worshipful Grand Master at the closing session of the 165th Annual Communication of the Grand Lodge, Free and Accepted Masons of Michigan in Lansing on May 25, 1990. He laid the Cornerstone of the new Masonic Health Care Center in Alma, Michigan on October 13, 1990. He rededicated the entire Michigan Masonic Home in Alma on January 12, 1991 as a part of the 100th anniversary celebration and dedicated Centennial Walk in Alma on April 20, 1991.

Grand Master Richard P. Ruhland 2005-2006

Richard P. Ruhland%0AMost Worshipful Grand Master 2005-2006

Richard Patrick Ruhland was born on September 29, 1950 in Denver, Colorado. He spent his formative years there. During his junior year of high school his family moved to New Jersey. Immediately after graduation from high school the family moved to Michigan. He attended Oakland Community College and majored in Business. He received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration from the University of Phoenix. He married Pat Cusac in Detroit, Michigan in July 1972. They were blessed with a daughter and a son.

Advancing on a career path in the restaurant field he worked his way into various management positions with local restaurant chains. In 1977 he began a career with the General Motors Corporation as a First Line Production Supervisor. After a series of promotions, he moved into his current position as senior Manufacturing Engineer at the Powertrain Manufacturing facility in Ypsilanti, Michigan.

He became interested in Masonry because of his attendance during a 1991 Shrine parade in Phoenix, Arizona. He was impressed with the membership’s interest in children. He was raised as a Master Mason in Wayne Lodge No. 112 in Westland, Michigan on April 25, 1992. He served his Lodge as Worshipful Master in 1999 and became a Pre-Paid member in 2001. He also served as President of the Masonic Masters Association of South East Michigan in 1999. In search of further light in Masonry, he joined Wayne Chapter No. 182 Royal Arch Masons, Northville Council No. 30 Royal & Select Masons, Northville Commandery No. 39 Knights Templar, Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite Valley of Detroit, Moslem Shrine A.A.O.N.M.S., Nankin Chapter No. 238 Order of the Eastern Star, York Rite Sovereign College of North America, Prince Edwin No. 8, Crusader Council of Allied Masonic Degrees No. 142 and is a plural member of Britannia Lodge No. 601. He has the extreme honor of being an honorary member of Lake City Lodge No. 408, Waybon No. 305, Saline Lodge No. 133, Garden City-Builders Lodge No. 587, Buchanan No. 68, and Union of Strict Observance No. 3 and High Twelve International Mid-Michigan Club No. 602.  With extreme pride he received the DeMolay Honorary Legion of Honor and was commissioned with the Title of Knight Commander of the Temple from the Grand Encampment of Knights Templar of the United States and the Rainbow Grand Cross of Color.  He was duly elected and installed as the Most Worshipful Grand Master of Masons in Michigan on May 26, 2005.

Grand Master Ruhland is a planner, organizer, and in some respects a futurist and takes great pride in bringing ideas and projects into fruition.  He feels his Masonic affiliation has given him the opportunity to utilize his skills in these areas to further benefit this fraternity.  He is humbled by the outpouring of support from all the men and women of this great Masonic family.

During his term of office he rededicated the Masonic Health Care Center in Alma on July 20, 2005.  It is now called the Jack F. Sanders Health Care Center. He also developed the new Masonic Festival at the Michigan Masonic Home in Alma.   He introduced the MI CHIP, Michigan Child Identification Program and the Pocket Petition. Also, a decision was made by the Grand Lodge Board of Directors to move the Grand Lodge office from Grand Rapids to Alma.  It was dedicated on January 28, 2006. Throughout his term, he spearheaded the following initiatives: 1) he worked with Grand Lodge Officers and others to merge the Michigan Masonic Home Charitable Foundation  with the Masonic Foundation of Michigan, Inc.; 2) he organized and led a drive to seek property tax relief for Michigan Masonic Lodges; 3) he helped raise $10,000 in sponsorships for the 2006 Grand Lodge Golf Outing; and 4) during his watch, he helped to recruit fifty-one new members of the Lewis Cass Society. The members of this Society pledge assets in their estate plans to the Masonic Foundations.

His term of office ended in the closing hours of the 180th Annual Communication in Grand Rapids, Michigan on May 24, 2006.

Master Mason Chuck Zilch, PM, Edmore Lodge No. 360

Chucks Card 2The Legacy Series: Oral Histories with Masons of Michigan. In this segment, Keith Bankwitz, Dir. of Philanthropy for the Michigan Masonic Charitable Foundation, interviews Chuck Zilch, Past Master of Edmore Lodge No. 360.  The interview was conducted at Pathways the Masonic Retirement Community in Alma, MI.  The date was June 5, 2013.




Grand Master Robert P. Conley, PGM 2000 – 2001

Most Worshipful Grand Master, 2000-2001

Robert P. ConleyRobert P. Conley was born on March 21, 1959 in Harbert, Michigan. He completed his education in the River Valley School System and settled into life as an apprentice Engraver working in the company his father founded in 1961. He took over the ownership of Robert Conley Engravers in 1991. He has been active in his community. He has served as the representative to the Economic Development Council, Republican Precinct Delegate, and was Treasurer of his local Chamber of Commerce. He also served several terms as President in the Sawyer Lions Club, and was an active member in Toastmasters, and the Jaycees Club.

 He was raised as a Master Mason in Three Oaks Lodge No. 239 on May 10, 1982. He served his lodge with distinction in 1987 as Worshipful Master. He was honored by being elected Mason of the Year in his Lodge in 1986. He was elected by the Brothers in his district to the office of District Deputy Instructor of District 10B.

He is a member of Royal Arch Chapter No. 2 in Niles, Niles Council No. 19 Royal and Select Masons, Niles Commandery No. 12 Knights Templar. He is a 32nd Degree Scottish Rite Mason, in the Valley of Grand Rapids, a Noble of the Mystic Shrine in Saladin Temple, and a member of Three Oaks Chapter Order of the Eastern Star.

In 1992 he ran and was elected to the Board of General Purposes. Grand Master W. Don Baugher appointed him to the office of Right Worshipful Grand Lecturer. In 1994 he was elected to the Grand Lodge line as the Worshipful Junior Grand Deacon. He has been very active in the Masonic Renewal program both within the state of Michigan on the national level. He serves on the Masonic renewal Committee of North America.

He was installed as the Most Worshipful Grand Master of Masons in Michigan on June 1, 2000.

During his term of office he developed the Beacon Project.  This is a program that utilizes Masonic Volunteers in elementary schools.  Its goal is to help children learn to read.  He also dedicated the Picnic Pavilion at the Michigan Masonic Home in August 2000.

Here are some images of MWB Conley during his tenure as The Grand Master of Michigan Masons.

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Here is the oral history of MWB Robert P. Conley.  We recorded this interview at Pathways in Alma, MI on June 4, 2013.




Grand Master Robert W. Stevens, PGM 1997 – 1998


StevensRobert W. Stevens was born on March 21, 1943 in Saginaw, Michigan. He graduated from Arthur Hill High School in Saginaw and began employment with the General Motors Corporation as a Journeyman Patternmaker. He retired in December 1994 after thirty-three years with the Corporation. At that time, he became the Assistant to the Secretary of the Scottish Rite Bodies in the Valley of Bay City, and on July 1, 1996 assumed the office of Executive Secretary. He married Trudy Korniski on September 28, 1963. They were blessed with a son and a daughter.

He became a member of George Washington Chapter, Order of DeMolay in 1958. He was honored in 1996 by the Order of DeMolay when he received the Legion of Honor and served as Secretary-Treasurer of Saginaw Valley Preceptory, which is sponsored by the Valley of Bay City.

He was raised as a Master Mason on September 24, 1964 in Salina Lodge No. 155, F. & A.M. of Saginaw. He served the Lodge as Worshipful Master in 1971 and later served as its Treasurer for several years. He also served the Grand Lodge as District Deputy Instructor for District 22A. He was appointed by Grand Master William Skrepnek as Worshipful Grand Marshal of the Grand Lodge in January of 1992. He has served faithfully through the line of the Grand Lodge until he was installed as Most Worshipful Grand Master on May 30, 1997. He has honorary memberships in Saginaw Lodge No. 77, Pioneer Lodge No. 79, Metamora-Hadley Lodge No. 210, Centre Lodge No. 273, Tawas Lodge No. 274, St. Charles Lodge No. 313, Lake City Lodge No. 408 and Merrill Lodge No. 411.

He is a member of Martha Washington Chapter No. 113, O.E.S.; Saginaw Valley Chapter No. 31, R.A.M.; George Hill Council No. 85, R. & S.M.; St. Bernard Commandery No. 16, K.T.; Northern Michigan York Rite College No. 16; Pythagoras Council No. 66, A.M.D.; Elf Khurafeh Shrine Temple, A.A.O.N.M.S.; Saginaw Court No. 74, R.O.J.; and St. Martin Conclave, Red Cross of Constantine.

He has been very active in the Scottish Rite since he received the degrees in the Valley of Bay City in February 1967. He served as Sovereign Prince of the Bay City Council of Princes of Jerusalem in 1994-96. For his many services to the Craft, he was created a Sovereign Grand Inspector General, 33°, Honorary Member of the Supreme Council on September 24, 1991 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Grand Master Mike J. Jungle Past Master 2008 – 2009

Mike Jungel PGM Portrait

Most Worshipful Brother Michael J. Jungel was elected Grand Master of Masons in Michigan at the 182nd Annual Communication held at the Detroit Masonic Temple in the City of Detroit on May 31, 2008.

Mike was born July 3, 1946 in Paw Paw, Michigan the eldest son of Warren Michael and MaryLou Jungel. He spent 38 years in law enforcement retiring as Deputy Chief of Police for the City of Portage.

Upon retirement from Portage he was hired to develop a police agency and assist in development of the criminal justice system for the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians, where he retired in 2007.

He was a Michigan State Police Basic Academy graduate as well as a graduate of the FBI National Academy. He also attended Kalamazoo Valley Community College and Western Michigan University.

Most Worshipful Brother Mike joined Brady Lodge #208 (now Portage-Brady #340) in 1985 and served two years as Worshipful Master. He also served several years on the Vicksburg Masonic Temple Association.

He is a member of Michigan Lodge #1 of Research Kalamazoo Area Masonic Retirees and an Honorary Member of St Albans Lodge #20, Buchanan Lodge #68 and Montrose Lodge #428. Most Worshipful Brother Mike is a member of Loyalty Chapter #497 Order of the Eastern Star. In the York Rite, he is a Past High Priest of Kalamazoo Chapter #13, Royal Arch Masons, Past Thrice Illustrious Master of Kalamazoo Council #63, Past Commander Peninsular Commandery #8, and Past Governor of Western Michigan York Rite College #10. He served, as Grand Prelate for Grand Commandery in 2002-2003.

He is a holder of the Grand Knight York Cross of Honor and the Order of the Purple Cross. He is also a Past Sovereign Master Marcellus Council Allied Masonic Degrees, member of the Holy Royal Arch Knight Templar Priests and St Vincent’s Conclave, Red Cross of Constantine.

Most Worshipful Brother Mike was elected and served as Grand Master of the Grand Council Royal and Select Masons in 1994.He is a member of the Valley of Grand Rapids Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite and served as Most Wise Master of Robinson Chapter of Rose Croix in 1998- 2000.

He served on the Children’s Learning Center Board of Governors as a member and one term as chairman. He also served on the Board of Trustees a number of years including one term as vice –president and one term as president. He was coroneted a 33rd Degree Mason in Indianapolis Indiana in 2001.
He is also a member of Saladin Shrine AANOMS and the Kalamazoo Shrine Club.

Most Worshipful Brother Mike and Rosemary are members of Westminster Presbyterian Church in Portage where he serves as an usher and lay reader.

Most Worshipful Brother Mike married the former Rosemary Brown in 1966. They have three children Elizabeth, Michael Jr., and Heidi. They also have seven grand children Thena, Clara, Crystal and Ashley daughters of Elizabeth and her husband Robert Johnson and Melissa, Ashley and Tiffany daughters of Michael and his wife Ann.

Master Mason Charles F. Fick’s Oral History

We interviewed Charlie Fick at the Super 8 Motel in Grayling, Michigan on July 28, 2011. The Super 8 Motel is part of “Charlie’s Country Corner,” in Grayling and includes a Marathon Gas Station, an Arby’s Restaurant, CAT Certified Scales and serves as Charlie’s Corporate Headquarters.

Conducting the interview is Keith Bankwitz, Director of Philanthropy for the Michigan Masonic Charitable Foundation.

We enjoyed spending time with Charlie and getting to know him and his community. Charlie is a committed to Mason. He gave us a card that he passes out to people that he helps and Charlie helps a lot of people. or when he sees someone who might be a mason he will present this card to them as well. Over the years he has printed and given out over 31,000 of these cards.

David Bedwell, President of the Foundation introduced us to Charlie. Thank you for that David.

Here’s is the interview with Charlie Fick. Hope you enjoy hearing Charlie Fick’s Oral History

<p><a href=”″>Charlie Fick Oral History</a> from <a href=””>Film Farm</a> on <a href=””>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>


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