M.W. Charles W. Yohe – 1996 & 2015
Charles William Yohe
Charles William Yohe was born in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania on April 14, 1948 to Charles William Yohe Senior and Anna Etta Wickard. He is the second of five children, although his older sister died prior to his birth. Two younger sisters and a younger brother, Linda, Laura, and Edgar live in Pennsylvania and Florida respectively. He was educated in the public schools in and around Mechanicsburg. In 1966, he graduated in the top ten percent of a class of 300 from Cumberland Valley High School. Throughout his school career, Charlie exhibited a strong interest in science. His ‘tinkering’ won him several awards in the science fairs that were particularly popular in the 1960s.
Charlie was also active in several choral groups where he sang tenor, as well as the award winning Cumberland Valley High School concert band, and orchestra, where he played the bass clarinet. During his school years, Charlie was an active participant in the New Kingstown United Methodist Church, playing clarinet in the Sunday School orchestra and singing in the church choir.
From 1966 to 1970, he was enrolled as a Liberal Arts student at Messiah College in Grantham, Pennsylvania where he pursued a double major in Biology and Secondary Education. While attending college, he was active in the college dance band. His love for photography gained him the position of staff photographer for the college newspaper for four years and year book photographer for 2 years.
During his senior year, a college radio station was formed and Charlie and two close college classmates hosted an early Friday morning radio show. The show was so successful that Charlie expanded his disc jockey activities to include a six hour Friday night top 40s and easy listening show and a Saturday evening 6 hour show as well. He later included airing away basketball games during the winter months. Even after his graduation, Charlie continued to DJ, hosting shows on Friday and Saturday evening.
From 1965 until 1972, Charlie was an active member of the New Kingstown Volunteer Fire Department in New Kingstown, PA. In 1972, he joined the Sharon Fire Department, Sharon, Connecticut. He served both departments as secretary for a number of years,
During his senior year, Charlie was a student teacher at Mechanicsburg High School. He graduated in May of 1970 with a Bachelor of Arts degree and was hired by his old alma mater, Cumberland Valley High School, to teach Biology and Senior Science. While there, he was the advisor of the ski club and coach of the downhill ski racing team.
In 1971, Charlie moved to Sharon, Connecticut and was hired to teach Biology and Earth Science at Housatonic Valley Regional High School in Falls Village, Connecticut. He was Sophomore class advisor and advisor to the ‘Outing Club’ which involved students in backpacking, hiking and white water canoeing. During his tenure at HVRHS. Charlie rented the carriage house on the R.R. Colgate estate in Sharon. After the death of his father in 1972, Charlie developed a close friendship with his landlord and landlady Mark B. and Gala Cohn. Mark was an active member of Hamilton Lodge No. 54 in Sharon, a fact which excited Charlie’s curiosity and resulted in his requesting a petition to join the Fraternity. Accordingly, he was elected to membership on September 21, 1973, Initiated on October 19, 1973, Passed on November 6, 1973, and Raised to the Sublime Degree of a Master Mason on March 1, 1974.
Charlie started in the line by assuming the office of Junior Deacon. He moved through Senior Deacon, Junior Warden, and Senior Warden. In 1979, Charlie served his first term as Worshipful Master, an office which he would hold some eight times. His love of the ritual prompted him to learn the Middle Chamber Lecture, which he adapted to his own 35 mm slides and the ‘Dew Drop Lecture’. He has given both of these lectures scores of times throughout the District and the State.
In 1981 and again in 1982, he was appointed Right Worshipful District Deputy of Masonic District 2A by M. W. John C. Sturges and M. W. Christopher T. Wyld respectively. After serving as District Deputy, he again served Hamilton Lodge as its Master. He requested a dual affiliation with Blazing Star Lodge and was admitted to dual membership on February 11, 1983. He served Blazing Star Lodge as its Secretary, Junior Deacon, Senior Deacon, Junior Warden, Senior Warden, Worshipful Master, and Chaplain on numerous occasions. He is now a member of Annawon Lodge No.115 in West Haven. Since joining the Masonic Fraternity, Brother Yohe has held office in a Masonic Lodge every year except one. He has served on the Grand Lodge Masonic Culture & Public Relations Committee, the Membership & Retention Committee, and the Budget & Appropriations Committee. He has served on the Board of Trustees for Masonicare, Incorporated and was a member of its Finance Committee.
Charlie is also a member of Ousatonic Chapter No. 33, Royal Arch Masons, Buel Council No. 20, Royal and Select Masters, which he served as Thrice Illustrious Master and Recorder, and Crusader Commandery No. 10, Knights Templar. He is also a member of the Connecticut York Rite College No. 17. He was honored by the Most Puissant Grand Council, Royal and Select Masters by being awarded the Philip J. Jones Distinguished Service Award on June 3, 1988.
On August 21, 1976, Charlie married Barbara Louise Schulze of Danbury, Connecticut. Barbara came from a Masonic family and was a former Rainbow girl and a member of Stellar Chapter No. 55, Order of the Eastern Star. The couple settled down in Cornwall Bridge, Connecticut. During the next several years, Charlie worked on a dairy farm in Eastern New York state. He continued his activities in the Lodge and became active in Rose Chapter, OES, Sharon, Connecticut as well, where he served as Warden, Sentinel, and Associate Patron. In 1982, the couple purchased their first home in West Cornwall, Connecticut. In 1988, they purchased a 5-acre lot and built their current home at 145 Cornwall Hollow Road, West Cornwall, Connecticut where they reside with their two dogs, Red and Happy. Although they have no children of their own, they have hosted three foreign exchange students: Erik from Sweden, Juan from Spain, and Guto from Brazil. Charlie’s interests outside of Masonry include flying, photography, computers, fishing, hunting, backpacking, woodworking, and skiing.
Charlie has served the town of Cornwall as an alternate member of the Planning and Zoning Commission. He also served several terms on the Cornwall Republican Town Committee, including a term as its chairman. His involvement while on the committee included planning and coordinating the implementation of the Northwest Connecticut Bicycle Road Race for several years.
Charlie volunteers his time and talents in support of public schools by participating in annual Read Aloud days, helping out with the annual school holiday productions, playing Santa Claus, assisting with graduation, and helping Barbara with her annual 8th-grade lasagna dinner fundraiser.
Charlie obtained employment with the Southern New England Telephone Company. He worked his way up through the Operator Services ranks performing jobs in New Milford, Torrington, New Britain, New Haven, and North Haven, where he currently is employed as a Staff Specialist in the Wireline Communications Group where he has retail marketing support responsibilities.
On the recommendation of M.W. Brother Norman L. Getchell, Charlie was appointed to the office of Grand Junior Steward in 1988 by M.W. Brother John Gonsalves. He progressed through the Grand Lodge line and in 1996 was installed as our 150th Most Worshipful Grand Master of Masons in Connecticut.
For outstanding service to God, his country and his Brethren, and for his dedication to his community in so many ways, the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge A.F. & A.M. of Connecticut is honored to present to M.W. Brother Charles Yohe:
THE PIERPONT EDWARDS MEDAL IN BRONZE
FOR DISTINGUISHED MASONIC SERVICE