Thursday, October 13, 2011

In Memoriam

Today's post is a sad one. It is with a heavy heart that I announce the passing of the most senior Past State Master Councilor( whom we could still confirm as alive prior to his passing.) "Dad" and Bro. Robert D. Griewahn, of Erie Chapter, served as the last State Master Councilor prior to World War II. He took the oath of office of State Master Councilor and admirably served from 1941 to 1942. Due to the war, another State Master Councilor would not be elected until 1951. "Dad" Griewahn would go on to earn his Juris Doctorate after a stint in the armed services during the war. He was known to  regularly participate with the Chevalier Court and Legion of Honor Preceptory up to his passing. From his public obituary:
Robert David Griewahn, Sr. passed away suddenly on October 1, 2011. Bob was born in Erie on July 31, 1922 to William and Loretta Engel Griewahn. He attended the University of Pittsburgh College of Arts and Sciences, and School of Law. He was a member of the Omicron Delta Kappa society, the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity, and president of the Pitt chapter of Phi Delta Phi law fraternity. Prior to law school, Bob served in World War II as lead bombardier, 15th Air Force, European Theater, 454th Bombardment Group. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, and the Air Medal. Returning to Erie, Bob opened the firm of Robert D Griewahn & Associates on State Street, in the 1950s. He still was operating his company at the time of his death. Bob was a leader in the insurance industry as a member of the Million Dollar Roundtable, and past president of the Northwestern Chapter of the American Society of Chartered Life Underwriters. He was past president of the Estate Planning Council of Erie, and was a member of the Erie Torch Club. Bob's leadership in the community will be missed. Among his roles were: president of the Erie County Heart Association, state president of DeMolay, Hamot Hospital Corporator, Erie Day School board director, Shipley School board trustee, and director of the Washington Trail Council of Boy Scouts of America. He was a member of The Erie Club and The Kahkwa Club. Active in the First Presbyterian Church of the Covenant, Bob was an elder, deacon, and board trustee. He also was a board trustee of the Chautauqua Presbyterian Association. Bob had a love of learning, giving back to the community, traveling, and being with his family. He instilled in his children a love of sailing on Chautauqua Lake, and was a member of the Chautauqua Yacht Club. An avid supporter of the performing arts, he served as board director of both the Erie Philharmonic and the Erie Playhouse. Bob's optimism, creativity, warmth, humor, and love will be greatly missed by his family and friends. He is survived by his wife, Nancy Griewahn; daughter Pamela, daughter, Shelley Griewahn (Patrick Okita); son, Robert Griewahn, Jr. (Laura Smith), daughter, Leslie Gurney (Ronald); granddaughter, Jessamine Griewahn-Okita; and sister, Beverly Deininger (James) and her family. He was preceded in death by his sister, Dr. Janice Beebe. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Shriners Hospital for Children, 1645 West 8th Street, Erie, PA 16505 and SafeNet Erie, 1702 French St., Erie, PA 16501, ( Calling hours will not be observed. Burial was private in Laurel Hill Cemetery with full military honors. Arrangements entrusted to Burton Funeral Home and Crematory, Inc., 602 West 10th St. Online condolences may be made or at

As of today, Pennsylvania DeMolay can confirm that "Dad" and Bro. Rodney L. Caulkins, of Williamsport Chapter, is the most senior living Past State Master Councilor. While we do not have final obituary information on John E. Groome (SMC '29-30), Robert W. Sarvis (SMC '36-'37) and Charles M. Jones (SMC '39-40) we believe them to have all passed from our presence, leaving the title to Bro. Caulkins. Based upon this information, 24 of the 75 Past State Master Councilor's of Pennsylvania DeMolay have passed or are assumed to have died. We ask that you keep them in your prayers as they continue to support Pennsylvania DeMolay in spirit.

Frat! ~ "Dad" Anthony

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