Steve Burgess, member of the North Carolina Masonic and Eastern Star Foundation LLC board of managers since its inception in 2011, and chairman from 2015 through 2019, will step down at year’s end for medical reasons. But his board colleagues and friends plan to make sure he and his work will always be remembered.

Current and former LLC managers and two brethren who heard that a fundraising effort was afoot chipped in $2,500, which will go toward a bench that will be placed on the campus of WhiteStone: A Masonic and Eastern Star Community.

The gift was announced at the WhiteStone board’s November meeting. Brother Burgess was in attendance, and thanks his brothers, sisters and friends for their friendship. Burgess will step down as of Dec. 31.

The WhiteStone board’s resolution honoring Burgess said he has “exemplified a U.S. Marine’s bulldog-esque determination in building an organization that delivered compassionate relief with businesslike efficiency, and ensuring that in the LLC’s operations, every detail was accounted for, every I was dotted, every T was crossed, and every dollar was wisely spent.”

The resolution went on to say that he “embodies the Masonic Closing Charge, being diligent, prudent, temperate and discrete, seeking to befriend and relieve every brother, and believing that every human being has a claim upon his kind offices.”

In his resignation letter, Burgess wrote that as he faces medical challenges,

“my supreme dictator and love of my life, Doris Regina Burgess, has ordered me home. My wife, family, and dog want me to stay home for a while. I have been neglecting them for quite some time with all my fraternal activities.”

He said it has “been fun, rewarding, and a pleasure to serve; but the time has come to retire to the rocking chair and dream of days gone by, or the ‘Golden Years,’ or whatever they call old age nowadays. … Words cannot express to you the satisfaction and pleasure I received from my opportunity to serve with the talented and dedicated individuals at WhiteStone, NC Masonic Foundation, and the MESH Foundation LLC.”

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