In Memoriam: David Lettelier
WOR. Bro. David Lettelier was a life-long Mason. Born March 21st, 1959, his was a life spent in service to the expansion of the Craft he loved so dearly. A Past Master of Northside Lodge No. 283, in St. Petersburg, Florida and member of numerous appendant bodies, Bro. David lived and breathed for Freemasonry.
Bro. Lettelier recognized the importance of the Internet to the future of Freemasonry. In April of 1999, a time when the use of computers and the Web was still in its infancy, Bro. David started the Phoenix Masonry Online Museum and Library.
Phoenix Masonry would grow from a small personal website to one of the largest and most complete repositories of Masonic Light on the Internet and blazed the way for other Masonic websites to follow.
At its height, it earned 60,000 visits per day and was the largest and most-visited Masonic website on the Internet. Phoenix Masonry’s catalog of essays, architectures, books, and ancient documents has served the Masonic academics of the 21st Century in their quest to understand our Craft and will stand as a monument to the collective knowledge of Freemasonry. [Image: Bro. David as Museum Curator – 1997]
Its digital museum, containing over 3,500 objects, can still be viewed today and will stand as an enduring record of the physical products of those that have loved the Craft throughout the ages. The welcome page reads…
It is here at our website, the cornerstone of Phoenixmasonry, that we fulfill our obligations to the service of humankind through education and enlightenment. The mission of Phoenixmasonry is dedicated to facilitating a spiritual rebirth and resurrection in the philosophy of Freemasonry: “To take good men and women and make them better!”
Bro. David was himself a Masonic writer of great symbolic understanding. His now-famous lecture on the symbolism of George Washington’s Masonic Apron remains on Phoenix Masonry and has been recorded for posterity on YouTube. In it, he demonstrates the fruits of a lifetime of Masonic, symbolic, and esoteric research and study.
A long-time ally of the efforts of Co-Masonry in particular and esoteric Freemasonry in general, Bro. David believed Freemasonry to be much more than an “old boys” club for fraternalizing and conducting business. Instead, to him, Freemasonry’s work was the…
…glorious purpose of spreading the cement of brotherly love and affection; that cement which unites us into one sacred band, or society of friends and brothers, among whom no contention should ever exist.
Wor. Bro. David Lettelier was an ordinary man of extraordinary accomplishments. His museum, to him, was much more than a mere collection of objects but the physical evidence of the transcendent ideals of Freemasonry spreading throughout society.
There are pleasures in the act of accumulation: the thrill of the hunt, the joy of the find. But true collecting is more. It’s listening for the hum of history in things, finding connections among art and objects of different times and cultures, and gathering images so that, as in poetry, they reveal new meaning.
David James Lettelier
March 21, 1959 – April 19, 2021
But more than his stunning collection, more than his monumental website, Bro. David Lettelier leaves behind friends and Brothers who count themselves lucky to have known him. His warmth of character, generosity and palpable devotion to the sacred cause of Freemasonry will forever be remembered in the safe and sacred repositories of those that had the good fortune to have met him on the Level.
As he passes from the transient, material realm, to the Temple Not Made With Hands, he will surely be gratefully received and properly applied in the Eternal Work of his beloved Craft.
Well done, good and faithful servant. Thou has been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things and enter thou into the joys of thy Lord.– The Gospel of St. Matthew: Chapter 25, Verse 23
In accord with Bro. David’s request, the PhoenixMasonry Museum has been relocated to Colorado, ensuring the preservation of his diligent service and masonic legacy. Now a permanent exhibit at UCM’s Headquarter Campus in Larkspur, David’s work, and masonic legacy will be preserved for future generations.
UCM’s Masonic Library and Museum are free and open to the general public year-round. For more information about the Library, directions, or to schedule a tour, please contact Library Staff via email or phone as listed below.