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Blog Feature

By: Marissa Salvesen on December 18th, 2015

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Middlewoods of Newington Resident Honored by Local Masons


Ralph Holmstrom Honored by Local Masons(Newington, CT – December 9, 2015) - Middlewoods of Newington resident, Ralph Holmstrom has been a Mason for 72 years. During these 72 years of service, he was raised to the degree of Master Mason in 1943, served as Worshipful Master of Walnut Hill Lodge 139 (now part of Unity Lodge 148) in 1949, served as District Deputy from 1983-1985, and served as Lodge secretary for 38 years. When health limitations made it difficult from him to attend Lodge, a few brothers from Unity Lodge 148 (New Britain) and Frederick Franklin Lodge 14 (Plainville) decided to bring the lodge to him!

On November 5th, with the help of Middlewoods of Newington Executive Director, Stacy Kesl, brethren from local Masonic lodges set up a lodge room at Middlewoods with all of the items necessary for a meeting. The ceremony for opening Lodge was performed and friends and family admitted shortly thereafter for a special presentation, during which Ralph, “Brother Holmstrom” was presented with a Distinguished Service Award by Worshipful Master, Keath Romano. Masonic brothers who have known Ralph for many years shared stories of remembrance of Brother Holmstrom’s many years in Masonry. Thirty-two brothers from several different lodges were in attendance for the special meeting and ceremony, which was followed by cake, refreshments, and a time of fellowship. “I would like to thank the staff of Middlewoods, particularly Stacy Kesl, for making this special evening possible,” shared Keath Romano, Worshipful Master of Unity Lodge 148.

“We were thrilled to see Ralph honored in this way by his fellow Masons,” said Stacy Kesl. “So much of what we do at Middlewoods each day is focused on helping our residents live full lives, regardless of age or physical limitations. This is just one example of many of how our residents continue to find purpose and meaning. Many thanks to the Masons for showing their support for Ralph.”

Ralph, who will be 102 in February, expressed how surprised he was to see everyone come together at his Middlewoods home. “Having the meeting here was delightful, it was just a wonderful thing. The room was completely filled with Masons and a lot of friends I hadn’t seen in a long time. I couldn’t get over it.“

Middlewoods of Newington is an award-winning independent and assisted living community affiliated with the UConn Health Center and located at 2125 Main Street in Newington. For more information about the community, please visit www.middlewoodsofnewington.org or contact Stacy Kesl at 860.667.1336. The community is owned and operated by United Methodist Homes, a local, mission- based, not-for-profit organization serving all members of the community.

Photo Caption: Middlewoods of Newington resident, Brother Ralph Holmstrom, pictured with his daughters, Kathy Hickey (left) and Jane Holmstrom (right). Not pictured was his daughter, Donna Brown, who was not available to attend the event.

About Marissa Salvesen

My journey into the world of senior living began when I started working for United Methodist Homes in 2010. Starting as an Activities Director at one of our-winning assisted and independent living communities and then transitioning to Marketing and Promotions Manager for UMH, I now work as the Manager of Mission Development, fostering the Mission and Values of our organization. I love sharing stories about the many ways we build meaningful relationships and enrich the lives of those we serve, and am proud to be part of building UMH’s 140-year legacy of caring. Wondering what makes our communities such special places to live and work? Connect with me and find out!

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