Grand Master

A tremendous loss for our masonry occurs when an companion releases his mortal coil and enters that house not made with hands. It is with great sadness that we issue the following report.
Grand Master James Darwin Baccus
Title: Grand Master
Year: 1993 - 1994
Home Council: Park Place No. 373
Birth Date: July 24, 1926
Death Date: June 1, 2008
Obituary:

J. D. BUDDY BACCUS, Born in Teague Texas on July 24, 1926, left this worldly realm to serve the Grand Architect of the Universe on June 1, 2008, from Houston, TX after a short illness with Cancer. "Buddy" as he is best known as, served in the US Navy during WW II, where he saw action in several battles, earning five battle stars while serving on the USS Nashville. He was involved in the liberation of the Philippine Islands. Upon returning to Texas he went to work at the Port Terminal Rail Road, where he later retired after 42 years of service. Grand Master Baccus was very active in the Masonic Fraternity and with most of its appendant bodies in Texas. Because of his stature in the Houston area, he was thought of as Mr. Mason in the Houston area. He was considered in the Masonic Order, a "Four Star General" which means that he served as Grand Commander of the Grand Commandery Knights Templar of Texas in 1977-78, Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Texas in 1983, Grand High Priest of the Grand Royal Arch Chapter of Texas in 1990, and Grand Master of the Grand Council of Royal and Select Masters of Texas in 1993. Buddy was Coroneted a 33rd Degree Scottish Rite Mason in 1975 in the Houston Scottish Rite Bodies. He later became the Personal Representative of the Sovereign Grand Inspector General for the Houston Bodies in 1988 and held this important position until 2006 when he had to depart because of the age requirement. He held this post longer than any other person. He also served as Potentate of Arabia Shrine Temple in 1988, and was serving as its Recorder at the time of his death. Buddy's Masonic Record also includes memberships in many of the following organizations: Grotto, HRAKTP, Red Cross of Constantine, Royal Order of Jesters, Royal Order of Scotland, Knight York Cross of Honor, and others. He has been honored by receiving: the Honorary Legion of Honor and the Cross of Honor from the International Order of DeMolay, The Grand Cross of Colors from the Order of the Rainbow for Girls, The Order of the Purple Cross from the Grand York Rite College. Buddy was one of the most respected and admired Masons in Texas. He worked diligently in the fraternity and was well liked by those he came into contact with. His ability to do degree work in the many facets of Masonry put him head and shoulders above most. He continued his degree work and in 2007, obtained his fifty-year Life Certificate of Proficiency from the Grand Lodge of Texas. Not many ever get to achieve this status. Buddy is survived by his most special person to his heart, his American Express Card, and wife of thirty-years, Bettye Z. Baccus, son, Michael James Baccus, three daughters: Pandora Blankenship and husband, Gary, Sherrie Siegworth, and Lorna Rodriguez; brother, Billie Ray Baccus and sister Dorothy Marie Ragan, Grand Children: Michael Shawn Baccus, Matthew Baccus, Natalie Brooks, Hayley Baccus, Evan Siegworth, Lori Corona, Nicole Rodriguez, Noah Rodriguez, Christopher Blankenship, Catherine Blankenship; Great Grand Children: Ashley and Jordan Corona, Taylor and Brooke Baccus, Micha Brooks, Special Nephews: David and Rosemarie Devido, Joel Davis, and Dr. Stephen Davis; as well as many friends and Brother Masons. Jacques DeMolay and Park Place Masonic Lodges have both established Scholarships in the name of J.D. Buddy Baccus. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the Buddy Baccus Scholarship Fund. Donations can be mailed to the Buddy Baccus Scholarship Fund at 4911 Montrose, Houston, Texas 77006. Masonic and Religious services will be held on Tuesday, June 3, 2008 at 10:30 AM, Congregation Emanu El, located at 1500 Sunset, in Houston, Texas 77005. Graveside services will follow at Greenwood Memorial Park, 3100 White Settlement, Ft Worth, Texas 76107 on Wednesday, June 4, 2008, at 10:45AM.

Source: Houston Chronicle