From Worshipful Bro. Thomas LeBlanc, Past Master of Hiram Lodge No. 9:
Some time ago, Brother Gene Jannenga mentioned to our lodge that his grandfather, Edward Jannenga, was a Mason. Later and unknown to Gene, his wife Mary and our Master struck up a conversation about her husband’s eligibility to receive the Lewis Medal.
Mary told us that her husband’s grandfather was a Mason in Grand Rapids, MI but didn’t know which Lodge or when he was a member. A search on the web netted some vital information on Bro. Edward, as well as phone numbers of the Lodges in Grand Rapids.
We discovered that he was a life member of Malta Lodge No. 465, and that this lodge had consolidated with another lodge. A copy of his membership card was sent confirming these details.
Further investigation led us to learn that Edward became interested in Masonry from his contacts in the Police department who were Masons. He would eventually become a member in the same lodge as President Gerald R. Ford, Jr. and they both would be 33rd degree Masons in the same Temple. The President’s son would be made a 33rd the following year after Edward Jannenga.
Edward would later join up with Ford, Sr. in a joint business venture, Ford Paint Co. that is still in business today. Edward and Ford Jr. had known each other most of Edward’s life. Edward Jannenga would be very active in the Scottish Rite for many years.
This journey back into Masonic history was not only rewarding for Gene and Mary, but would also be rewarding for his Brethren and friends who know Gene and were able to share this moment when he received his Lewis Jewel.
Here are photos of Brother Jannenga receiving his jewel from Worshipful Master Mike Huse. It is being pinned on him by Gene’s wife Mary.
The Lewis Jewel is used in many jurisdictions in the United States and elsewhere to honor the connection between a father and son who are Masons, but in the Grand Lodge of New Hampshire, that honor also extends to grandsons whose grandfathers were Brother Masons.