Preston Burner, PM, MPS, MBBFMN Concord Lodge No. 307 Vienna, Va.

This site is dedicated to the memory of Preston for family and friends.

Preston E. Burner with lady Freda

Preston Burner

since 05-13-2000


 


Name:
C. De Francisci
Date:
May 04, 2001
Time:
10:20:58 PM
Comments

I knew Preston only from the early days of his bulletin board and mail postings. He was unfailingly polite, informative, and impressed me enormously as a person of character and genuine feeling for his fellow man. I regret I was never able to meet him in person.

Name:
RW George E. Swick
Date:
February 20, 2001
Time:
03:37:55 PM
Comments

Preston Burner was a great Mason who leaves a big legacy for all to share in.

Name:
toknoww
Date:
February 11, 2001
Time:
06:11:03 PM
Comments

i am glad toknow that their is somewhere i can go to find light

Name:
Geoffrey McHenry
Date:
December 20, 2000
Time:
05:14:35 PM
Comments

This is a great tribute to a great man. I am not a Mason, I was and still am an advisor to he and his family. I agree with all the comments that were said about Preston. I would add one thing, he was a man of conviction. If you asked him to make a decision he gave you an answer very quickly and it normally was futile to try to change his mind.

Name:
John Carter
Date:
December 20, 2000
Time:
04:03:42 PM
Comments

Brethern, Great site! Please keep it going strong. John Carter Burnside #634, KY Harlem #276, GA Valley of Augusta, GA

Name:
Henry M Paulson 33rd
Date:
Thursday, October 12, 2000
Time:
04:54:02 PM
Comments

I have used this site from the start,what a loss, we will all miss his knowledge and his work for the Craft. St Paul Valley of Scottish Rite.

Name:
Henry M Paulson 33rd
Date:
Thursday, October 12, 2000
Time:
04:51:44 PM
Comments

I have used this site from the start,what a loss, we will all miss his knowledge and his work for the Craft. St Paul Valley

Name:
Tony Pope
Date:
Tuesday, October 10, 2000
Time:
03:08:11 AM
Comments

By 1991, Preston's work had spread far beyond the American continent. Researchers in Australia shared the wealth of information he made available, by one of their number in California downloading papers and sending them home on floppy disks. He was a cyber-pioneer, greatly admired downunder, and we are saddened by his loss. Tony Pope South Australian Lodge of Research #216 tonypope@lm.net.au


This article is from the Harashim quarterly newsletter of the Australian & New Zealand Masonic Research Council pages 6, 7 and 9 ISSN 1328-2735 Issue 15 July 2000 P.O. Box 332, Williamstown, Victoria 3016, Australia.

In Memoriam

Introduction

The formation of the Australian Masonic Research Council (now the Australian and New Zealand Masonic Research Council) and the establishment of the biennial Kellerman Lectures provide a rare opportunity for researchers to present papers of more than local interest, and of greater than usual length, to their peers from further a field. The conferences at which these lectures are presented also provide an opportunity to meet and get to know the Masonic students and scholars of neighboring jurisdictions, thus bringing together those who must otherwise have remained at a perpetual distance.

To date there have been 28 Kellerman Lecturers, from eight jurisdictions, over a period often years. Sadly, four of the 28 aie no longer with us, except in the work they have bequeathed, and the memories of them which we share. With the death of Harry Kellerman, in whose honor the lectures are named, it is appropriate that Harashim record a tribute to all four of our deceased brethren, Brian Palmer (Qid), Arthur Astin (NSW), Ron Cook (Vic) and Harry himself.

Within the same time-frame, two internationally known American Masonic educators have died: Allen Roberts and Preston Burner. Wallace McLeod’s tribute to Allen Roberts was published in issue 3 of Harashim, July 1997. Preston Burner, not so widely known but nevertheless influential beyond the shores of North America, died only a few months ago, and Harashim takes this opportunity to pay tribute to him.

In the 1980s, Bro Burner was the first to establish a Masonic bulletin board service (BBS), predecessor of the Internet websites we know today. The BBS system worked on a one-to-one basis. The system operator (Sysop) provided a computer with a database of files that could be accessed by others, via modems and the telephone service, without the intermediate stages of the Internet system; many of today’s facilities were absent, and the telephone connection was direct and thus expensive for all but local calls. There was no email facility, but callers could leave a message on the ‘board’, as well as downloading files.

Much of this material from Bro Burner’s BBS, Hiram’s Oasis, found its way to Australia more cheaply than via trans-pacific telephone calls—on computer disks, by mail—and some was published by the South Australian Lodge of Research in its newsletter, Gleanings.

Over the years, Bro Burner established a collection of Masonic material so large that, even today, it could take a whole day to download. With the advent of the Internet, the files were transferred to the website http://www.kena.org/hirams

Preston and his wife, Freda
photo via William Bautnbach

Preston Eugene Burner was a unique man and a very special Mason. If anything, Worshipful Brother Preston was a ‘Poster Boy’ for all the good things Freemasonry stands for. He possessed a contagious enthusiasm and zeal for Masonry that impacted everyone he came in contact with. He developed a unique combination of family, the man, religion and Masonry, and strived to influence each to better the others. Preston was never afraid to ask why, challenge what he felt was wrong, and find a way to do the right thing—even if he had to leave the beaten path. Preston spent an enormous amount of time researching the meaning of Masonry and religion in search of ties that might exist—always sharing his findings. I loved listening to stories from the many trips Preston and Freda took in their RV, exploring this great country and making friends wherever they went. I always enjoyed listening to Preston talk about the lodges he visited and sharing the way Brothers did things in other jurisdictions so that we could try to use them to make our Masonry better. I thank him for teaching me to leave the sanctity and comfort of our lodge and venture out to experience other forms and aspects of Masonry. Preston never ceased to amaze me with how much he knew about this area and about Masonry in Northern Virginia and DC. I remember sitting in a lodge in Takoma Park; Preston said, ‘You know, part of this lodge is in DC and part is Maryland. The Master is sitting in Maryland the rest of us are in DC’, and with a great deal of pride he added that this was Dad’s old lodge.

I wanted to take the time to tell you about a few of Preston’s Masonic accomplishments. He was a very proud Senior DeMolay. He was the Tiler Emeritus of A Douglas Smith Lodge of Research (Virginia) and a charter member of General George C Marshal Lodge in DC. He was presented several awards by the Philalethes society, a group in which he was very active. These included the Order of the Blue Forget-Me-Not for notable writers and educators, and recently he received an Award of Merit — the highest award they give and is presented to only four people internationally each year. He was the founder of Hiram’s Oasis, the first

(Continued from page 7)

international Masonic electronic bulletin board, launching international Masonic relations into the 21st century. Hiram’s Oasis prompted many men to ask the right question and join Freemasonry. Preston was also the founder of the Kena Computer Club, an active organization in Kena Temple. Another of Preston’s accomplishments and one I think he felt was among the greatest, was that of Past Master of Concord Lodge. Concord is defined as a state of harmony and peaceful relationships, and Preston contributed a lot to formulating just that attitude and environment in the lodge. I heard Preston say so many times how much he loved our little lodge and how lucky we were that it was just the way it was.

Preston’s presentation of the ritual was unique, to say the least. It was his own mix of DC and Virginia ritual. He always said, ‘if you miss a word here or there the candidate won’t know—it’s the feeling and the meaning that count.’ There is no doubt that Preston Burner put a lot of feeling into everything he did in the lodge and for a brother Mason. When Preston conducted the degree work for a candidate, that candidate knew he had just received beautiful and important information from a man that truly cared and wanted to share the things he had found in Masonry. Worshipful Brother Preston Burner was truly a dedicated Mason and an inspiration to the rest of us. He will be greatly missed.

Richard K Thompson, PM of Concordia Lodge No 307, Virginia


 

As you look at the program today, you will note that it says 'February 23, 1927 dash May 10, 2000'. It is the small dash that I want to discuss today.

When I first met Preston, or Uncle Chuck as I called him,, I was four years old and I was not very happy with my uncle. My one and only Auna, as I had named Freda when I was a child, had married this man and moved to Maryland. I would talk to her on the phone and beg her to come back to Virginia but for some reason she wanted to stay with this guy Preston.

Four years later, they finally listened to me and moved to Vienna, across the street from where my sister Robyn and I lived. For the next 27 years, Robyn and I grew up a stones throw from my uncle and aunt and learned first-hand two characteristics which best describe Preston. They are faithfulness and fun.

Anyone who knew him recognizes immediately the depth of his commitment to all aspects of his life. He did nothing halfheartedly.

Faithful to his church, he escorted my aunt, my sister, and me to church most Sundays, actively participating in all aspects of church fellowship. As children, we were impressed by how seriously he took his responsibility as an usher on Sundays -- and how much he enjoyed escorting people to worship.

His Christian life has impacted our faith and should comfort us as we say goodbye to him.

Faithful in his work, Preston taught us all an important lesson that he applied to every project he undertook -- plan well and do it right the first time. Of course, our Aunt Freda could probably tell a few stories of some of his more humorous lapses, but that made him even more fun.

We remember our Uncle's love of classical music and his expressiveness as a conductor during the more moving parts of musical pieces when in his workshop he would stop whatever he was doing in order to conduct his imaginary National Symphony Orchestra.

In addition to teaching his sons Ronnie and Edward his profession, his life teaches us all to respect a job well done.

Faithful to his family and friends, he never minced at expressing what he truly believed. There was nothing phony about Preston. As tough as he sounded, his love was always evident for his children and grandchildren. However, there was never any doubt to any of us who his real little girl was. We all knew it was Priscilla.

Faithful to my aunt, Preston and Freda were inseparable. Whether preparing for a party, a charity event, a fun trip, or on their RV, our minds will see them always together.

Faithful to his organizations, Preston taught us all how to be dedicated to one's endeavors and how to have a fun time doing so. I am reminded of being with him at REACT events where we monitored CB Channel 9 during parades and fund-raising walks. As a young boy, I was ecstatic when he helped me put up a CB antenna on my roof.

His curriculum vitae is endless and includes membership and participation in the Masons, REACT, the Shriners, the Eastern Star, the Elks Club, the first electronic Masonic bulletin board--Hiram's Oasis, square dancing, the volunteer fire department, cub scouts, and even helping Robyn with her many college projects.

How wonderful a life that had to meet pulmonary fibrosis. Since the time of his diagnosis, we have all felt terrible. My four-year-old daughter Sahada, seeing Uncle Chuck near the end, asked my wife when he might get well. When hearing how serious his illness was, Sahada summed up all of our feelings by sobbing all the way home.

Preston was a brilliant, dedicated, principled, honorable, and fun person to us all. Thank you Auna for taking such loving care of our Preston during the several years of his illness. As you will, we will cherish him forever.


A Service of Worship to Celebrate the Life of

Preston Eugene Burner

(February 23, 1927- May 10, 2000)

May 13, 2000

PRELUDE

WELCOME AND OPENING WORDS

*THE PROMISE

Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life.

Those who believe in me shall live, even though they die.

Whoever lives and believes in me shall never die.”

Jesus said, “I am the Alpha and Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.

I died and behold, now I am alive forevermore.”

Jesus said, and this we believe,

“Because I live, you shall live also.”

*GREETING

*A PRAYER OF INVOCATION

Lord God, you have created us, protected us, and preserved us. You have been with us in every moment of every day of our lives. Even before we were brought forth into life on this earth, you knew us and loved us. So let your presence be felt and known here today as we gather in the face of death and loss.

While you lived among us in Christ Jesus, you too tasted death, and yet you triumphed over it with resurrection and new life. Help us to hear that Good News again, and in hearing to believe, and in believing to trust in you, and to live in hope and joy. Amen.

SOLO: “God of Our Fathers” Anne Hurley, soloist

REMEMBRANCE AND PROCLAMATION

Witness: Ralph S. Buckley, M.D., Nephew

Witness: Richard K. Thompson, Masonic Brother

*Hymn of Praise #593 (verses 1 & 2): “Here I Am, Lord”

Old Testament Lesson: Jeremiah 17 (selected verses), Ronald E. Burner reading

The Gospel: Matthew 5:3-10, Family members reading

Solo: “A Prayer of St. Francis” Dot Montague, soloist

Meditation: Rev. Dave Lough

*FROM ROMANS 8

If God is for us, what does it matter who may be against us?

Surely God, who was willing to give up the only Son, will see to it that through the Son we have what we need!

Who can separate us from the love of Christ?

Can trouble do it, or hardship? Can persecution do it, or hunger, or poverty, or danger, or death?
No, in all such things we have complete victory through the God who loves us!

And of this we can be certain: Nothing in death or life, not angels nor earthly or heavenly powers, not the present nor the future, not the world above nor the world below, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God which is ours through Christ Jesus our Lord.
SONG: “Peace Is Flowing Like A River” Kevin Davidson and Edward Burner

INTERCESSIONS AND THANKSGIVINGS

Hear our prayer, O Lord,

as we pray in the name of Christ.

THE PRAYER OF COMMENDATION

Lord God, we give you thanks for the life of our friend, Preston Burner.

We give you thanks that he lived among us, that we shared these years with

him upon this earth, that we learned love from him, and that you gave him

many years which he used well.

We are grateful also, Lord, for the certainty with which we can now release him to you.

For we trust in your love for him, and for us! And we believe your promise

that beyond this death lies new life to come.

Receive him now, Lord, and remember us who live here without him.

Heal the hurt in our hearts today. Fill the void left by his absence. Turn our

present emptiness into good and happy memories. Help us to live in ways that

would make him proud. And teach us to remember that we too must face

death, and so to live it responsibly and well.

For you alone, O God, are eternal!

To you eternal Creator, to you Jesus Christ, supreme example of what human

life can be, to you Holy Spirit, our source of comfort and praise, to you the

only living God be all praise and the glory, now and forever! Amen.

THE LORD’S PRAYER

*CLOSING HYMN #89, verses 1 & 2: “Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee”

*BENEDICTION

Preston, you will live forever in the hearts and minds of those who love you, including mine. The things I do and say, my conduct as a father and husband, are all influenced in intangible ways by your guidance, friendship, and mentoring. You will live forever in the wind in the trees, in the air we breath and in the stories we pass down from generation to generation. –E-mail from Peter Riebling to Preston on February 15, 2000.

POSTLUDE

Pastor

Rev. David E. Lough,

Epiphany United Methodist Church, Vienna, Virginia

Organist

Barbara Stahl

Pall Bearers

Aires Domingus, Richard K. Thompson, Reno E. Burner,

Thor R. Burner, Peter Riebling, Elias Saber

Honorary: Charles Daghir

Surviving Family

Freda A. Burner, Priscilla Vansteelant, Ronald E. Burner, Edward V. Burner

Grandchildren: Reno Burner, Thor Burner, Melissa Weisgerber, Aaron Vansteelant

And 2 great grandchildren

Interment will be at National Memorial Cemetery, Falls Church.

A lunch will be served for family and friends at Kena Temple, 9001 Arlington Blvd, Fairfax.

“But those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint..” (Isaiah 40:31)

“Do not stand at my grave and weep.

I am not there, I do not sleep.

I am a thousand winds that blow;

I am the diamond glint on snow.

I am the sunlight on ripened grain;

I am the gentle autumn rain.

When you waken in the morning hush;

I am the swift uplifting rush

Of quiet birds in circling flight.

I am the soft stars that shine at night.

Do not stand at my grave and cry;

I am not there; I did not die.”


Preston E. Burner passed away on May 10, 2000

Preston Burner, PM, MPS, MBBFMN CONCORD LODGE #307 VIENNA, VA.

Through the 1980's and 90's Preston was a pioneer in the Masonic computer age. He collected large amounts of computerized Masonic information and through the Hiram's Oasis BBS he ran from the basement of his home in Vienna, VA made it available to thousands across the country. The Hiram's Oasis BBS made it possible for Masonic files, pictures, information and ideas to be easily shared and exchanged.

Preston shared his computer knowledge and helped educate fellow Nobles at the monthly computer club meetings he held at the Kena Temple for over eight years. The Kena Computer Club was founded by Preston Burner in 1987 he was club president from 1987 to1995 (8 years)

Please scroll all the way to the bottom of this web page to read about Prestons HIRAM'S OASIS Masonic Bulletin Board. Here http://www.kena.org/hirams you can find over twelve years worth of the information made available by Preston.

Preston will be missed by all but his hard work and dedication in making sure Masonic Light / information is shared easily by way of computers will live on through the Kena Computer Club and the Hiram's Oasis web site at http://Kena.org/Hirams were all the information he spent years collecting has been moved from the Hiram's Oasis BBS to the Internet where all can now receive Masonic Light Worldwide.


Fraternally

William J. Baumbach II


Preston Eugene Burner

EA March 26, 1952
FC April 23, 1952
MM June 11, 1952

Preston Burner was a unique man and a very special Mason. If anything, Wor. Brother Preston was a "Poster Boy" for all the good things Freemasonry stands for. He possessed a contagious enthusiasm and zeal for Masonry that impacted everyone he came in contact with. He developed a unique combination of family, the man, religion and Masonry and strived to influence each to better the others. Preston was never afraid to ask why, challenge what he felt was wrong, and find a way to do the right thing - even if he had to leave the beaten path. Wor. Brother Preston spent an enormous amount of time researching the meaning of Masonry and religion in search of ties that might exist – always sharing his findings. I loved listening to stories from the many trips Preston and Freda took in their RV, exploring this great country and making friends wherever they went. I always enjoyed listening to Preston talk about the lodges he visited and sharing the way Brothers did things in other jurisdictions so that we could try to use them to make our Masonry better. I thank him for teaching me to leave the sanctity and comfort of our lodge and venture out to experience other forms and aspects of Masonry. Wor. Brother Preston never ceased to amaze me with how much he knew about this area and about Masonry in Northern Virginia and DC. I remember sitting in a lodge in Takoma Park Preston said "You know, part of this lodge is in DC and part is Maryland. The Master is sitting in Maryland the rest of us are in DC" and with a great deal of pride he added that this was Dad’s old lodge.

I wanted to take the time to tell you about a few of Wor. Brother Preston’s Masonic accomplishments. He was a very proud Senior DeMolay. He was the Tiler Emeritus of A. Douglas Smith Lodge of Research and a charter member of General George C. Marshal Lodge in DC. He was presented several awards by the Philalathes society, a group in which he was very active. These included the Order of the Blue Forget-Me-Not for notable writers and educators, and recently he received an Award of Merit — the highest award they give and is presented to only four people internationally each year. He was the founder of Hiram's Oasis, the first international Masonic electronic bulletin board, launching international Masonic relations into the 21st century. Hiram's Oasis prompted many men to ask the right question and join Freemasonry. Preston was also the founder of the Kena Computer Club, an active organization in Kena Temple. Another of Preston’s accomplishments and one I think he felt was among the greatest, was that of Past Master of Concord Lodge. Concord is defined as a state of harmony and peaceful relationships, and Preston contributed a lot to formulating just that attitude and environment in the Lodge. I heard Preston say so many times how much he loved our little lodge and how lucky we were that it was just the way it was.

Wor Brother Preston’s presentation of the ritual was unique, to say the least. It was his own mix of DC and Virginia ritual. He always said, "if you miss a word here or there the candidate won’t know – it’s the feeling and the meaning that count." There is no doubt that Preston Burner put a lot of feeling into everything he did in the lodge and for a brother Mason. When Preston conducted the degree work for a candidate, that candidate knew they had just received beautiful and important information from a man that truly cared and wanted to share the things he had found in Masonry. Wor Brother Preston was truly a dedicated Mason and an inspiration to the rest of us. He will be greatly missed.

By:

Richard K. Thompson, PM
Concord Lodge #307
DDGM, 54th Masonic District

 

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