Preston Eugene Burner
EA March 26, 1952
FC April 23, 1952
MM June 11, 1952
The following from a eulogy delivered at Preston’s funeral.
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.