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Monday, January 22, 2024

R.I.P. Illus. Thurman Pace

Image by Chris Sands from his Facebook page.

by Christopher Hodapp

NOTE: This story will be updated as details become available.

Word came to me very late Sunday night that Illus. Brother Thurman Cleveland Pace, Jr. 33° and PGM of New Jersey has just passed to the Celestial Lodge. He was just two days short of his 100th birthday, but even at such an advanced age, Thurman was an indefatigable, active Freemason who traveled extensively all his life. Longtime attendees at Masonic Week events knew Thurman by sight, even if they had never officially met him. For over 65 years, he gave so much to individual Masons and the fraternity at large, as a mentor and shining example for us all to emulate. The list of his offices, awards and achievements will be astonishingly long as it gets circulated in the coming days.

There is so much that can be said of Thurman, but for the moment, I'll take the liberty of passing someone else's words along. The following message was posted Sunday by WB Moises Gomez on his Facebook page:

RW Thurman Pace and WB Moises Gomez. Photo by Moises Gomez

I’m very deeply saddened by the loss of my mentor, friend and dear brother R.W. & III Thurman C. Pace, Jr who passed away last night just shy of his 100th birthday this coming Tuesday. For 17 years we have been paired up traveling everywhere together. The last few years because of his health and age he was restricted to just his mother lodge close by. Thurman has touched so many people and his accomplishments are legendary. Even during his service in the U.S. Army during WWII his actions and dedication were incredible. His personal life and love of family was his strength being married to his Betty for 74 years. He was referred by all of his family as Pop Pop. In the Masonic community his level of dedication, commitment and love is unsurpassed and his achievements (way to many to mention) are incredible to believe, that someone could accomplish so much in one life time.
However his greatest attribute and contribution was being able to give back and open so many doors for so many of us, and not just here in NJ but around the world. He would always advise me to give back and always assist another brother achieve their goals. I remember him saying to me once there will be a time where you find a yourself back where you started coming around full circle. It’s at this moment in time where you can do the most good for others. After so many accomplishments in life he found himself back at his mother lodge Atlas Pythagoras Lodge No. 10 on the level completing his circle of life. This was most gratifying for him and as he would say I have come back home, and now dedicated himself and pouring all of his energy into aiding and mentoring others, so that one day they could also come full circle and do the same for others.
I will miss driving the thousands of miles together as we did, all the Masonic venues we visited together, and especially the countless hours spent in his den at his home in Westfield having many a Masonic conversation. 
To you Thurman I say thank you for all that you did not just for others, your family, your nation, but for me as well. For your kind advice, your friendship, and your brotherly love. I won’t say goodbye, but till we meet again!

May you rest in eternal peace my dear brother.

I will post an updated message here when I have more details and announcements of any Masonic funeral service that may take place.

His column is broken, and his brethren mourn.

Requiescat in pace, my friend and Brother.


  1. Godspeed my brother.

  2. True story: At AMD Weekend (now Masonic Week) 2002, in the Hotel Washington, poor Thurman was rousted out of his room by the management so they could turn it over to some supposed V.I.P.

    Unbeknown to Thurman, an outraged group of our fellow New Jersey Masons went to the front desk in a huff, ready to raise hell over turning our brother out of his room… only to learn the incoming V.I.P. was Secretary of State Colin Powell.

    The brethren dispersed peacefully, and Thurman was relocated to another adequate room.


  3. A pillar of the craft has now passed! (Check your sources our deer brother was not a PGM of New York)


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