Saturday, December 7, 2013

Farewell To Our Friend And Brother: L. Scott Niccum, 33°

by Midnight Freemasons Founder
Todd E. Creason, 33°

(June 28, 1968 - November 30, 2013)
"I am sure all of us know a member in our Lodge that has lots to share, and wants to see us carry on the work they have been doing for so long. I think we owe it to them."
 
~L. Scott Niccum, 33°
Greenup Lodge No. 125, Illinois

It's with a heavy heart that I announce that one of our regular contributors here at the Midnight Freemasons, the Illustrious Brother L. Scott Niccum, 33°, passed away on November 30th.  But he was much more than just a contributor here.  Many of us at the Midnight Freemasons knew him personally--well enough to just call him Scott, or by his nickname "Wormy."  So it's with profound sadness we mourn the passing of our friend.

Scott was a true and upright Mason, and greatly respected and admired by friends and Brothers.  Masonry, at least in this part of the world, came to a screeching halt for a moment so that we could honor our good friend Scott Niccum--degrees rescheduled, meetings cancelled, and carpools arranged.  And with heavy hearts, we came together in Charleston, Illinois to bid farewell to a man many of us saw as not only a friend, but as a mentor as well.

Scott was a Past Master of Greenup Lodge No. 125 (IL), and a dual member of Hutton Lodge No. 698 (IL).  He was a member of the Scottish Rite Valley of Danville, which is where I got to know him. He was the Past Thrice Potent Master of the Lodge of Perfection.  He was also the Eastern District Coordinator of the Masonic IL CHIP Program for our Grand Lodge of Illinois A.F. & A.M.  In 2011, Scott Niccum received the Fraternity's highest honor, the 33rd Degree.  I was fortunate to have had the honor of sharing that experience with him along with Michael Brandenburg--the three of us received that honor from the Supreme Council that same weekend.

A few of the Midnight Freemasons meet over lunch at Illinois Grand Lodge (October 2013)
L to R, Scott Niccum, Michael Shirley, (Michael's Guest), Judy Gordon, Steve Harrison, Robert Johnson, & Todd Creason.  Not pictured Greg Knott, James Frey, Brian Shimian, and Bill Hosler
I've written and rewritten this piece I don't know how many times since I got that phone call on Sunday.  I've seldom been at a loss for words, but that's where I find myself right now, so let me just say this.  Scott Niccum was a man that loved to laugh, and a man that loved to make other people laugh--and that's what he did a great deal of the time.  But there was one thing he took very seriously, and that was Freemasonry.  You need only judge him by the example he set.  Nobody worked harder than Scott did at making the world a better place to live, and you need only see some of the things that have been written about him this week--the tributes--to see just how many lives he touched in his short time on Earth. 

But every once in a while, Scott would turn serious, and say something very deep and very profound about the men he'd met in this Fraternity, his experiences since he joined, and just how much Masonry had changed his life.  I'd heard him talk like that a few times, and it's one of the reasons I asked him to be a contributor on the Midnight Freemasons back when we first began.  He was relunctant at first to do it because he said he wasn't a writer, but he finally looked at me and said, "if you can do it, how hard can it be?"  And I wasn't wrong--those few pieces he wrote on here were remarkable.  They were heartfelt, and they were real--just like the man that wrote them. 

I remember thinking when I first read the line I used above as a quote, that he was talking about himself.  He was so focused on telling the stories of those men that had helped him along his path, and had inspired him, that I'm not sure he really understood what a tremendous influence he was to others, and just how many of us there are out there that are better for having known him.

~Todd E. Creason, 33°

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