John Ernest Stilwell affiliated with Temple Lodge, No.33 in February 1905. He had previously been a member of Garfield Lodge, No. 95, O’Neill, Nebraska. He remained a member of Temple Lodge, No.33 until his death in 1957.
Here is a brief biography of John Ernest Stilwell taken from Temple Lodge, No. 33 records and from local newspaper reports of his death and funeral:
“….Application [sic] from J. Ernest Stilwell of Garfield Lodge, No. 95, O’Neill, Nebraska for affiliation was received. The W.M. appointed Bro. J. Maitland-Dougall, Jas. Evans & J. Campbell investigating committee…”
(Source: Temple Lodge, No.33 Minute Book, Regular Meeting of 14 January 1905)
“….Investigating committee for Bro. Stilwell reported favourable on motion the committee was discharged and he was ballotted for and on examination was found clear and Bro. J E Stilwell was duly elected member of the Lodge…..”
(Source: Temple Lodge, No.33 Minute Book, Regular Meeting of 11 February 1905)
Here is John Ernest Stilwell’s obituary in the local Cowichan Leader newspaper:
“Stilwell – Mr. John Ernest Stilwell, an old-time resident of this district, died in the Veteran’s Hospital, Victoria, on Saturday.
Born in Dover, Kent, England, 91 years ago, he came directly to Duncan from England in 1903 and resided here until three years ago.
[Note: Brother Stilwell apparently did not come directly to Duncan from England. He spent enough time in O’Neill, Nebraska to become a member of Garfield Lodge, No. 95 in Nebraska prior to affiliating with Temple Lodge, No. 33 in 1905.]
Until his retirement 22 years ago he had been employed in the government office.
He served during the First World War in the Canadian Forestry Corps and was in France from 1917-18. He was a member of the Duncan Branch Canadian Legion since 1926 and a member of the Great War Veterans before that. He was past president of both groups.
He was predeceased by his wife, Sarah, in 1934, [note: the gravestone in St. Peter’s Quamichan – see below- says “Annie” and “1935”] surviving are his daughter, Mrs. L.H. Garnett, Comox; three sons, Bernard and Egerton, Vancouver, and Gerald, Seattle. A sister in England and two grandchildren also survive.
Funeral services were held yesterday afternoon from St. Peter’s Anglican Church, Quamichan under the auspices of Temple Lodge 33, A.F. & A.M., with the Rev. John Low officiating. Interment took place in the family plot in the churchyard cemetery.”
John Ernest Stilwell is buried in St. Peter’s Quamichan Anglican cemetery, North Cowichan
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