Raymond A. McPhee
Most Worshipful Grand Master, 1971-1972
Raymond Allen McPhee was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan on March 30, 1915. His family moved to Belding six months later. He attended Belding schools and graduated from Belding High School in June 1934. He went to work in 1936 with the Gibson Refrigerator Co. in Greenville and in 1939 began his apprenticeship as a Tool and Die Maker. He also began flight instruction. When World War II broke out he tried to join the Air Force, but was refused admission because of rules regarding the marital status of military flyers. He went to work as an expert defense craftsman in Lansing and in Detroit. In 1945 he returned to Greenville as the Gibson Refrigerator Co. supervisor over all tool and die work in connection with the defense program. By means of correspondence and the I.C.S. he acquired the title of Tool Engineer and in 1960 he graduated as a Die Designer from the A.M.C.E. School of Tool and Die Design.
In 1939 he married Lucille Pauline McConnel. They were blessed with a daughter and two sons.
He served as Recording Secretary of the Greenville-Belding Employees Association in 1939. He was also a member of the Montcalm County Civil Defense. In 1970 he became the Secretary of the Montcalm Township Zoning Board.
He was raised a Master Mason on March 10, 1947 in Greenville Lodge No. 96. He immediately became active in the functioning of the lodge and six years later, in 1953 he was elected Worshipful Master. He was elected to the office of District Deputy Instructor of District No. 26a in 1957 and he served in that capacity until 1965. In 1965 he was elected to the Board of General Purposes. In that same year he was elected to the office of Grand Tiler of the Grand Lodge of Michigan, and in the succeeding year he was nominated and elected to the office of Grand Marshal. In May 1947 he became a member of the Scottish Rite bodies of the Valley of Grand Rapids and was a Past President of the Montcalm and Ionia Consistory Club. In June 1947 he was exalted in Greenville Chapter No. 79, R.A.M., where he served as High Priest for the years 1951, 1960, and 1965.
He received the degrees of York Rite Masonry in Tyre Council No. 10, R. A. M. of Grand Rapids in August 1947, later joining Portland Council No. 23, where he served as Thrice Illustrious Master in 1956. Knighted in Ionia Commandery No. 11 K.T., in 1947, he was its Eminent Commander in 1952. He was also a member of Saladin Temple Shrine; Fred Pocock Priory No. 22, K.Y.C.H.; the Order of High Priesthood; the Michigan Council of Thrice Illustrious Masters; the Royal Order of Scotland; and Princess Chapter No. 120, O.E.S.
He was elected as Most Worshipful Grand Master of Michigan Masons on May 26, 1971.
He died on June 9, 2006.