News From The Ninth Arch

Passing of MIC Gilbert W. Carlton, 1935-2022

Past Most Illustrious Grand Master Pin

Gilbert W. Carlton passed away in Denver on October 14, 2022 at the age of 87. He was born April 16, 1935 to Iva Lena Cannedy Carlton and Gilbert W. Carlton, Sr. in Wichita Falls, Texas. Gilbert lost his mother to breast cancer in 1945 when he was 10 years old. A few years later, he and his father moved to Denver, where Gil graduated from South High School in 1953. He earned Bachelors and Master\’s degrees in Business Administration from the University of Denver and worked for many years as a financial analyst for the Denver Water Board.

Gilbert married LaVonne Lippitt on June 16, 1963. They enjoyed 53 years of marriage until her death in 2016. Except for a few years living in Houston, Texas, they lived and worked in Denver. Gil and LaVonne traveled extensively in the United States. He was a talented amateur photographer, beginning in his teenage years, and had a huge collection of slides and prints. He especially enjoyed taking photos in the Colorado Rockies, of Texas county courthouses, and, of course, of his lovely wife, Vonnie. He was very interested in history, especially the history of Texas, the Civil War and the Confederate States. He and LaVonne loved big band music and often traveled to the yearly Glenn Miller anniversary celebration in Iowa. Gil was very active in the Masonic fraternity at all levels.

Gilbert W. Carlton became a Master Mason on January 12, 1957, in Harmony Lodge No. 61 and presided over his lodge as Worshipful Master in 1986.  Gil further served that lodge as its Treasurer for many years and guided much of the charitable giving of the Lodge.  He was active in the Denver Masonic Officers Association, serving as its president and also in the Denver Masonic Service Association where he was an officer for many years.  He promoted the Research Lodge of Colorado and served as its Worshipful Master in 1996, and showing his devotion to his home state, was also a proud member of Texas Lodge of Research and urged other Colorado masons to join there as well.  Gilbert further served the fraternity by being a District Lecturer for the Grand Lodge, overseeing Greenleaf, Joppa and Jacques de Molay lodges.

Gilbert started his journey through the York Rite of Masonry in 1962, joining Montview Chapter and leading his chapter as High Priest in 1968. Montview Chapter later merged with two other Chapters to become Triad Chapter No. 42.  He entered Cryptic Masonry in Denver Council No. 1 in 1962 and demitted to join Aurora Council No. 25, presiding over that Council in 1986-1987.  He later joined Gaines Greene Council.  On May 25, 1962, he was knighted in Coronal Commandery No. 36, Knights Templar and lead that Commandery in 1973-1974.  Gilbert continued his leadership in the York Rite, serving as Grand Secretary of the Grand Chapter Royal Arch Masons of Colorado, Grand Recorder of the Grand Council, Cryptic Masons of Colorado and the Grand Recorder of the Grand Commandery of Knights Templar of Colorado for many years. 

Gilbert led the Grand Council of Cryptic Masons of Colorado as Most Illustrious Grand Master in 1994-1995.  He was instrumental in establishing the four-state Great Plains Rendezvous Festival that has brought many new members into the Cryptic Masons.  Gilbert was honored with membership in Pikes Peak Priory No. 21, Knights of the York Cross of Honour in 1987.  He also belonged to Centennial York Rite College, where he served as Governor in 1990 and was awarded the highest honor of Order of the Purple Cross by the Sovereign College of North America.  He was a member of Pikes Peak Council of the Allied Masonic Degrees and served as its Sovereign Master in 1994.  He was an early member of He also was a member of the Royal Order of Scotland.  Gilbert was honored as a member of Crown of Thorns Tabernacle No XXVII, Holy Royal Arch Knight Templar Priests where he served as Preceptor.  In the Scottish Rite, Gilbert was also extremely active.  He served as Wise Master of the Chapter of Rose Croix in 1994 and was honored with the 33rd Degree Honorary in 2007. Gil was also a member of El Jebel Shrine.

While Gilbert Carlton was recognized as a leader and honored many times for his accomplishments within the Fraternity, he always remained an unassuming and humble man and mason, friendly and open to all brethren, and ready to support, aid and assist in promoting his beloved Fraternity.

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