S.K. William Donald Passera
Right Eminent Grand Commander
William D. Passera was born on November 25, 1950 in Middletown, CT. He is the son of the late Elaine L. Passera/Wallace of Barre, VT. & the late Robert Passera of Casselberry, Fl. He is one of five children born to Mr. and Mrs. Robert Passera.
Growing up in Clinton, he was educated in the Clinton Public School System attend Abraham Pierson School grades K-4, Jared Elliot grades 5-7 and Morgan High grades 8-11 after which time he moved to East Randolph, Vermont and attended his senior year at Randolph Union High School. While going to school at Morgan High, he took up business courses which included typing, short hand and accounting. He was an active member of the marching band, track team and Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA).
During this time in his life, his parents went through a rough divorce that taught him how to grow up independently and enable him to make decisions that would shape him for his future rolls in life. Once the divorce became final, the move to Vermont was the new start in life that he needed.
After graduating in June of 1968, he applied to Saint Joseph College in Old Bennington, Vt. and was accepted into their Accounting Program. While at St. Joseph, he was the editor of the College newspaper during his second year of college. He graduated Magna Cum Laude with my major in Accounting. Once he completed his education at Saint Joseph College, he moved back to Connecticut.
While living in both Connecticut and Vermont, he has many good memories and new experiences. He can remember going fishing, clamming, waterskiing, motor cycle riding, picnicking, swimming and canoeing. These were the memories he had in Connecticut. Once he moved to Vermont, his life really changed. As a city boy as they called him there, he learned how to get up at four in the morning to feed and milk the cows. You learn to fall trees for the next heating seasons, butcher your own meat, cut hay & corn to feed the cows during the winter months. Yes he said months because winter started around mid-September and ends in mid-April.
Free time during the winter months, was taken up with snow machine riding and hunting. It was a new experience to drop your first deer and learn how to field dress it. All this you learn to drive a tractor and other farm equipment before you learn to drive a car.
Around the age of five or six, he was having trouble seeing things and was taken to a doctor who referred him to Massachusetts General Hospital and the Children’s Hospital for some testing to see what the problem was. It was decided that he was blind in his left eye and it need to be removed. Once removed, he was released with a patch and sent home to heal before the replacement could be made and fitted to his eye socket. Once the replacement was fitted it took some time before he became comfortable with it. From this point in his life, periodic trips back and forth to Boston was a common occurrence. This was a big change in any person’s life.
He moved back to Connecticut in the middle of 1970 to begin his new life as a young man ready to conquer the world. He moved in with his aunt and uncle for a few years. While living with them, he landed his first job and realized that he had to go to work and make a living for himself. He took a job as a bookkeeper at Lynn-Grace Mfg. in Middletown, Ct. After a few months, he began to notice a young woman (Mary Lombardo) who appeared to be very nice and dedicated to her job. As the bookkeeper, he did have the opportunity to get on the floor to question some of the work that was being done and meet several of the bosses. He paid attention to which of the bosses that Mary answered to and started to get friendly with them as well. Over the year, he learned a lot about Mary and wanted to learn more. So he approached her best boss and wanted to know if she would introduce him to Mary and she laughed and said that Mary wouldn’t give him the right time of day. He was very much surprised at that answer so he put it in his mind to get to know Mary. As time went by, he did get to talk to Mary and then began to date her. Mary being of a traditional Italian family, never went anywhere without a chaperone. After a few years, he got up the nerve and asked her to marry him and to his surprise she said yes. While during the time from when she said yes, the two families got to know each other and both Mary & Bill did things with both families to get to know them as well. This was not always an easy job as Mary came from a family of twelve and some of them had already had children of their own.
They set the date of September 15, 1972 to get married and shortly thereafter they bought their first mobile home in Westbrook, CT. During this year, Mary had lost her father before they could get married. Mary then moved into the mobile home until they were married. Before they moved into their new home, he had changed jobs several times and were planning a family of their own. Ten months later, their first son, Michael was born. Some fourteen months after that, their second son, Jon was born. They lived in this mobile home until Jon was about four years old. As this was an adult mobile home park, the unit was sold and they moved into a family park in Clinton. The mobile home park was less than a quarter of a mile from where he grew up as a youngster.
He was always impressed by his maternal Grandfather, Axel Harry Lindahl, who used to sit for hours with a small book in his hands and his lips moving but not a sound came from his mouth. He later learned that his Grandfather was memorizing his Masonic Lectures. While he was still too young to know anything about what he was doing, he later in life found out what it was that he was memorizing. Bill’s interest was brought to the front when he attended his Grandfathers Masonic Funeral.
This started Bill’s Masonic Career. He put in a petition to Jeptha Lodge # 95 in Clinton, CT for which his Grandfather was a Past Master. After a short period he received a phone call from a member of the investigation committee to set up an appointment for them to meet with his wife and himself. It was a short time thereafter that he took the Entered Apprentice degree on March 21, 1979, his Fellow craft degree on March 26, 1979 and his Master Mason Degree on April 23, 1979. Once he finished his degrees, he was asked if he would like to join the lodge line of officers and he said yes. This is the start of his many years in the Masonic Fraternity. He served as Master of Jeptha Lodge # 95 in the following years: 1983, 1988, 1989, 2004, 2005, 2008 and 2011. He was then asked to serve as Secretary of the lodge for several years. He served on the Ritual Committee for the year 2004. After his first term as Master of Jeptha Lodge # 95, Bill joined Burning Bush Chapter # 6 on October 10, 1992 and took his Past Master’s Degree progressed through the chairs until he ended up in the East, service as Excellent High Priest in 1997. He joined Columbia Council # 9 on September 9, 1993 and took his Royal Master’s Degree. After completing that degree, he took the Select Master Degree on October 16, 1993, followed by the Super Excellent Master Degree on October 16, 1993. After completing those degrees, he joined the line and went through the chairs including the East, serving as Thrice Illustrious Master in 1996. He is also a member of the Anointed High Priests and Knight Masons. Somewhere in the mix of all this, he took on the position of District Deputy on April 4, 1992 through April 6, 1994 traveling quite a bit in District 7B. He not only traveled within his district but also traveled to other districts to meet other Masons and see how their degree work compared to theirs. He also served on the Masonic Re-alinement Committee from April 10, 1996 through April 1, 1998. As he completed the necessary requirements, he put in his petition to join Knights Templar, Cyrene Commandery # 8 in Middletown, CT on September 13, 1994. He started with the Order of the Red Cross on October 11, 1994, followed by the Order of Malta on November 5, 1994. Bill then completed the Order of the Temple on November 5, 1994. He joined the line of Cyrene and became Eminent Commander for the Templar year 2000. Once he completed his term, he was asked if he would like to do the job of Treasurer. He was voted and accepted the position of Treasurer in February 2002 and has been re-elected to that position every year since. After several years, he was asked if he would join the Grand Line of the Knights Templar but decided that it was not the right time and said no for the first time. In 2015, Sir Knight Randy Stevens, then serving as Right Eminent Grand Commander appointed him to the Grand Commandery Line and he then said yes. Soon after that he was installed as Grand Warder. Since that time, he has filled the lower chairs and then was nominated to move forward in the upper five chairs.
On the journey through the Grand Line of Knights Templar, he traveled the entire state meeting many Sir Knights and many Past Eminent Grand Commanders. It is with great pride that he is looking forward to becoming the next Eminent Grand Commander of The Sir Knights of The State of Connecticut.
Recently Bill has joined Nutmeg Chapel, St Thomas of Acon, which is his next step to learning further light in Masonry.