National Sojourners®

"When we assumed the soldier, we did not lay aside the citizen."

Grande Dame Floretta “Flo” Barnes

Lady Flo Barnes, the wife of PNP Wayne Barnes, passed 11/23/22.

Floretta was born to Earnest and Minnie Eden Burton on March 6th, 1938, in Martin, Kentucky and raised in Bicknell, Indiana. Floretta attended Bicknell High School and graduated with the class of 1956.

She married the love of her life C. Wayne Barnes on April 12th, 1957. They recently celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary with friends and all their family.

Since Wayne was in the Army, Floretta became an Army wife and mother. Her travels started in 1963 when she boarded a train in Vincennes, Indiana headed to Germany with her two-year-old Wendy Barnes (Coffey). She spent a total of 27 years in her travels as a military wife, with six years in Germany and two years in Taiwan and she has lived on 5 Bases in the US. All the time raising two fantastic daughters, Wendy and Cindy.

Floretta is a 45-Year member of Mt Olive Chapter of the Order of the Eastern Star of Indiana, she is a Shrine Lady of Alee and the Hinesville/Fort Stewart Shrine Club for over 30 years, a Scottish Rite Lady in Savannah for over 45 Years, a National Sojourner Camp Follower for over 20 years she has supported 12 Mid-Winter Conventions and 10 Annual Conventions.

In June at the 101st Annual Convention in Milwaukee, Wisconsin Floretta was named a Grande Dame, the highest Honor that can be given a Lady in the National Sojourners.

She loved to travel and to shop. She never met a handbag or pair of shoes she didn’t need to bring home.

She is preceded in death by her parents, her siblings, Delbert, Willa Mae, Margaret, Edward, Edna, Josephine, Virginia Ruth, June, Ruby, and Gene. And her grandson, Brian Wayne Coffey. She is survived by her adoring husband, C. Wayne Barnes, daughters, Wendy (Brian) Coffey of Augusta, Ga. and Cindy (Jim) Huntley, of Port Deposit, MD.; grandchildren, Jarrod K. Coffey, of Baldwin, Ga., Valinda F. L. (Josh) Williams, of Orlando, Fl., Andrew J. Huntley, and Ainsley G. Huntley, of Port Deposit, Md., and great-granddaughter, Aurora Layne Williams. She is also survived by a sister, Linda (Steve) Jones and several nieces and nephews.

Pallbearers are Jarrod Coffey, Andrew Huntley, Lamar Dowd, Ken Porter, JJ Johns, and Roger Hutchinson. Honorary Pallbearers are Members of Hinesville Masonic Lodge, Hinesville Ft Stewart Shrine Club, and National Sojourners.

The funeral service will be held on Tuesday, November 29, 2022, at 2:00 pm at the Thomas L. Carter Funeral Home in Flemington, Georgia with visitation beginning at 1:00 pm followed by burial at Oglethorpe Memorial Cemetery. MWPGM and Reverend Donald C. Combs will officiate.

1SG Andrew F. Hirst, USA (Ret) (PNC 2011-2012)

It is my sad duty to report Brother Andrew F. Hirst, PNC, (2011-2012), laid down his working tools and he passed to the Grand Commander of us all on 23 July 2022.

Andrew Hirst was born in Sackets Harbor, NY on 19 May 1933 to Raymond and Ethel Hirst (Dyer). Andy’s father served in the U.S. Army for 12 years and was honorably discharged at in Madison Barracks in Sackets Harbor, and he spent the rest of his working career with the New York Central Railroad. Andrew resided in Watertown, NY, where he attended public schools up to the tenth grade, when he dropped out to enlist in the U.S. Army.

Andrew Hirst’s first assignment was to Basic Training at Fort Meade, MD from August to October 1950. In November 1950, he attended Cook School and then was assigned to Kelly Barracks, GE as a cook from January 1951 to July 1953. In July 1953, he was honorably discharged the first time. During his five-year absence from the military, Andrew obtained his General Educational Development Degree. In December 1958, he re-enlisted in the U.S. Army and was stationed at Fort Sill, OK, again as a cook. While at Fort Sill Andrew Hirst applied for Nuclear Weapons School at Sandia Base NM. After finishing Nuclear Weapons School, he was stationed at Thule AB, Greenland during 1960, after which he was assigned to Fort Story VA during 1961. From 1962 to 1965, he was stationed in Okinawa, at which time he got into the administration field. He departed Okinawa in May 1965 for Army Recruiting School at Fort Benjamin Harrison, IN, and then on to Portsmouth NH as an Army recruiter. His next assignment was at Yale University in New Haven, CT for four years, supporting the Army ROTC program. In 1969, he was honorably discharged the second time. After returning to Portsmouth, NH and four years later, he re-enlisted in 1973 in the 76th Division, U.S. Army Reserves as a Drill Sergeant, was ultimately promoted to 1SG, and retired in 1983, with a cumulative total of 26 years of service. His awards include the Occupation Medal Europe, Good Conduct Medal with three knots, and USAR Medal.

Brother Andrew Hirst was raised a Master Mason in Loo Choo Lodge #172 in Okinawa on 4 Dec 1964. He affiliated with Saint James Lodge #102 in Hampton NH in 1973; was Worshipful Past Master in 1991, was Lodge ritualist and prompter in 1992 to present, was Lodge Secretary 2001-2006, and was Lodge Chaplain at various times. He was Grand Marshal for the Grand Lodge of New Hampshire in 1995-2007. He was elected a permanent member of NH Grand Lodge in 2008. In Scottish Rite, he joined the Valley of Okinawa (A.A.S.R.S.J) in January 1965 and affiliated with the A.A.S.R.N.M.J. as a dual member in 1973. He is a Past Thrice Potent Master in the Valley of Portsmouth-Dover, NH. In 2001, he was elevated to the rank of Knight Commander Court of Honor of the A.A.S.R.S.J. at its 200th Anniversary, which was held in Charleston SC. In 2005, he was coroneted a 33° I.G.H. by the A.A.S.R.S.J. in Washington D.C. In York-Rite, he is a member or RAM, R&SM, and KT bodies in New Hampshire. In Shrine, he is a member of Bektash Shrine Concord, NH since 1985 and a member of Cycle Patrol from 1985 through 1998.

National Sojourners & Heroes of ’76: Brother Hirst joined Portsmouth Chapter #386 in 2004 and was Chapter President in 2007-08. He became a Hero in General William Whipple Camp, Heroes of ’76, in 2004 and was Camp Commander in 2006-07. At the National level, he was an Area Representative for Northern New England Area, and received the Memphis Cup in 2008. He was member of the Committee of 33, Chapter Revitalization and Chartering Committee, and Education and Training Committee. He is an Emeritus Member and was the National Commander in 2011-12 and received the Van Deventer Award in 2016.

MAJ Nelson O. Newcombe, USA (Ret) (Emeritus)

Sunrise: May 19, 1933; Sunset: March 9, 2022.

Brother Nelson O. Newcombe passed away on March 9, 2022. He was the son of the late Walter Owen and Edna Newcombe of Auburn, Maine. He was predeceased by his wife, Carole, in 2014. He is survived by Walter O. (June) Newcombe, Jeffrey A. (Rebecca) Newcombe, Dawn E. (William) McGraw, and Judy (Bill, deceased) Saccardi. He has seven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. He was a 1951 graduate of Edward Little High School and the University of Maine in 1956. He served 20 years in the U.S. Army including tours in Korea, Germany, and Vietnam (2). He then served as the National Secretary-Treasurer of National Sojourners, Inc. for 37 years.

He was a Mason for 68 years and was a Past Master of Semper Paratus Lodge No. 49 in the District of Columbia and a member of Tranquil Lodge #29 in Auburn, ME. He was a member of the Order of Eastern Star in Pine Cone Chapter #26 in Auburn, ME and Faith Chapte r #177 in Annandale, VA for 66 years. He was a York Rite Mason and Scottish Rite Mason in the District of Columbia for 62 years, where he received his KCCH. He was a Past Sovereign of the Red Cross of Constantine, a Past Grand Tall Cedar of the Tall Cedar s of Lebanon. He was the recipient of the DeMolay Legion of Honor, National Sojourners Legion of Honor, and the Silver Beaver of the Boy Scouts of America.

Viewing is 16 March, 2022, from 6 PM to 8 PM at Demaine Funeral Home, 5308 Backlick Rd, Springfield The family has also requested an OES and Masonic service for that evening, but the times have not been set. Please call the National Sojourners National Office at 703 5000 for further details on Monday, 14 March. He will be interred at Arlington National Cemetery at a future date. In lieu of flowers, please make your donations to the National Sojourners Endowment Memorial Fund (SEM).

Please mail checks payable to National Sojourners Headquarters 7942 R Cluny Court Springfield, VA 22153. Notate in the memo field: In memory of Nelson Newcombe Condolences and letters may be sent to: Newcombe family c/o Heather McGraw 8523 Parliament Drive Springfield, VA 22151

His full BACKGROUND & BIOGRAPHY can be found HERE.

Terri Harris (Wife of Col Frank W. Harris, III, PNP)

It is with a heavy heart that we are informing you of the passing of Terri Harris on December 19, 2020. In the past, Terri had assisted the Secretary and helped with secretarial duties for Quantico Chapter #44, Terri was the beloved wife of Frank Harris, PNP. Please keep Frank and the family in your thoughts and prayers. In an expression of sympathy, donations may be made to the SEM Fund. Please make checks payable to the SEM Fund and mail to the National Office, 7942 R Cluny Court, Springfield, VA, 22153, and in the notation line of the check include “In memory of Terri Harris”.

Sympathy cards may be sent to the following address: Col Frank W. Harris III 13009 Caton Pl Manassas, VA 20112-4629

Josie Arroyo (Wife of CW5 Pedro Arroyo, PNC)

It is with a heavy heart that we are informing you of the passing of Josie Arroyo on December 14, 2020. A Grande Dame, Josie was the beloved wife of Pedro A. Arroyo, PNC. Please keep Pedro and the family in your thoughts and prayers In an expression of sympathy, donations may be made to the SEM Fund. Please make checks payable to the SEM Fund and mail to the National Office, 7942 R Cluny Court, Springfield, VA, 22153, and in the notation line of the check include “In memory of Josie Arroyo”.

Sympathy cards may be sent to the following address: CW5 Pedro Arroyo 1011 California Creek Dr Oviedo, FL 32765-5615