Harry Benjamin Futch was born on June 13, 1928 in the great city of Hialeah, Florida. His family, who had come from Southern Georgia, settled in the Allapattah section of Miami, which was sometimes referred to by locals as "God's Country". He completed his primary studies at Buena Vista Elementary and Robert E. Lee Jr. High before graduating from Miami Jackson High School in 1946.
After graduation, Harry decided to enlist in the military to see the world. He choose the Air Force, perhaps because of the strong military aviation activity in the Greater Miami area at the time. He went through training and became an excellent aircraft mechanic and flight engineer. Harry soon found himself involved in the Korean Conflict, flying dangerous missions all over Southeast Asia. For the next 15 years he served on various installations around the globe including bases in Japan and Saudi Arabia. In the mid 1960's, Harry returned home to the United States to serve as a Air Force Recruiter. He was stationed in the Bronx Borough of New York City, just down the street from Yankee Stadium. By 1967 his services as a flight engineer were needed once more, this time in Vietnam. Again, Harry found himself flying hazardous missions during this controversial war. He received the Bronze Star for his heroism during North Vietnamese TET Offensive in January of 1968. As his Tour of Duty in Southeast Asia was coming to an end, Harry decided to retire after 25 years of service. He finished out his Air Force Career in Germany and Norway before retiring with full honors as a Master Sergeant in 1970.
Harry returned to his hometown of Miami and soon went to work as a Technician for the U.S. Postal Service. In 1977 he met and married the love of his life, the former Marjorie Marden. The two met in the exotic city of Opa Locka, Florida, which contributed to the strength and keen romance of their marriage. He retired from the Post Office in 1990, but still felt young and energetic. He looked for another job to occupy his time which led him into a lucrative Sports Merchandising career selling the retail and memorabilia products of the Florida Marlins, Miami Heat and Florida Panthers. These were exciting times for Harry as he worked the inaugural seasons of the Marlins and Panthers as well as many other events at Joe Robbie Stadium and the National Rent-A-Car Center.
His Masonic Career began in April of 1986 when he was raised a Master Mason in Hialeah Lodge No. 320 F. & A.M. He immediately moved through the chairs, serving as Worshipful Master in 1990. He became Lodge Secretary in 1996, a position he held for 19 terms. As the years went by, Harry became more and more involved at the District and State levels. He held countless Grand Lodge Appointments and served as District Deputy Grand Master of the 27th (34th) District in 1999. He was an Honorary Member of Clyde S. McLaren, Coral Gables, Eureka North Shore, Hurricane, Oleeta West Dade, and Pensacola Lodges. He was a Past Chairman of the Masters' & Wardens' Association of Miami-Dade County and served as Chairman of the Christmas in October Party for many years. Perhaps his greatest contribution to Masonry was his involvement in Memorial Lodge No. 28. Harry conducted hundreds of funerals for departed brothers in South Florida and was known as one of the best orators that has ever performed this service. He brought much comfort to bereaved families and much honor to the fraternity through this work.
Harry was a 33º Scottish Rite Mason and a member of the Valley of Miami. He served as the Kitchen Chairman, member of the Membership Committee, President of the North Dade Scottish Rite Club and participated in many degrees, including serving as Degree Master of the 32º. He was a member of the Royal Order of Scotland and the local National Sojourners Chapter. He also held membership in the Miami York Rite Bodies and Everglades York Rite College. He was a member of Mi-Am-I Grotto M.O.V.P.E.R. and served as Monarch in 1992.
Harry became a Shriner on December 2, 1989. He was active with the Past Master's Unit, participating in the Traitor's Play as General George Washington starting in 1992. He served as Mahi's Chaplain and Ceremonial Potentate in charge of the 1st Section of the Classes. He was a member of the Provost Guard, Ambassador Corps and the Order of the Anhinga. He also served as Secretary of the Hollywood Shrine Club.
In 2000, Harry became the Mahi Dade County Hospital Chairman and later assumed the duties for all of Mahi's jurisdiction. He was responsible for coordinating patient travel to and from the Tampa Hospital by the Mahi Roadrunners and made many of the trips himself. Few know of the extensive work involved in this endeavor and Harry performed an exemplary job.
Harry and Marjorie lived in Pembroke Pines overlooking a beautiful lake until 2015 when they moved to the Masonic Home in St. Petersburg. They lived there until their recent passing within a month of each other. They are survived by four sons, four wonderful daughters in law, twelve grandchildren and four great grandchildren.
A Memorial Service, including Masonic and Military portions, will be held at the Masonic Home of Florida on Friday September 14, 2018 at 10AM in the Board Room.
Noble W:. Patrick Palmer will lead the Masonic Service.