R.W. Lawrence D. Tonini, 1945 – 2024

By Robert Huke |

R.W. Lawrence D. Tonini (Wisdom Lodge, West Stockbridge), past Junior Grand Warden, departed to the Celestial Lodge above on April 16, 2024. He was 78.

Brother Tonini was initiated into Wisdom Lodge on April 16, 1970, exactly 54 years before his passing. He was raised on June 18, 1970. He also belonged to Occidental Lodge, West Stockbridge, Cincinnatus Lodge, Great Barrington, New Moon Lodge, Pittsfield, and Union Lodge, Norwood.

He was installed Master of Wisdom Lodge in 1977 and was quickly recognized for his talent and effort. In 1979 he was appointed Senior Grand Deacon, his first Grand Lodge position. M.W. J. Philip Berquist, Grand Master, 1981-1983, installed him as District Deputy Grand Master of the Pittsfield 16th Masonic District, in 1981 and 1982. At the December 14, 1983 Grand Lodge Quarterly Communication, Brother Tonini was elected Junior Grand Warden, a position he held in 1984. He was awarded the Henry Price Medal, the highest honor in the jurisdiction, that same year. He was a Grand Lecturer from 1985 through 1987, and Grand Representative for the Grand Lodge of China (Taiwan) from 1986-1989.

He was a member of Mount Holyoke Chapter Royal Arch Masons, Holyoke Council Royal and Select Master Masons, and Northampton Commandery No. 30. He also belonged to Saint Matthew’s Conclave, Red Cross of Constantine, South Hadley.

R.W. Christopher A. Tonini, Brother Tonini’s son, is the presiding Junior Grand Warden, holding the same position his father occupied 40 years ago.

A native of West Stockbridge, he graduated from Williams High School in 1964. He continued his education at Stockbridge School of Agriculture. On August 13, 1966 he married the love of his life, Barbara Russell. They had two children, Carmen and Chris. Larry was employed by The Lane Construction Corporation retiring as safety manager for the corporation in 2013 after 47 years. He served on the West Stockbridge Fire Department for 35 years, holding the position of Fire Chief between 1983 and 2003. He also proudly served West Stockbridge as a member of the Capital Planning Committee from 1987-1992, the Emergency Planning Committee from 1987-2005 and as a Select Board member from 1996 to 2005.

Calling hours will be held on Sunday, April 28 from 10am-12pm at the Pittsfield Masonic Building at 116 South Street, Pittsfield, MA. A Masonic Memorial Service, which is open to the public will be held at 12:30pm.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be in Brother Tonini’s memory to the Grand Lodge Scholarship Committee, in care of Wisdom Lodge, P.O. Box 461, West Stockbridge, MA 01266 or to the Berkshire Humane Society directly or c/o Finnerty & Stevens Funeral Home, 426 Main St., Great Barrington, MA 01230.

“Well done, good and faithful servant.”