Christopher Lee Hodapp was born in 1958 in Shaker Heights (a suburb of Cleveland), Ohio, to Norma Jean (Lenhart) and Charles John Hodapp, Jr. His parents divorced in 1960, and Chris has lived in Louisville, KY; Marietta, OH; Dearborn, MI; Ridgefield, CT; Pottsville, PA; Charlottesville, VA; and Indianapolis. His father remarried, to Joyce Ellen Biby Newman of Bucyrus, OH. His mother remarried and was twice widowed – first, to Thomas Stuart Atkins of Louisville (d. 1964), then to Elmer Louis Winkler of Indianapolis (d. 1983). His siblings are Thomas Stuart Atkins Jr; Michael D. Winkler; Philip L. Winkler (d. 1976); Eric D. Winkler; and Holly Ann Winkler Robinson. None of his family have ever been Freemasons.
Chris attended Fall Creek Elementary, Delaware Trails Elementary and Orchard Country Day School, and graduated from Brebeuf Jesuit High School in Indianapolis in 1977. He studied Radio, Television and Film Production at Indiana University/Bloomington; University of Southern California; Los Angeles Valley College; California State University at Northridge; and Indiana University/Purdue University at Indianapolis.
In 1975, he met Alice Ann Funcannon, a graduate of Lawrence Central High School, and they have been continually besotted with each other ever since. They have no children, but they have owned a long succession of dogs.
Chris was employed as a commercial filmmaker with Dean Crow Productions in Indianapolis from 1984 until 2002, and continued to work for the firm on a freelance basis after that. He edited more than 700 television commercials and three feature films during that time. He served at varying times as a production manager, set builder, film and video editor, negative cutter, soundman, cameraman, writer and director. In 2002, he and Alice purchased Autumn Winds Apartments in Anderson, Indiana, and embarked on new careers as landlords.
Brother Hodapp was elected to receive the degrees of Masonry by Broad Ripple Lodge on October 8th, 1998. He was initiated on November 20, 1998, and by courtesy of Calvin W. Prather Lodge No. 717 was both passed to the degree of Fellow Craft and raised to the Sublime Degree of a Master Mason on March 13, 1999, during an all-degree day. He took the degrees of the Scottish Rite in the Indianapolis Valley as a member of the Millenium Class, Spring 2000. In the York Rite, he was exalted to the Royal Arch in Indianapolis Chapter No. 5, R.A.M. on September 29th, 2003, greeted a Select Master in Indianapolis Council No. 2, C.M., on March 29th, 2005, and was created a Knight Templar in Raper Commandery No. 1, K.T., on January 4th, 2005. He was a charter member of Imhotep Council No. 434, A.M.D., when they received their charter in February 2005. He is a plural member of Lodge Vitruvian No. 767, F. & A. M. (of which he is a charter member and was charter Treasurer), and served as Master of that Lodge in 2005 and 2006.
On April 8, 1999, Brother Hodapp was appointed Senior Steward of Broad Ripple Lodge and installed in that position by Worshipful Brother and then-Senior Grand Deacon Roger S. VanGorden. He was elected Senior Warden of Broad Ripple Lodge on December 9, 1999, and elected Worshipful Master on December 14, 2000, receiving the degree of Actual Past Master on December 15, 2000. He was installed as Worshipful Master on December 16, 2001, and when his term in the East was done, was elected and served as Secretary of Broad Ripple Lodge in 2002. He was elected Trustee for 2002-2004 and served as Marshal in 2003. He was re-elected Trustee for 2004-2006.
Chris was awarded the Roy A. Bates Award jointly with Nathan Brindle in 1999 for their service to Broad Ripple Lodge. In 2001, Chris received a special Grand Master’s Award for bringing the Masonic Angel Fund to Indiana.
In April 2004, Chris was suspended from the fraternity by James Chesney PGM, for un-Masonic comments made in an e-mail about the Grand Master’s disciplinary actions against two other Masons. The remarks were made public, and the Grand Master ordered him suspended for one year. He was reinstated in September 2004 by Chesney’s successor, Richard J. Elman, PGM, and assisted that Grand Master by co-authoring a membership promotional video program for the Grand Lodge that year. In November 2004, Grand Master Elman recommended him to Wiley Publishing and Chris was hired to write “Freemasons For Dummies,” part of a very successful series of more than 400 introductory books on a wide variety of subjects. The book was released in October 2005.
Lodge Events of 2001
Lodge officers were installed by John Grein, Past Grand Master and Grand Treasurer. Officers of the Lodge included: Nathan C. Brindle, Senior Warden; Jerry T. Cowley, PM, Junior Warden; David Lee Feldman, Junior Deacon; Robert M. Hunter, Tyler; Donald C. Seeley, PM, Secretary; Irwin H. Sacks, PM, Treasurer. Due to a severe shortage of active members, the positions of Senior Deacon, both Stewards and Chaplain went unfilled. The lodge had 205 members when the year began.
An independent appraisal of the building having determined that it was worth only between $270,000 – $300,000, and it having been further decided that even a leasing agreement through a management company would not be financially rewarding, all discussions of selling the building and renting space from another Lodge for our operations ended. The Worshipful Master expressed his own belief that Broad Ripple was a unique part of Indianapolis, geographically and philosophically, and that moving downtown would rob the lodge of its rightful place within that community. Instead, the Lodge’s energies were turned into renovation and remodeling what we already had, and possibly finding other Lodges or appendant bodies to move in with us to better utilize the building.
As a result, this year saw a flurry of activity in the Lodge building proper, as the Worshipful Master spearheaded a drive to clean up, paint, modernize, and generally improve the looks of our building. By late August the reception area on the first floor had been repainted and wallpapered, and a chair rail installed. The old couches which had served for many years were removed (the Worshipful Master’s comment, “They should be cleaned and then burned,” giving rise to a good deal of laughter), and new ones purchased to match the overall décor of the room. The cost of one of the new couches was covered by a donation from Barbara Lanouette, as a memorial to her late husband and our Past Master David Lanouette.
The large chest of drawers used for storage of aprons and ritual necessities was moved into the coat closet nearest the reception area. This eliminated the traffic bottleneck its original position, near the door of the Lodge in a narrow corridor, tended to cause. The restrooms and the preparation room on the first floor were also spruced up.
The Waymire Library received two new chairs and two new glass-front bookcases. It was planned to recarpet the room in 2002. The Lodge having resolved that it should spend $250 per year on improving the contents of the library, the Worshipful Master purchased from Indiana Masonic Supplies a number of basic Masonic works that were lacking.
Plans were also made to redecorate and refurnish the Lodge office, but this project was put off until the following year.
To improve the safety of the building, emergency lights, exit signs, and fire extinguishers were purchased; the fire extinguishers were installed by year’s end and the rest of the equipment was scheduled to be installed early in 2002.
Outside the building, the “rock garden” and the three evergreens in the front yard were removed, topsoil added, and grass planted. Two underground tanks were discovered (probably septic tanks from the house that originally occupied the site), and the rocks were used to fill in the tanks, along with holes caused by water erosion on the west side of the building. At the front entrance, an asphalt ramp was built to address the difference between the height of the sidewalk and the height of the entryway floor, a matter of about four inches, which had caused trouble for some of our older members.
In April, the Lodge created a Masonic Angel Fund, seeding it with $1000 from the Lodge general fund. This fund would deliver modest assistance to children in need who do not fit the criteria for the usual social service programs, being designed to provide money for small but important expenditures that can make a difference in a child’s life. Money for glasses, books, winter coats, new shoes, summer camp fees and the like are not extravagant, but are nevertheless out of the reach of struggling families. The Fund would first partner with School 84 in Broad Ripple, and hopefully with other schools as time goes on.
Also in April, the Lodge surprised Worshipful Brother Brayton Deal with the presentation of a Lifetime Masonic Achievement Award during the Past Masters’ Dinner. Six Master Masons, members of the extended Deal Family, were on hand along with more than twenty other members of the Family to extend congratulations to our Brother Past Master by affiliation. WBro. Brayton was Master of Greensburg Lodge No. 36 in 1943 and has kept his membership in that Lodge as well as affiliating with Broad Ripple Lodge for many years as a plural member. We honor him for his commitment to Masonry, and for all he has done and meant to Broad Ripple Lodge these last few years.
During the week of Memorial Day, the Lodge placed flowers on the Mustards’ graves at Union Chapel Cemetery.
Our Fourth of July picnic this year was livened by the participation of a number of brethren from Calvin W. Prather Lodge No. 717.
On Monday, July 9, 2001, the Lodge rang with the sound of bagpipes as the Highlanders piped the officers of the Lodge into the Lodge Room for the purpose of conducting the Masonic Memorial Service by courtesy, vice Sullivan Lodge No. 263, for our twice-Past Master Robert Carl Hilgediek, who died July 3, 2001. This followed a eulogy by Worshipful Brother Ed Evans of Centre Lodge No. 23. The Memorial Service was rendered by Worshipful Brother David W. Bosworth of Calvin W. Prather Lodge No. 717, an honorary member of Broad Ripple Lodge. The funeral was attended by over 100 members, honorary members, visiting Brethren, and members of the public.
In August, a new Lodge was granted a dispensation by the Grand Master to operate as Lodge Vitruvian, U.D. Lodge Vitruvian is a “European Concept” lodge, which meets quarterly in the format used by our Brethren in England and elsewhere around the world, with tuxedos and white gloves de rigueur for the members, and a festive board following the business meetings with research papers given by the members or by distinguished guests. The charter membership of the Lodge is drawn from all over the State of Indiana. Our Lodge agreed to host the new Lodge’s operations, with a per-capita annual rental to be determined in 2002. Several members of Broad Ripple Lodge, including the Worshipful Master, the Senior Warden, and the Treasurer, were charter members of Lodge Vitruvian.
In September, of course, came the dark day of 9/11 and the terrorist attacks on our Country that ended with so many dead and the Twin Towers obliterated from the New York skyline. The minutes of the Lodge record with black borders a prayer offered by the Worshipful Master at the Stated Meeting only two days later; the Lodge also draped its Charter for 30 days, “in token of our sympathy and solidarity with those who [bore] this horrendous loss”. The next month, the Lodge would donate the amount of $1 for each Master Mason currently a member of this Lodge to the Grand Lodge of New York World Trade Center Fund, that motion passing unanimously.
November saw the mood lighten a bit with the First Annual Broad Ripple Lodge Chili Cookoff on the 17th, which just happened to coincide with the Worshipful Master’s birthday. First place and the first name inscribed upon the coveted Scarlet Pepper Cup went to “Uncle Don Seeley’s Famous Seven Pepper Chili”, while second place went to Brother Lee Hargitt’s “Lucky Lee’s Chili”. “Iron Chef Masonic” Seeley boasted, “My finely crafted culinary composition was of course rightfully victorious” — definitely setting the tone for the next year’s competition.
Also in November, the Lodge approved the purchase of a new set of officers’ aprons to match the set of Past Masters’ aprons purchased the previous year. The Lodge also approved the purchase of a 46″ projection television set for the dining room, which was planned to be used for Masonic education and also for Lodge movie nights. Through shrewd negotiation and retail loopholes, the 46″ TV became a 52″ TV when it was delivered. The television was inaugurated at the Feast of St. John the Evangelist, held at Broad Ripple on December 27th, by WBro. Hodapp, who gave a presentation on his Masonic travels to France and Great Britain. It has since been used many times to the great appreciation of the Lodge.
In December, the Lodge purchased the two stair lifts in the front entryway, of which the cost of one was donated by the Eastern Star. The two units cost the Lodge and Star approximately $6000, and were installed in January 2002 by several brethren.
Called to the Lodge Above in 2001:
|Glen Alfred Oppegard||David Rex England||Charles Perry Wright|
|Irvin Paul Norris||Arnold Benjamin Theissen||Ralph Leroy Smith|
|James Andrew Crosbie||James Lowry Schloot||Anthony Joseph Bochicchio|
Raised as Master Masons:
|Charles Arrell Reinking||Jeromey Russell Goetz||Bernard Reynald Rey|
|John Daniel Fisher||Damon Andrew Drill||Todd Matthew Ebbert|
|Erik Kurt Hiner||Kevin Elbert Moore|
Joined by affiliation:
|Paul Lee Hargitt III*|
*Plural member, affiliated from Lodge Hiogo and Osaka No. 498 S.C., Kobe, Japan