When a light goes out

by Midnight Freemason Contributor
WB Darin A. Lahners

WB Keith Sigwerth 

Freemasonry in my little corner of the woods was dealt a tremendous blow when a brother that many of you didn't know by the name of, Keith A. Sigwerth passed away on Dec. 18, 2023, after being diagnosed earlier this year with Stage 4 pancreatic cancer. Before I begin to tell you about Keith in my own words, I want to share his Masonic resume:  

Keith was a Master Mason dedicated to raising fellow brothers to become Master Masons. He became Master of his Lodge, Mahomet Masonic Lodge #220 in 2016 and served as Master of his lodge for two consecutive years. He was part of Traveling Degree, a Lifetime Member of Mahomet Masonic Lodge #220, and an honorary member of several surrounding lodges including Western Star Lodge #240, Ogden Masonic Lodge #754, Tolono Masonic Lodge #391, Monticello Masonic Fraternal Lodge #58, Farmer City Masonic Lodge #710, Paxton Masonic Lodge Room #416, Gibson City Lodge #733, Rantoul Lodge #470, Sidney Lodge #347, Urbana Lodge #157 and Homer Lodge #199.

He quickly became a 32nd-degree Mason after joining the Valley of Danville Scottish Rite and served on the Line of Perfection for several years.

He was a member of the Illini Shrine Club and became President for two consecutive years. He also became a part of the Hi-Lo Wheelers where you would see Keith in parades all around east-central Illinois in his little yellow car.

Keith and his Shrine Car

Transporting dozens of children and their families to and from the St. Louis, MO and Chicago, IL Shriners Hospitals for Children; he was a loyal transporter for the Shriners for several years.

Keith joined the Ansar Shrine Club in Springfield where he entered the Divan Line, serving four years. He was an Ambassador for Ansar Shrine, Tri-County Shrine, Shelby County Shrine Club, and Eastern Illinois Shrine Club in Danville, visiting many Shrine clubs throughout the state.

Keith and His Wife Becky

Let me just tell you in my own words about Keith.  Keith was one of the friendliest and most down-to-earth brothers you could ever meet.  Earlier this year, before his diagnosis, I had sent an email to the brethren of Homer Lodge #199 telling them that we had been having trouble making quorum.  Keith lived probably 40 to 45 minutes from Homer, but he showed up because I asked for help.  He was an honorary member at Homer #199 and didn't have to drive all that way to help us out, but he did.  He did because that's who Keith was.  That was his character.  He would go out of his way to help out.  Any brother that had the pleasure of knowing Keith would probably say the same thing. He was just one of those quiet, unassuming brothers who really made an impact here in East Central Illinois.  

There were over 50 brothers who drove from all over the state to attend Keith's Masonic Service, including the current Potentate of the ANSAR Shrine, Jason Cutright.  His Masonic Rites were given by WB Jeff Baine, who was a friend of Keith's and asked by his wife to give those rites.  I don't know how Jeff did it without a complete emotional breakdown, because lord knows I was fighting back tears during them.  

If there is any other point to this article other than wanting to make sure Keith's legacy lives on Masonically, it's to do something I did every time Keith helped me out personally, but something that I think I should have done the last time I saw him, which was this past September 30 at a Pancake Breakfast fundraiser at Mahomet Lodge #220.  I should have thanked him again and told him how much respect I had for him, and how he inspired me to be better.  So, Keith, I thank you for being a bright light in Freemasonry and for being a positive influence on those around you.  Thank You for leading by example.  Thank You for being kind.  Thank You for being you.  You'll be missed brother.  Not just by myself, but by those who were lucky enough to know you.       

Keith is survived by his loving wife, Becky Sigwerth (Smith) of Mahomet; daughter Michelle Bonham and Son-In-Law who he loved like his own, Eric Bonham of Mahomet; grandchildren Robert, Mackenzie, Bailey, and Josie Mae Bonham of Mahomet, and sister-in-law Glenda Sigwerth of Mt. Vernon. He loved his sidekick and best buddy, Brody, his black lab puppy.


Darin Lahners is our Managing Editor. He is a host and producer of the "Meet, Act and Part" podcast as well as a co-host of an all-things-paranormal podcast, "Beyond the 4th Veil." He is currently serving the Grand Lodge of Illinois Ancient Free and Accepted Masons as a member of the Committee on Masonic Education He is a Past Master of St. Joseph Lodge No.970 in St. Joseph. He is also a plural member of Homer Lodge No. 199 (IL), where he is also a Past Master. He’s also a member of the Scottish Rite Valley of Danville, a charter member of Illinois Royal Arch Chapter, Admiration Chapter No. 282, Salt Fork Shrine Club under the Ansar Shrine, and a grade one (Zelator) in the S.C.R.I.F. Prairieland College in Illinois. He is also a Fellow of the Illinois Lodge of Research. He was presented with the Torok Award from the Illinois Lodge of Research in 2021.  

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