Most Excellent Grand High Priest
|Biography: Obie L. Etheridge was born in 1924 in Conroe, Texas, where he attended public schools and was valedictorian of his graduating class at the age of 15. His father, O. Etheridge of Conroe, died in Waco in 1977 of injuries he received in a hit and run accident. He was a long loved as the Grand Chapter �candy man� for this ever-handy peppermint sticks. His mother, Hilda Beazley Etheridge, died in 1988 and was a descendent of the George Washington family.
Prior to entering the Army in 1943, he attended the University of Texas Law School and was a clerk in the Legislature under Speaker Price Daniel, Sr. His Army career included training in the Medical Administrative Corps, a year of studies in the Chinese language, and service in the Secret Intelligence branch of the Office of Strategic Services in Washington.
After the war he graduated from the University of Texas School of Civil Engineering, and pursued that vocation from 1951 until retirement in 1990. He was Street Superintendent for the City of Austin, was senior field engineer on the building of the High Bridge in Corpus Christi for the Texas Highway Department, served as City Engineer of Corpus Christi for six years, and entered private consulting practice in 1955. He was President of the local engineering chapter of the Texas Society of Professional Engineers and served as State Director.
He has been active in Rotary International, serving as President of the Corpus Christi Rotary Club and as District Governor over 2,500 Rotarians in South Texas in 1981-82.
A Mason since 1952, Obie is a Past Master of Corpus Christi Lodge No. 189 and has served as District Deputy Grand Master of the 37th Masonic District. He has just completed a seven year term on the Grand Lodge Committee on Purposes and Policies.
He served as head of all York Rite Bodies in Corpus Christi, and has been their Secretary-Recorder since 1971. He has served the Grand Chapter, Council and Commandery in many capacities and was Grand Orator in 1973 and 1988. He is a recipient of the Knight Templar Cross of Honour. He is Prior of the Texian Priory No. 78 and a Dual Member of Texas Priory No. 23 of the Knight York Cross of Honour. He was elected Grand Scribe of the Grand Royal Arch Chapter of Texas in December 1992, Grand King in 1993, Deputy Grand High Priest in 1994 and installed as Grand High Priest in December 1995.
He is a Past Sovereign and present Recorder of South Texas Conclave of the Order of the Red Cross of Constantine and Past Thrice Illustrious Master of the Order of the Silver Trowel of Texas. He served as Governor of York Rite College No. 60 in San Antonio and is Secretary of South Texas College No. 169 in Corpus Christi. He is a member of the Texas Lodge of Research, the Philatethes Society, the Royal Order of Scotland, Masonic Rosicrucians, Texas College of Knight Masons, the Holy Royal Arch Knight Templar Priests. He is a member of John J. Harris Chapter of the National Sojourners and the Heroes of �76.
He is a 33rd Degree Scottish Rite Mason, belonging to San Antonio Consistory, and is a member of Al Amin Shrine Temple.
He actively pursues his hobbies of writing, foreign language studies, computer programming and operation, and service to the York Rite.
He was married to Gladys Turner in 1943 and they enjoy two sons, two daughters and seven grandchildren. Gladys retired from teaching first grade in 1993.