Grand Masters

Grand Master Wilbur Edwin Johnson
Title: Grand Master
Year: 1989 - 1990
Home Council: Houston No. 1

Companion Wilbur E. Johnson was born in Bartlesville, Oklahoma on August 22, 1914, the son of Clyde E. and Laura Mae Johnson. He attended the Bartlesville schools, graduating from High School there in 1932. He attended Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois and graduated in 1938 with a B.S. Degree in Finance. While in the University, he was a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity.

Following graduation he went to work for the Carter Oil Company (now Exxon) in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Subsequent assignments took him to Jackson, Mississippi; Bismarck, North Dakota; and St. Elmo, Illinois. In 1942, he was drafted into the U.S. Air Force and took in-station training to be a weather observer at Baer Field, Fort Wayne, Indiana. In January, 1943, he sailed to Abadan, Iran, and was assigned to the 19th Weather Squadron. He was in the Middle East for 31 months, with assignments in Kano, Nigeria; Doroud, Iran; Benghazi, Libya; and Cairo, Egypt. He was honorably discharged in October, 1945, after 40 months of total service and immediately returned to work for the Carter Oil Company in St. Elmo, Illinois.

On October 18, 1946 he and Marilyn Munday were married in Oklahoma City. They have four children, Jim, Tom, Susan and David, and one grandchild, David Paul Galvin. In 1953, he was transferred by Carter to Tulsa, and lived there until 1966, when he was transferred by Hubble Oil and Refining Company to Houston, Texas. He retired from Exxon on July 31, 1976, after 38 years and 3 days of service, and has continued to live in Houston since that time.

He served as Elder of Memorial Drive Presbyterian Church, Houston, in 1968-71, and in January, 1990, completed a one-year term as President of the Gulf Coast Chapter, National Railway Historical Society.

Masonic History

He was Raised a Master Mason in Bartlesville (Oklahoma) Lodge No. 284 on September 21, 1945 while still in uniform. He transferred his membership to Vandalia, Illinois and served as Worshipful Master of Temperance Lodge No. 16 in 1952-53. He had subsequent memberships in Rock Lodge No. 513, Tulsa, Oklahoma and Gray Lodge No. 329, Houston, where he is still a member, and is also a member of Bellaire Lodge No. 1336, Houston. He is a Charter Member of J.W. Chandler Daylight Lodge No. 1452, and served as its first Junior Warden. He then became Senior Warden in July, 1989, and is currently serving in that capacity.

He was Exalted in Vandalia Chapter No. 136, Vandalia, Illinois in May, 1947 and served as High Priest in 1949. He was later a member of Tulsa Chapter No. 52, and afterwards Washington Chapter No. 2, Houston, where he served as Most Excellent High Priest in 1979-80. He now serves as Secretary of that body, and holds plural membership in Will N. Kidd Chapter No. 424 and Lloyd L. Gibson Chapter No. 481. He was District Deputy Grand High Priest of District No. 5-B in 1985. Prior to affiliation, he was elected an Honorary Member of Will N. Kidd Chapter No. 424 in 1981. He served as Excellent Grand Principal Sojourner in Capitular Years 1982-83 and 1985-86. He received the Order of High Priesthood at Chicago, Illinois in 1949.

He was Greeted a Select Master in Centralia (Illinois) Council No. 28 in June, 1947 and served as Thrice Illustrious Master in 1952-53. He later became a member of Tulsa Council No. 22, and then moved his membership to Houston Council No. 1, where he served as Trice Illustrious Master in 1979-80. He currently serves as Recorder of that Council. He holds plural memberships in San Jacinto Council No. 347 and Lloyd L. Gibson Council No. 394. He served as District Deputy Grand Master of District 5-B in Cryptic Year 1980-81 and as Illustrious Grand Steward of the Grand Council in 1984-85. He received the Order of Thrice Illustrious Master (Silver Trowel) at Peoria, Illinois in 1952. He was elected Right Illustrious Grand Principal Conductor of the Work in 1987, Right Illustrious Deputy Grand Master in 1988, and Most Illustrious Grand Master in December 1989.

He was Knighted in Cyrene Commandery No. 23, Centralia, Illinois in May, 1948, and was serving as Generalissimo when transferred to Tulsa in 1953. He became a member of Trinity Commandery No. 20, Tulsa, and later transferred his membership to Ruthven Commandery No. 2, Houston, where he served as Commander in 1980. He holds dual membership in Houston Commandery No. 95. During Templar Years 1987-88 and 1988-89, he was Assistant Chairman of the Knights Templar Eye Foundation of Texas.

He received the Scottish Rite Degrees in the Valley of Houston in March, 1973, the Rank and Investiture of the Knight Commander Court of Honor in 1977, and was coroneted a 33rd Degree Honorary Inspector General in 1985. He served as Wise Master of the Chapter of Rose Croix in the Valley of Houston in 1988.

He became a member of the York Rite College in Texas College No. 14 in May, 1980, and then was a Charter Member of Gulf Coast College No. 106, Houston, where he served as Pre-eminent Governor in 1988-89. In July, 1989, he was elected to receive the Order of the Purple Cross. He became a member of Texas Priory No. 23, Knight York Cross of Honour, and is currently serving as Orator of that body. Other memberships include Royal Order of Scotland, San Jacinto Conclave of the Red Cross of Constantine, Arabia Shrine Temple in Houston, Chinar Grotto in Houston, Bellaire Chapter No. 1021, O.E.S., Resurrection Tabernacle No. 21 of the Holy Royal Arch Knight Templar Priests. He is currently Grand Chapter Representative to California and Grand Council Representative to Indiana.