Companion Richard Henry Coates was born in Sasakwa, Seminole County, Oklahoma, on January 24, 1921, the son of James Henry and Mae Grace Cardin Coates. He was Salutatorian of his 1936 graduating class at Pryor High School, Pryor, Oklahoma. Graduated Northeastern State College, Tahlequah, Oklahoma, 1940, B. A. degree in Education. Member of Alpha Chapter, Kappa Mu Epsilon (Mathematics); Rho Theta Sigma (Honor Society); and Oklahoma Alpha Chapter of Alpha Chi, National Honorary Scholastic, 1938. Attended Mississippi Southern, Hattiesberg, Mississippi, summer of 1951. Graduate of Baylor University, Master of Science in Education, 1961.
He served his country in U.S.N.R.-R. Electronics Officer and was rated Naval Aviation Observer (Radar), 1945. Served on the Staff of Carrier Air Group Numbers 94 and 41. Member of N.R.O. School, Waco, Texas. Member of N.A.I.R.T.U., 701 Naval Air Station, Grand Prairie, Texas. Served as Administration and Training Officer. Completed 36 tours of Active Duty Training 1957-1969. Completed “Emergency Management of the National Economy” -Industrial College of the Armed Forces 1957. Retired as Lieutenant Commander 1981. American Legion Austin Chapter, 1989.
At the present time is a member of the choir, Davis Memorial United Methodist Church, North Richland Hills, Texas.
Presently married to Margaret Louise Smith Coates. Together they have nine living children and seventeen grandchildren.
Past employers include: Retail Credit Company, Oklahoma Unemployment Commission, War Department and the Treasury Department.
Became a member of the Independent Order of the Odd Fellows Grapevine Lodge No. 402 in January 1991.
He was raised a Master Mason in Fidelis Lodge No. 1127, Waco, Texas, in December 1957 and was Worshipful Master in 1966-67. Is an Endowed Member. Served the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge as Grand Senior Steward, 1969-70 and Grand Marshall 1972-73, Chairman, Committee Lodges U.D. 1987 and 1988. Member of Sunrise Daylight Lodge No. 1433, 1975, Charter Member and Charter Secretary. Esoteric Life Certificate, Grand Lodge of Texas, A.F. & A.M. 1983.
Waco Valley A.A.S.C.R., 1958, was Venerable Master in 1968, Charter- Life member, Knight Commander Court of Honor 1969.
He was Exalted in Waco Chapter No. 45 on February 9, 1970 and is a Dual Member of Riverside Chapter No. 468 where he served as High Priest in 1980-81, and is a Life Member. He is an Endowed Member of Waco Chapter. Appointed Grand Captain of the Host in 1986. Appointed Grand Representative of the Grand Chapter of West Virginia near the Grand Chapter of Texas in 1985.
He was Greeted in Waco Council No. 33 on February 11, 1970 and is an Endowed Member. Dual member of Riverside Council No. 384, serving as Thrice Illustrious Master in 1980-81 and is a Life Member. Served as District Deputy Grand Master in District No. 17 in 1984-85. Appointed Grand Captain of the Guards in 1985-86. Appointed Grand Representative of the Grand Council of New York near the Grand Chapter of Texas in 1986. Elected Grand Principal Conductor of the Work in 1988, Deputy Grand Master in 1989 and M:I: Grand Master in December 1990.
Became a member of Waco Commandery No. 10 in 1970 and is a Dual member of Arlington Commandery No. 107 where he served as Commander in 1986. District No. 6 Membership Chairman, Grand Commandery of Texas in 1987. Life Sponsor, Knights Templar Eye Foundation, Waco and Arlington.
His other affiliations are: Karem Temple, A.A.O.N.M.S., Waco 1977; Alla Grotto, M.O.V.P.E.R.; Dallas Charter Member 1988, Dual Member El Texa Grotto; National Sojourners Waco Connally Chapter No. 482, 1985, Member in Perpetuity; Order of the Eastern Star, Richland Hills Chapter No. 1040, 1982, Past Patron 1989; Texas Lodge of Research 1987; Royal Order of Scotland, 1981, Life Member; Philalethes Society 1990, Order of High Priesthood 1980; Order of the Silver Trowel 1980; Super Excellent Master 1977; Knight of the York Cross of Honour, Texas Priory No. 23, May 3, 1987 and North Texas Priory No. 73, Charter Member 1989; Texas York Rite College No. 14, Preeminent Governor 1990-91, Endowed Member; Order of the Purple Cross, February 1990.