The very sad news has been reported that renowned author and Oklahoma Freemason, Illustrious James T. Tresner II, 33° Grand Cross passed to the Celestial Lodge at 2AM Thursday morning. The fraternity has truly lost one of its very finest leaders.
He was a perpetual member of Garfield Lodge 501 in Enid, Oklahoma; Past Master and perpetual member of Albert Pike Lodge 162 in Guthrie, Oklahoma; a member of the Oklahoma Lodge of Research; a member of Oklahoma College, Masonic Societas Rosicruciana in Civitatibus Foederalis; Past Sovereign Master of Father Murrow Chapter, Allied Masonic Degrees; and served as Grand Orator of the Grand Lodge of the State of Oklahoma. And he was extraordinarily active in the Guthrie Valley of the Scottish Rite (SJ).
Jim was an honorary Past Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Arkansas, and was awarded the Grand Master’s Medal of Honor by the Grand Lodge of Kansas.
Jim Tresner was awarded the Medal of Honor by the Grand Lodge of Oklahoma, serving on on numerous Grand Lodge Committees; as the Grand Lodge official spokesman on matters of Freemasonry and religion since 1993; and as Grand Orator.
For many, many years he was the publications editor for the Grand Lodge of Oklahoma, and the editor of the state Masonic magazine. Ill. Tresner was also a longtime editor and book reviewer of the Scottish Rite Journal, and Director Emeritus of the Scottish Rite Research Society. He served as the Editor-in-Chief of The Plumbline, and was the author of the popular biography Albert Pike: The Man Beyond the Monument. In 2001, he was the recipient of the Albert Gallatin Mackey Award for Excellence in Masonic Scholarship, the Scottish Rite Research Society’s highest honor. And in 1999, he was named as the 86th Friar of the Society of Blue Friars, an honorary organization specifically made up of Masonic authors.
Many of Jim's essays can be found on the Grand Lodge of Oklahoma's website HERE.
What all of those lists of accomplishments and accolades fail to express is the untold influence he had in the lives of countless individual Masons in the course of his lifetime. Jim was first and foremost a kind and dedicated Masonic mentor, and Facebook today was filled with tributes to him. This one from Brother John McCracken is representative of the feelings of hundreds and hundreds of his brethren over the years:
This man pointed [and] lit the way for generations of men, showing them that there is deeper meaning and purpose to be found in this life.
It’s hard to explain to people outside of the Fraternity, but Jim literally made the world a less darker place... and did so with an ease that made it look like a much simpler task than many might assume. He carried a dragon headed cane for the later years of his life (Hard to miss)... a Knight having long since defeated such obstacles.
The World has lost one of its last Great Sages of Wisdom... All of Masonry has lost a Teacher, Friend, and Brother...His column in broken, and his Brethren mourn.
Requiescat in pace.
The Grand Lodge of Oklahoma has made the following announcement:
Funeral Services for our Beloved Br. Jim Tresner are scheduled [in Oklahoma City] for Thursday, July 19, 2018 at 10:00 A.M. Services will be at the Church of the Servant; 14343 N. MacArthur Blvd. in Oklahoma City. The family has requested in lieu of flowers that donations be made in Jim’s name to the Grand Lodge Museum & Library which houses much of Jim’s book collection. It is a 501 (C) (3) tax exempt organization.
Bobby L. Laws, PGM, Grand Secretary
Grand Lodge AF&AM of Oklahoma
405-282-3212, Ext 4
Jim Tresner's official obituary has been published:
November 11, 1941 - July 12, 2018 GUTHRIE James Tracy 'Jim' Tresner was born in Enid to Margaret and Jack Tresner. He attended grade school through high school in the Enid public school system. He attended several colleges and earned two masters degrees and a PhD in business communications. He was a longtime member of Mensa.
Following college, Jim was a Professor of Drama and Speech at Connors State College. He spent the next several years as the Chief Underwriter at the family insurance company. Jim loved reading, cooking, writing, and entertaining his friends at the Tresner cabin in Colorado.
Dr. Tresner was internationally known as a Masonic author, writer, speaker and scholar. He joined the youth group of the fraternity, the Order of DeMolay, at the age of 12 while living in Enid. He became a member of the Masonic fraternity in 1963 in Garfield #501 in Enid. He was asked to move to Guthrie in 1987 to use his considerable skills in behalf of the fraternity. He was appointed a consultant to the Oklahoma Grand Lodge, the Oklahoma Masonic Charity Foundation, the Scottish Rite in Oklahoma, and the House of the Temple, the national Scottish Rite headquarters in Washington, DC. He was the book review editor of the Scottish Rite Journal, the national organ of the Scottish Rite, and was a recipient of the 33°, Grand Cross, the highest honor the Rite can give to a Scottish Rite mason. Dr. Tresner also served on the Masonic Information Center of the United States and was recently named an emeritus member of the Board of Directors of the Scottish Rite Research Society. He was elected a Blue Friar by the Society of Masonic authors worldwide in 1999.
In Oklahoma, he also belonged to the York Rite Bodies and the Oklahoma Lodge of Research. He was appointed the director of the degree work for the Guthrie Scottish Rite soon after he arrived in Guthrie and continued in that role until his death. Through his own community theatre experience, he brought an understanding of the theatre form of education to a level unsurpassed in the fraternity. Dr. Tresner inspired almost every man who knew him to make the study of Freemasonry a lifelong love and experience.
He served as the worshipful master of Albert Pike #162 in Guthrie in 1995 and was honored with 50 years of service to Masonry in 2013. Jim held many committee appointments for the Oklahoma Grand Lodge. In 1996, he was awarded the medal of honor, the highest honor a member can receive in Oklahoma Masonry. He had the rare distinction of being named an Honorary Past Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Oklahoma. Upon his passing, he was the editor of the Oklahoma Mason and the Grand Orator of the Grand Lodge of Oklahoma. Dr. Tresner was the author of several books, including 'Albert Pike: The Man Behind the Monument,' 'Vested in Glory: The Aprons, Collars, Caps, and Jewels of the Degrees of the Ancient & Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry,' 'From Sacrifice to Symbol: The Story of Cornerstones and Stability Rites,' and 'But I Digress.' In addition, he wrote extensively on all of the Masonic Rites and penned many educational papers, brochures, articles, and booklets on Freemasonry.
He was preceded in death by his parents. He is survived by his two brothers, John, of Placitas, NM; and Jack, of Edmond; two nephews, Jevon, of Oklahoma City; and Jeff, of Edmond; four great- nieces and nephews, Payden and Rhonan, daughter and son of Jevon and Cheryl; and Jester and Jovy, son and daughter of Jeff. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Grand Lodge Library and Museum, which will house the collection of the Tresner Library. A Funeral Service will be held Thursday, July 19 at 10 a.m. at the Church of the Servant, 14343 N. MacArthur in Oklahoma City. Graveside Service will follow in Enid, OK at Memorial Park Cemetery. Viewing will be available July 16 - 18 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Community Funeral Home, 1624 N. Pine, Guthrie, OK.