Tennessee DeMolay Hall of Fame
John W. Whitaker
INDUCTED JULY 13, 2019
John Whitaker of Tennessee was installed as Grand Master of DeMolay International on June 29, 2019 at the 99th Annual Session in Kansas City, MO.
John Whitaker was initiated into Neale M. Rutland DeMolay Chapter in Nashville, Tennessee. Without any Masonic relatives, John joined DeMolay at the suggestion of his older brother, Pat, who was already a member of the chapter. He served as Master Councilor and State Master Councilor of the Tennessee State DeMolay Association (1973-1974). He earned his Representative DeMolay Award and was elected a Chevalier. Upon reaching his majority, John served as Chapter Advisor, Conclave Director, and District Governor. John has served as Executive Officer for DeMolay in Tennessee for 22 years. He has received three Eagle Awards as Executive Officer and was named Executive Officer of the Year. In recognition of his service, John has also received the Cross of Honor, Active Legion of Honor, Guild of the Leather Apron and the DeMolay Grand Cross (2016). As an Active Member of Supreme Council, John has served on the Youth Protection Committee, DeMolay International Board of Directors, and the DeMolay Foundation Board of Directors.
John is a member of Ionic Masonic Lodge #254 in Nashville, the Scottish Rite Valley of Nashville (KCCH), York Rite, Hendersonville #477 Order of the Eastern Star, Parthenon Court Order of the Amaranth, The Order of Quetzalcoatl and Al Menah Shrine. Because of his commitment to the Masonic Youth in Tennessee, John has also served on the Hendersonville # 3 International Order of the Rainbow for Girls Advisory Board and has received the Grand Cross of Color. In 2015, John assisted with the organization of the DeMolay Alumni Unit at Al Menah Shrine and was named Al Menah Shriner of the Year in 2016. In recognition of his dedicated service to Tennessee DeMolay, John received the York Rite Youth Medal.
A native Nashvillian, John graduated from Isaac Litton High School and Cumberland College. Professionally, John has been employed at Hermitage Lighting Gallery for over 40 years. He is currently Sales Manager with a concentration on customer development and management of the outside sales force. An active member of the Homebuilders Association for over 42 years, John has served on the Middle Tennessee and State Board Level. John is a Past President of the Associates Council (2002), President of the Nashville-Metro Chapter (2005-present) and Tennessee Associates Council Chair (2016-2017). He was named Middle Tennessee Associate of the Year (2002 &2012) and Tennessee Associate of the Year (2016).
DeMolay has always been a part of the Whitaker family. John married his DeMolay Chapter Sweetheart, Claudia and they planned their first state conclave together before their first anniversary. They have two children, Austin and Whitney. Austin is a Past International Master Councilor and is married to Rachel, a past Grand Worthy Advisor and Tennessee State Sweetheart. He is a pediatrician with Heritage Pediatrics and is currently serving as State Officer Advisor and 2019-2020 Congress Advisor. Twin grandchildren Anderson and Caroline have attended their second TN State DeMolay conclave. Whitney is a Past State Sweetheart, Past Grand Worthy Advisor and Past Acting Supreme Worthy Advisor. She works in the design center for Jones Company, a residential construction company and assists with the sweetheart program. Whitney recently married Bryan Mahan, a past state officer in Oklahoma.
Michael Alan Smith
INDUCTED JULY 14, 2018
Michael Alan Smith is a Senior DeMolay of Red Bank Chapter in Chattanooga, TN as well as a past Master Councilor, a Chevalier and Legion of Honor recipient. He is also a past Scribe of the Tennessee DeMolay State Association (TSDA) and past State Flower Talk Champion. He served many years as the Director of Ritual for TSDA.
Alan has been a Freemason since 1974, first as a member of Red Bank Lodge #717 F&AM (Chattanooga). He transferred to Hiram #7 F&AM in 1988, where he is a Past Worshipful Master (1994) as well as the past presiding officer of each of the Franklin York Rite Bodies. He is a member of the Middle Tennessee York Rite College and has received the Order of the Purple Cross (OPC) and the Knight of York Cross of Honor (KYCH). Alan has also served on several Grand Lodge of TN committees, including Chairman of its Vision 2013 Committee for several years, and was appointed as Interim Grand Treasurer in 1997. He is also a member of the Allied Masonic Degree (AMD) Bodies.
He is a member of the Nashville Bodies of the Ancient & Accepted Scottish Rite (AASR) of Freemasonry and has served as the Preceptor (presiding officer) of its Bodies, the St. Michael Council of Kadosh, as well as a member of several ritual casts. He was selected for its Knight Commander of the Court of Honor (KCCH) distinction (Red Hat) on October 13, 1993 and for its 33rd degree (White Hat) on December 6, 2003. He is a member of Al Menah Shriners in Nashville as well as a Past President, Secretary and life member of the Williamson County Shrine Club.
Alan is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and for over 20 years has been a Principal/Shareholder in the CPA firm Lewis, Smith & Associates, P.C. Prior to this Alan was a CPA/accountant in public accounting firms including one of the top 10 in the U.S. Alan also was an internal auditor for 3 years in a regional bank holding company headquartered in Nashville, TN. Alan’s accounting and auditing experience is significant and diverse as is his tax law experience, both state and federal.
Alan’s client base spans numerous types of individuals and business organizations, including non-profit, 501(c)3 organizations as well as various commercial business entities.
Currently, Alan is a member of the Tennessee Society of CPA’s (TSCPA) where he has served on several committees. He also holds membership in the American Institute of CPA’s (AICPA). Previously, he held membership in other professional organizations – The National Association of Accountants, The Institute of Management Accountants and The Institute of Internal Auditors.
Walter Edward Seifert
INDUCTED JULY 15, 2017
Walter joined Doric DeMolay Chapter in 1953 then transferred to John B. Garret Chapter. He was installed as the first Junior Councilor, second Master Councilor and became Scribe for several terms. He earned 23 merit bars, Blue Honor Key, Representative DeMolay and DeMolay Knighthood. He was elected as the Middle District Master Councilor, State Scribe Treasurer and Director of the Sixth Conclave in 1956. At the age of 23 he was awarded the Degree of Chevalier. He also holds the Active DeMolay Legion of Honor. Brother Seifert served as Dad Advisor of Mother Chapter in Kansas City, Missouri and later served as an advisor of Howard Weber Chapter in Bartlesville, Oklahoma.
He served as an accountant and worked for Phillips Petroleum Company for twenty-five years, spending thirteen years in London England. He worked as an auditing consultant for six years in London after retiring from Phillips then returned to Nashville in 1993.
Walter joined Buena Vista Lodge No. 639 at the age of twenty-one served as Secretary for four and half years. There he served as Worshipful Master, Treasurer and Trustee. He also served as Secretary and Treasurer of the consolidated Buena Vista-East Nashville Lodge No. 560.
He was coroneted a Thirty Third degree Scottish Rite Mason, a member of Al Menah Shrine, Served the Grand Lodge of Tennessee as Grand Historian. In 2013 he was awarded the Andrew Jackson Medal in recognition of “notable distinguished service in the cause of Freemasonry, Humanity and Country”.
After retiring he is a world traveler and has visited more than 145 countries. Serves as a volunteer for several non-profits including AARP Tax Aide and St. Thomas Hospitals. Walter has served as a Deacon of Vine Street Christian Church where he has been a member for many years.
Leon Fritts Shields
INDUCTED JULY 15, 2017
Leon Shields was initiated in Kerbela DeMolay in Knoxville, Tennessee. He served as State Master Councilor for Tennessee State DeMolay Association. Leon holds the Degree of Chevalier and Active Legion of Honor. Leon is an Instructor and Deputy with Loudon County Sheriff Department. He holds many certifications in the area of Law Enforcement. He is certified as an instructor in SWAT, Crime Scene, Hostage Negotiations, Tactical Shooting, and Dive Rescue. He is the owner of Instructional Concepts for over 19 years. There he trains in Firearms, Vehicle Extrication, Explosives, Water Operations, Diving, Confined Space, Trench Rescue and High Angle Rescue.
Leon serves his community as Chairman at Lenoir City Planning Commission, Board of Zoning Appeals, Commissioner at Lenoir City Housing Authority. Leon is a member of Avery Lodge #593, Knoxville Scottish Rite & Kerbela Shrine. When Leon was notified on being a member of Tennessee DeMolay Hall of Fame he remarked. “I truly can say that this organization brought me from shyness, weakness, and lack of self-confidence to making me the person I am today! I sure didn't realize it then, but every day I see and feel the difference it made on my heart, education, and personality. I have to admit the Hall of Fame induction truly keeps me speechless.”
Major General Bart O. Iddins, MD - U.S. Air Force
INDUCTED JULY 9, 2016
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine – 1982
Squadron Officer School – 1987
Doctor of Medicine – 1991
Transitional Internship – 1992
Air Command & Staff College – 1997
Dermatology Residency – 2000
Master of Strategic Studies – 2004
Validating Surgeon, U.S. Central Command Theatre and Surgeon, U.S. Air Forces Central, Combined Air Operations Center Southwest Asia, as a Colonel – May 2005 - November 2005
Commander, Joint Task Force MED, Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, as a Colonel – January 2007 - April 2008
Major General – April 10, 2014
Initiated: 1970 • DeMolay Degree: 1970 • Kerbela Chapter, TN• Chevalier; Active Legion of Honor
“Through DeMolay I gained invaluable, life-changing, leadership experiences that were focused on serving others. Accordingly, serving our nation and the greater cause of defending freedom and liberty have been my life’s focus. These experiences in DeMolay were pivotal to my decision to serve in the armed forces.”
General William D. Jones - Retired
INDUCTED JULY 10, 2015
In 1949, Brother Jones was initiated into Neale M. Rutland DeMolay Chapter. At that time the chapter met at Edgefield Lodge. His introduction to DeMolay was from his Aunt who was an Eastern Star. Brother Jones has many fond memories of being active in DeMolay. Through DeMolay, Brother Jones was introduced to Masonry and he joined Edgefield Lodge at the age of 21. When he moved to Brentwood, Brother Jones transferred to John B. Garrett Lodge where he is a member today. Brother Jones is a member of the York Rite, Scottish Rite and a Past Potentate of Al Menah Shrine.
Brother Jones was married in 1955 to the former Peggy Maxfield and they have two sons David and Don.
Brother Jones was educated in the Nashville Public Schools attended East Nashville High School. He attended Peabody College and Graduated from Cumberland University in Lebanon, Tennessee.
In 1950, Brother Jones joined the National Guard. His unit was activated and he served at Fort Knox and in the Korean War. After returning home from the war, he went to work as a supervisor for the Newspaper Printing Corporation. In 1957, he attended Officer Candidate School and advanced to the rank of Adjutant General of the Tennessee National Guard. He was appointed by then Governor Ned Ray McWherter, a Master Mason. General Jones served until his retirement in 1996. In 1997, he was elected Potentate of Al Menah Shrine.
Our Seventh Preceptor in DeMolay is Patriotism. This year’s inductee has exemplified this precept by his service to our Country.
Jerry L. Hanson
INDUCTED JULY 12, 2014
Jerry Lynn Hanson was born to Frazer Douglas and Laverne Yarborough Hanson in Charleston, South Carolina on March 28, 1947. He was educated in the Carte County Public School System in Elizabethton, TN., University of Tennessee and the University of Memphis. He is a retired Federal Aviation Air Traffic Control Supervisor of 39 years.
Brother Hanson married Mary Dianna Sheely on April 19, 1980 and have four children Timothy Christopher, Bradley Douglas, Amanda Michele and Shelley Lynn Hanson. They also have one Grand Dog “Sparky”. Brother Hanson and Mary are members of the New Hope Christian Church in Bartlett, Tennessee.
Brother Hanson was raised a Master Mason on August 23, 1983 and served as Worshipful Master of Germantown Lodge #95 in 1985 thru 1989.
Most Worshipful Brother Hanson was elected Junior Grand Warden on March 24, 2005 and advanced each year, being elected Most Worshipful Grand Master, Free and Accepted Masons of Tennessee on March 27, 2008.
Past Master (Germantown #95 1985 thru 1989); Life Member #73, #211, #95
Director of the Work - Scottish Rite - Life Member; 33rd Inspector Honorary
Al Chymia Shrine - Life Member - Hospital Staff
Life Member Zaman Grotto
Past High Priest #225- Life Member; Past Illustrious Master #131 - Life Member
Past Commander #39 - Life Member; Order of Knight Commanders
Order of High Priesthood
TN Council of Anointed Kings
Order of Silver Trowel
International DeMolay Alumni Association - Life Member and Past President
Emerald Isle #346 AMD Masons USA - Life Member
Life Member Knights of the York Cross of Honor
Life Member Tralee Council #41 Knight Masons USA
Masonic Societas Rosiccuciana in Civitatibus Foederatis
Quantor Coronati Lodge #2076 (Oldest Lodge of Research in the World)
Red Cross of Constantine
Tennessee Lodge of Research
Scottish Rite Research Society
Tall Cedars of Lebanon - Life Member
West Tenn York Rite College #141 - Life Member
West Tennessee Past Masters Association - Past President
Royal Order of Scotland
Royal Order of Fleas and Yellow Dog (Ruff-Ruff-Ruff).
5th Senior DeMolay to serve as Grand Master of Masons in Tennessee.
James C. Mobley
INDUCTED JULY 11, 2014
Joseph Clinton mobley was born on April 22, 1911, the son of Dr. and Mrs. John Clinton Mobley, in Memphis, Tennesse. His father and paternal grandfather were Freemasons.
He was educated in the public schools of Memphis, received his B.S. Degree from Southwestern (originally the Masonic College at Clarksville), and graduated from the College of Medicine, University of Tennessee, in 1935.
He served in the U.S. Navy in World Warr II, received three battle stars in the Pacific Campaigns, and was discharged with the rank of Lieutenant Commander. From 1948 he was a medical advisor with the Selective Service.
His professional accomplishments include: Fellow of Amercican College of Surgeons; Fellow of American College of Obstetetricians and Gynecologists; Diplomate American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology; Past President, Memphis Obstetrical and Gynecological Society; and Assistant Proffessor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Tennessee. He was engaged in the private practice of Medicine in Memphis with his brother, Everett C. Mobley, a member of Park Avenue Lodge.
He married Thirza L. Smith in 1936, and they have three daughters and seven grandchildren. Two of his sons-in-law, T.B. Sloan and Dr. R. S. Bauman, were members of the Masonic Fraternity.
He was a member of Evergreen Presbyterian Church in Memphis, and served as a choir member, teacher, Deacon and Elder.
In a sense he began his Masonic career in becoming a member of the Order of DeMolay in Memphis Chapter in 1927, and was made a member of the Legion of Honor in 1962. He is also a member of Acacia, national college fraternity with a Masonic background.
He was made a Master Mason in Park Avenue Lodge No. 362 in 1932, and served as Master in 1947.
He was a member of Park Avenue Chapter, Council and Commandery, and served as presiding officer over all three of those bodies. He was inducted into Tennessee Priory No. 15, Knights of the York Cross of Honor, August 4, 1964.
He received the Scottish Rite Degrees in Memphis Consistory in 1940, was invested a Knight Commander of the Court of Honor in 1957, and was coroneted a 33rd Degree Inspector General Honorary in 1963. He served as Wise Master of Memphis Chapter Rose Croix in 1966-67, and became Junior Warden of Memphis Lodge of Perfection in 1970.
He became a member of Al Chymia Shrine Temple in Memphis in 1953, and the Royal Order of Jesters in 1963.
He was received into St. Stephen Conclave, Red Cross of Constantine, in 1961, and served as Illustrious Sovereign in 1970.
He became a member of the Order of Eastern Star in 1946 in Park Avenue Chapter No. 205.
He was made a member of the Royal Order of Scotland in 1963, and of the Holy Roya; Arch Knights Templar in 1965.
In the Grand Lodge he served for a number of years on the Ways and Means Committee. When a committee was appointed for the Advancement of Freemasonry and Masonic Education, he was made Chairman and served during the primary development of the program. In 1951 he was appointed Senior Grand Deacon. In 1969 was elected Junior Grand Warden, and was advanced each year, being elected Grand Master on March 23, 1972
He was the second Senior DeMolay to serve as Grand Master of Masons in Tennessee.
Brother Mobley passed away on October 31, 1974
John L. Palmer
INDUCTED JULY 13, 2013
John Lawrence Palmer was born May 24, 1949 in Jackson, Tennessee, the son of John Billie and Ann Palmer of Union City, Tennessee where he grew up and attended public schools, graduating in 1967, He and his wife of forty-three years, Glenda, are members of the First Baptist Church of Nolensville, Tennessee where they currently reside. They have one son, Lawrence. John is retired from Bellsouth and from Electronic Data Systems where he worked in information technologies and as a communications engineer.
Brother Palmer was received into the Order of DeMolay in 1963, served as Master Counselor of Union City Chapter in 1966, and is an active member of the DeMolay Legion of Honor. He was raised to the degree of Master Mason in 1970 in Union City Lodge No. 538 after having received his fellowcraft degree in Cookeville Lodge No. 266 as a courtesy. He transferred his membership to Hiram Lodge No.7 when he moved into the community of Franklin Tennessee in 1973 after graduating from Tennessee Technological University with a Masters degree in Electrical Engineering.
He has served twice as Master of Hiram Lodge and as the charter Worshipful Master of Conlegium Ritus Austeri Lodge No. 779. He served as Grand Master of Masons in Tennessee beginning in 1997 and as Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge in 2005 and 2006. Nationally, he chaired the Commission for Information and Recognition of the Grand Masters Conference of North America in the year 2002, served on the Board of Directors of the George Washington Masonic National Memorial, and is currently the second vice president of The Masonic Society of which he is a founding fellow. He served all the York Rite Grand Bodies in Tennessee as Grand Sentinel from 1978 until 1992, is a holder of the Knight Templar Cross of Honor, and has been designated a Knight Grand Cross of the Temple by the Grand Encampment of Knights Templar U.S.A. where he serves as managing editor for the Knight Templar magazine. He is a Knight of the York Grand Cross of Honor and holds the Order of the Purple Cross in the York Rite as well as the thirty-third degree in the Scottish Rite.
Brother Palmer's memberships include The Order of the Eastern Star, The Royal Order of Scotland, The Red Cross of Constantine, The Knight Masons, The Allied Masonic Degrees, The Holy Royal Arch Knight Templar Priests, The Rectified Scottish Rite, The Knights of St. Andrew (honorary), The Scottish Rite Research Society, The Rainbow Grand Cross of Color, The Philalethes Society, and The Tennessee Lodge of Research.
Fourth Senior DeMolay to serve as Grand Master of Masons in Tennessee.
Wiley O. May
INDUCTED JULY 12, 2013
Born in West Memphis, Arkansas on December 28, 1905, the son of Jacob Oscar May and Katy Gentry May. He was educated in the public schools of Memphis, Tennessee.
He was married to Miss Wilma Hardwick at Memphis on September 12, 1924, and they had five children; Wiley O. Jr., William H., Mrs. Wilma Rieban, Jon R. and Michael D.
He was President-Treasurer of Automatic Heating and Service Co. with headquarters in Memphis.
He was a member of Trinity Baptist Church in Memphis.
He was raised in O.K. Houck Lodge No. 707 at Memphis on May 20, 1929, served as Worshipful Master in 1934 and began serving as Secretary in 1938.
He was exalted in Penn Chapter No. 22 at Memphis on March 31, 1944, was instrumental in the organization of O.K. Houck Chapter in 1958 and served as its Secretary while it operated under dispensation, and became a charter member thereof on March 24, 1959.
He was greeted in Eureka Council No. 6 at Memphis on October 12, 1944.
He was knighted in St. Elmo Commandery No. 15 at Memphis on April 27, 1945.
He received the Scottish Rite degrees at Memphis in March 1930, was designated a Knight Commander of the Court of Honor in October 1943 and was coroneted 33rd degree honorary on October 21, 1949. He served as Wise Master of Calvary Chapter, Rose Croix, in 1948-1949 and Venerable Master of the Memphis Lodge of Perfection and Personal Representative for the Valley of Memphis from 1971 until his death on November 7, 1991. He received the Grand Cross on October 11, 1979, the highest individual honor bestowed by the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite for the Southern Jurisdiction.
He was initiated in Al Chymia Temple, A.A.O.N.M.S., at Memphis on April 21, 1943.
He was initiated into the Eastern Star in O.K. Houck Chapter at Memphis on November 25, 1933.
He was a member and Past Sovereign of St. Stephen Conclave, Red Cross of Constantine, at Memphis.
He was long active in the work of DeMolay, and is the first former member of DeMolay to be elected M.W. Grand Master in Tennessee.
In the Grand Lodge he served as a member of the Committee on Dispensation and By-Laws from 1943 until 1954 and was a member of the Committee on Ways and Means from 1955 until 1957. On March 28, 1957, he was elected Junior Grand Warden and advanced each year until March 24, 1960 he was elected Most Worshipful Grand Master.
Brother May passed away on November 7, 1991.
Robert F. Henderson
INDUCTED JULY 14, 2012
Robert Floyd Henderson was born June 9, 1932 in Jackson, Tennessee, the son of Floyd and Ruth Harrison Henderson. He was educated in the Jackson City Schools, Lambuth College and West Tennessee Business College. He is president of Miller Lumber Company, Incorporated in Jackson and serves on the Board of Directors of this company in Jackson and Selma, Alabama.
He is a member of First Methodist Church in Jackson. He is Past President of the Men's Bible Class and has been a member of the Administrative Board for several years.
Brother Henderson is married to the former Janelle Luckman, who was his chapter sweetheart. They have three sons, Robert, Jr., Sidney Coleman, and William Jeffery and six grandchildren and one great-grandchild.
He was raised in Jackson Lodge No. 45 on July 24, 1956 and served as Worshipful Master in 1983. He is presently serving as Trustee.
He was exalted in Clinton Chapter No. 9 on November 27, 1956 and served as High Priest in 1962. He was greeted in Jackson Council No. 13 on November 28, 1956 and served as Illustrious Master in 1992. He was knighted in Jackson Commandery No. 13 on November 30, 1956 and served as Commander in 1963.
He is a member of the Scottish Rite Bodies in Memphis, having received his degrees in March of 1970. He was honored with the rank and decoration of Knight Commander, Court of Honour in 1975 and in 1981 was coroneted a Thirty-Third Degree, Inspectory General Honorary. He is Past Master of Memphis Consistory and Past President of the Jackson Scottish Rite Club.
He is a member of Al Chymia Temple, A.A.O.N.M.S., in Memphis, having received the ceremonies in 1964. He has been Imperial Representative for the Shrine for fifteen years, and has served on the Board of Governors for the Shrine Hospital, St. Louis Unit for seven years. He is also Past President of the Jackson Shrine Club and Motor Corps.
Brother Henderson is also Past Sovereign of St. Stephens Conclave, Red Cross of Constantine, a member of the Royal Order of Scotland, the York Rite Sovereign College, Knight Masons,Tralee Council No. 41 and the first State Senior Councilor, Order of DeMolay. Also, in DeMolay, he is the holder of the Legion of Honor and Cross of Honor and was Dad Advisor for sixteen years.
In the Grand Lodge, he was elected Junior Grand Warden on March 29, 1990 and advanced each year, being elected Most Worshipful Grand Master on March 25, 1993.
The third Senior DeMolay to serve as Grand Master of Masons in Tennessee.