Most Illustrious Grand Master
Royce Peterson was born September 6, 1940 in Erwin, Tennessee the last of four children to Lawson
David and Phoebe Peterson, both now deceased. Companion Peterson was educated in the Erwin Public
Schools and graduated from Unicoi County High School in 1958. He then entered DeVry Technical School
in Chicago and graduated with an associate degree in Electronic Controls for Automation.
He began his working career at Raytheon Company in Bristol, Tennessee during 1960 as an
Electronics Technician. In 1970, he began work for Formex Company in Greeneville, Tennessee as a
Systems Analyst/Programmer. Here he met Sandra Carol Franklin and they were married on October 5,
1974. They have shared 3 children; Phoebe Lynn Peterson, who is an office manager for the Dairy
Science Department of Virginia Tech University and has one daughter, Rachel; Paul David Peterson,
who is a mechanic for East Tennessee Rent-All and, along with his wife Connie, has a son, Seth
Hunter and a daughter Kyla Marie; Paula Carol Taylor, who is an O. R. Nurse at Tacoma Hospital and,
along with her husband Rodney, has 2 daughters, Cheyenne and Hannah. During 1980, Companion Peterson
made a career change becoming employed by the Philips Consumer Electronics Company as a Systems
Analyst from which position he plans to retire during the year 2003.
Brother Peterson began his Masonic career by being raised to the Sublime Degree of Master Mason
in Greeneville Lodge No.3 on May 21, 1974. He served as Worshipful Master during 1978, a member of
the Audit Committee from 1979 to 1998, Trustee from 1979 to 1983, and Secretary from 1999 to the
present. In the Grand Lodge F. & A. M. of Tennessee he served as Junior Grand Deacon during 1980.
Companion Peterson received the Royal Arch Degree on April 5, 1975 in Greeneville Chapter No. 135
R.A.M. where he served as High Priest during 1978, 1980, 1981, and 1984 and has served as Secretary
from 1999 to the present. He received the Order of High Priesthood on March 24, 1980. In the Grand
Chapter R.A.M. of Tennessee he served as Grand Royal Arch Captain during 1994.
Companion Peterson received the Select Masters Degree on April 12, 1975 in Greeneville Council
No. 77 C. M. where he served as Illustrious Master during 1978, 1981, 1983, and 1984, and has served
as Recorder from 1999 to the present. He received the Super Excellent Master’s Degree February 14,
1976. He received the Order of the Silver Trowel on March 23, 1978. In the Grand Council C. M. of
Tennessee he served as Grand Marshall during 1983.
Sir Knight Peterson received the Order of the Temple on April 12, 1975 in Morristown Commandery
No. 22 K. T., transferring his membership to Watauga Commandery No. 25 K. T. on June 15, 1978 where
he served as Commander during 1982.
He received the Knight York Cross of Honor on March 22, 1983. He and Sandy served as Worthy
Matron and Worthy Patron of Greeneville Chapter No. 223 Order of the Eastern Star during 1983. He is
also a member of the Tennessee Lodge of Research, Allied Masonic Degrees, Upper East Tennessee York
Rite Association President 2005-2006, Northeast Tennessee York Rite College No. 153 where he
presently serves as Chancellor, received the Order of the Purple Cross in 2002, Masonic Societas
Rosicruciana in Civitatibus Foederatis, Red Cross of Constantine, Knight Masons, and is a member of
the Chattanooga Scottish Rite Bodies having received the Scottish Rite Degrees in 1976.
In the community, Royce and Sandy attend the Kingsley Avenue Free Will Baptist Church and have
been active as Trustee, Youth Directors, Youth Teachers, Sunday School Teacher, Choir Director, and
Sunday School Superintendent.
In the Grand Council, Companion Peterson was elected Grand Captain of the Guard on March 22, 1999
and has progressed each year being elected Most Illustrious Grand Master, Cryptic Masons of
Tennessee March 25, 2002.
(Content provided by the Grand York Rite of Tennessee)