HENRY JOSEPH COOPER 1908-1995
Grand Master 1958-1959
Henry Joseph Cooper, of Nathanael Greene Lodge No. 45, F. & A. M., of Wiirwick, R. I., was elected and installed the one hundred third Most Worshipful Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of the Most Ancient and Honorable Society of Free and Accepted Masons for the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations at the One Hundred and Sixty-seventh Annual Communication held in Providence on Monday, May 19, A. L. 5958, A. D. 1958.
M . W. Brother Cooper was born in Providence, Rhode Island, on October 4, 1908, son of Roliert and Mary J. (Benoit) Cooper.
After his graduation from Warwick High School, Warwick, R. I., in 1925, he entered Brown University, of Providence, graduating in 1930 with the Bachelor of Philosophy degree. He received his Master of Arts degree in 1931. He has done graduate work at Brown University, Rhode Island College of Education, and the University of Rhode Island. In the Warwick school system for twenty-three years, he started as a teacher of science, chemistry, physics and biology at the former Warwick High School, now Lockwood High School. In 1935 he was named head of the science department at the Aldrich High School, serving also as assistant to the principal and director of athletics, dramatics and the budget. In 1940 he was named vice-principal and head of the science department at Gorton High School, becoming principal in 1946.
In 1954 he was appointed Superintendent of Schools in Coventry, R. I., which position he still holds.
He was president of the Barnard Club of Rhode Island, an organization of educators; treasurer of the Rhode Island Secondary Principals' Association: and is presently the secretary of the Rhode Island School Superintendents' Association. In Warwick he has been a Civilian Defense official and was rationing board chairman in World War II. An active Episcopal churchman, he lias been a member of the vestry, secretary and Sunday School superintendent at the Church of the Epiphany, Providence.
He was married on August 24, 1941 to Lillian Bechtoldt, and the union has been blessed with two children, a daughter, Lillian, and a son, Henry David.
M. W. Brother Cooper'B Masonic record began on January 4, 1940 when he was initiated in Nathanael Greene Lodge No. 45, Warwick, and on April 4, 1940 he was raised to the sublime degree of Master Mason. He was elected Worshipful Master of his lodge on October 3, 1940.
In 1949 he was appointed Grand Iiepresentative of the Grand Lodge of Colorado near the Grand Lodge of Rhode Island.
He was appointed District Deputy Grand Master of the Fifth Masonic District on May 15, 1950 by M. W. Brother Jethro H. Peckham, and the following years was appointed to a similar position in other districts. On May 16, 1955 he was elected R. W. Junior Grand Warden; R. W. Senior Grand Warden on May 21, 1956; and R. W. Deputy Grand Master on May 20, 1957.
In the Capitular Rite he holds membership in Narragansett Chapter No, 11, R. A. M., of East Greenwich, and served as Excellent High Priest in 1950. In the Cryptic Rite he served as Thrice Illustrious Master of Narragansett Council No. 6, of East Greenwich, in 1945. In Christian Knighthood, he is a member of St. Johns Commandery No. 1, of Providence.
He holds membership in the four bodies of the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite, Valley of Providence, and in 1956 was elected Most Wise Master of the Rhode Island Chapter of Rose Croix.
On September 29, 1954 he was created a Sovereign Grand Inspector General, 33°, Honorary Member of the Supreme Council, Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite, at Boston, Massachusetts.
He is also a member of Palestine Temple, A. A. O. N. M. S.; a Knight Companion of the Plantations Conclave No. 30, Red Cross of Constantine, of Providence; and was a Past Patron of Adah Chapter No. 15, Order of the Eastern Star, of East Greenwich.
He was made an Honorary Admiral of the Bellingham Navy Yard, Bellingham, Massachusetts, on October 3, 1958; a Prophet at Sight in Moslem Grotto, Mystic Order of Veiled Prophets of the Enchanted Realm, on January 7, 1959; a member of Jenks Lodge No. 24 on January 15,1959; a member of Hope Link No. 46, Order of the Golden Chain, on January 17, 1959; a member of the Masonic Veterans' Association of Rhode Island on January 31, 1959; a Tall Cedar at Sight in Massasoit Forest No. 112, Tall Cedars of Lebanon, on March 21, 1959; an Honorary Member of the Grand Lodge of the State of Israel on April 1, 1959. He received the Honorary Legion of Honor of the Order of DeMolay, and on April 9, 1959 he received the Cross of Honor of the Order of DeMolay.
On May 17, 1959, the Grand Lodge of Connecticut honored him with the Pierpont Edwards Medal for Distinguished Service; and on May 18, 1959 he was presented with the Grand Lodge of New Jersey Daniel Cox Medal, and the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts Henry Price Medal.