Royce E. Curlis
Most Worshipful Grand Master, 1974-1975
Royce E. Curlis was born on May 24, 1914 in Columbus, Ohio. He graduated from West High School in his hometown. In 1932 he joined the U. S. Coast Guard and saw a great deal of action during a Navy stint in World War II. He retired after 15 years from the Coast Guard due to service-connected disability in 1947. He joined the electric power industry and took an early retirement in 1972. While with the power company he served in many capacities: right of way buyer, editor of trade journal, public relations, and a consultant during the energy crisis. These experiences gave him the knowledge he later needed when he entered local politics and served with distinction as Board Chairman of the Chippewa County Board of Commissioners. He served for five terms in this capacity.
He met Impi I. Maki, an elementary school teacher, while serving a tour of duty on a U.S. Coast Guard icebreaker stationed in Sault Ste. Marie. They were married in 1939. They had no children. They retired to Sugar Island near Sault Ste. Marie.
He was a member of the Easter Seal Society, the Cancer Society, and a Salvation Army Board Member. He served the Chippewa County Red Cross Chapter and served on the Upper Peninsula Committee for Area Progress and held the “Governor’s Award” for Michigan Week promotion. He also served on the Eastern Upper Peninsula Comprehensive Health Program.
He was raised as a Master Mason on September 20, 1951 in Bethel Lodge No. 358 in Sault Ste. Marie and was elected or appointed an officer continuously with the exception of one year, 1951. He served as Chaplain. He was also a member and past presiding officer of Sault Ste. Marie Chapter No. 126, R.A.M. where he was High Priest in 1957; Sault Ste. Marie Council No. 69, R. & S.M., Thrice Illustrious Master in 1958; Sault Ste. Marie Commandery No. 45, K.T., Eminent Commander in 1960. As a Knight of the York Cross of Honor he was a Past Prior of Pocock Priory. Because of his work as Most Illustrious Grand Master of the Grand Council R. & S.M. of Michigan, in 1965 he was made a Knight Grand Cross, with one quadrant. He was also a member and Past Sovereign of St. Bonaventure Conclave, Red Cross of Constantine. He was a member of the Scottish Rite bodies of Marquette and held a membership in the Francis M. Moore Consistory. He was a long time member of the Membership Committee and in 1973 he was Coroneted a 33° Mason and made an Honorary Member of the Northern Supreme Council. He was active locally and on a statewide basis in DeMolay. He was a former chairman of the Advisory Committee of the DeMolay Foundation of Michigan, Inc. and served at least 7 years on the Advisory Committee. He also held a Honorary Membership in the DeMolay Legion of Honor. He was a member of Ahmed Temple, A.A.O.N.M.S. of Marquette. He was a Past President of the Sault Ste. Marie Shrine Club. He was elected as Most Worshipful Grand Master of Michigan Masons on May 30, 1974.
He died on June 1, 1997.