Thomas M. Maxwell, II Biography 2014

M.W. Thomas M. Maxwell, II 

I was born in San Marcos, Texas in 1940 and moved to Waco, TX following my father’s return from WW II, where he was a Captain in the Army Air Corps, European Theater.  My mother was a member of the Eastern Star and my grandfather and father were members of Waco Lodge, No. 92 in Waco, Texas.  My father was also a Texas 32º Scottish Rite Mason.  Our most noteworthy ancestor (fourth-great-grandfather) is Francis Scott Key (1779-1843) American lawyer, author, and poet, who wrote the lyrics to the “Star Spangled Banner”.

In 1970 Nancy Carole and I married in New Canaan, Connecticut and have resided in Sandy Hook/Newtown since 1973 where we are active members of Trinity Episcopal Church.  During our years at Trinity, we jointly taught Sunday School (Comparative Religions) served on numerous committees and sang in the adult choir.     

Nancy hails from French and Scottish ancestry and recently retired as a French teacher in Newtown.  We have three grown sons.  Our oldest son, Thomas McCauley III, is an All American collegiate boxer and served in the U.S. Peace Corps/Moldova, Eastern Europe and lives in Texas employed by a major corporation.  Scott Kirkpatrick, our second son, is an Eagle Scout and is an attorney in California.  Our youngest son, Daniel Fielding is also an Eagle Scout with Bronze, Gold and Silver Palms and is currently residing in Washington.  In August 2008 I raised Daniel as a Master Mason (Maxwell, 6th generation) and shortly thereafter he began his service as a Lieutenant in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Platoon Leader.  He was deployed to Germany, Iraq, and Afghanistan where he was promoted to the rank of Captain.  Daniel is currently an Officer in Doric Lodge, No. 92 in Seattle and enrolled in an MBA program with George Washington University.   We have one grandson, Carson, 15 months, one grand-daughter Avery Rose, 12 months with a baby sister on the way, due in May 2015.

After graduating from Waco High School and Texas A&M, interviews with the CIA led to Foreign Service for three years and four months as a U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer.  I served in Malaysia and Nepal, where I taught physics and math at Sekolah Menengah Pertukangan (technical high school) and worked in rural community development.  I also taught at a blind school and authored an algebra/geometry book in Malay and manually typed it in Braille.  For three years I lived in a small house in a rural hamlet a few miles above the equator, with a dirt/slab floor, no running water or indoor plumbing and windows without glass or screens. 

When I finished my Peace Corps service, I backpacked home (solo) through Southeast Asia, Central Asia, the Middle East, North Africa and Western Europe.  My Peace Corps years and journey back to the United States covered over 30 countries (circling the globe twice), mostly in underdeveloped countries. 

Upon my return to the United States in 1968, I moved to New England to build a new life.  I secured a teaching position at Wilton High School and completed two graduate degrees in counseling/educational psychology at Fairfield University. I worked 38 years at Wilton High School and retired in 2006.  In 1974, I started my private counseling practice which is still active today.  In September 1972 I moved from the classroom to work in the Department of Counseling and Psychology at Wilton High School.  My work involved personal counseling, group counseling, educational program guidance, Student Assistance Team, crisis intervention, emphasis on college guidance, testing and strategic educational and career planning, National Honor Society advisory board, National Association of Secondary Schools & Colleges teams, CAPT and SAT Coordinator, Class Advisor and special education athletic coach.  For 34 years I was the military liaison for Wilton High School to all branches of our Armed Forces and served Western Connecticut as a Blue & Gold Officer for the U.S. Naval Academy receiving Honorary Membership in the Class of 2001.

FREEMASONRY:  I am the 5th generation of Freemasons in the Maxwell clan, which dates before the Civil War that includes Virginia, Texas, and Connecticut.  In early 1974 I petitioned for membership in the Masonic Fraternity.  During my Masonic journey of 40 years, I have been blessed with the opportunity and the honor of serving as the presiding officer of 15 different Masonic Bodies.  It all began on the night of May 15, 1974, when I was initiated as an Entered Apprentice at Hiram Lodge, No. 18, Sandy Hook, CT. I was Raised on June 26, 1974, and served as Worshipful Master, 1979 and 1990. In 1981 and 1982 I served as Associate Grand Marshal and as District Deputy of Masonic District Two-B in 1986 and 1987.  I served as the Grand Lodge Representative to India, 2000 – 2011 and Grand Lodge Representative to Texas, 2008 – Present.  I received the Peter Nichols Award, Outstanding Masonic Service, 1992 – Master’s Achievement Award, 1979 and 1990 – General David Wooster Medal in Silver, Exemplary Service to Humanity, 1996 – Pierpont Edwards Medal in Bronze, Distinguished Masonic Service 1998 – Daniel Beard Masonic Scouter Award 2008 and currently I am serving as Most Worshipful Grand Master 2014 – 2015.  I am an Honorary Member of St Peter’s Lodge. No. 21 in New Milford and hold membership in Harmony Lodge, No. 42 in Waterbury where my Scottish Rite Valley of Waterbury is also located.

ANCIENT & ACCEPTED SCOTTISH RITE:  Doric Lodge of Perfection, served as Thrice Potent Master, 1983 – Ionic Council, Princes of Jerusalem, served as Sovereign Prince, 1985 – Corinthian Chapter, Rose Croix, served as Most Wise Master, 1980 & 1984 – Lafayette Consistory, S.P.R.S., 32º, served as Commander-in-Chief, 1996-1998, and Coroneted a Sovereign Grand Inspector General, 33º – Honorary Member of the Supreme Council A.A.S.R. of the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction on September 27, 1988, in Grand Rapids, Michigan.  Connecticut Council of Deliberation – Arthur M. Brown, 33º Meritorious Service Award, 1985 – First Lieutenant Commander, 1999 and A.A.S.R. Northern Masonic Jurisdiction Abbott Scholarship Committee, State Committee Chairman, 1986 – 2011.

YORK RITE:Eureka Chapter No. 23, Royal Arch Masons, served as Most Excellent High Priest 1980 and 1988, Order of High Priesthood, 1980 and Chairman of the Grand Custodians in 1988 – Wooster Council No. 28, Royal and Select Masters, served as Thrice Illustrious Master, 1984-1986 – Council of Anointed Kings (Order of the Silver Trowel), 1984 – Crusader Commandery No. 10, Knight Templar, served as Eminent Commander 1986-1988 – Ephriam Kirby Citation in Bronze, Distinguished Masonic Service, 1988 – Knight Crusader of the Cross, Knight Templar, 1986 – Knight Crusader of the East, Knight Templar, 1987 – Associate Regent of the York Rite Sovereign College of North America, Order of the Purple Cross, Toronto, Canada 1994 – Connecticut York Rite College No. 17, served as Governor, 1984 – Connecticut Priory No. 28, Knight York Cross of Honor (KYCH), served as Eminent Prior, 2002 and served as Most Puissant Grand Master, Grand Council Royal and Select Masters of Connecticut, 1991.  Honorary Member Grand Councils of Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Maine, New  Hampshire, Vermont, New York, Delaware, Pennsylvania, and Maryland. 

APPENDANT BODIES:  National Sojourners, Inc. Hartford Chapter, No. 56 – Heroes of ’76, 2011 – Royal Order of Scotland, 1991 -Red Cross of Constantine, served as Puissant Sovereign, 2001, Apostles Tabernacle, No. XXVII, served as Very Eminent Preceptor in 2005 – Mohawk Council No. 28 Knight Masons of the U.S.A. (Charter member) served as Excellent Chief, 1985 – Nathan Hale Council No. 78, Allied Masonic Degrees, served as Sovereign Master, 1992 – Societas Rosicruciana in Civitatibus Foederatis, Connecticut College, 1985 – Pyramid Shrine, No.9 A.A.O.N.M.S. 1990 – Present – Auvergne Honorary DeMolay Chapter, 2011.

Boy Scouts of America:  Joined Cub Scouts in 1947 (Waco, Texas) and earned the Eagle Scout Award in 1957.  Order of the Arrow – 1955, Explorer Silver Award – 1958, God and Country Award – 1956, Arrow of Light Award – 1951, 50-Miler Award -1956, Tiger Cub Coach Award – 1982, Den Leader Award – 1987, Webelos Den Leader Award – 1991, ’92 &’93, Cub Scouter Award – 1982, Cubmaster Award – 1984 Scouter’s Key, Scouter’s Training Award – 2003, Commissioner’s Key, Commissioner’s Arrowhead Honor Award – 2003, Distinguished Commissioner’s Award – 2009, National President’s Scoutmaster Award of Merit – 2000, National Heroism Award – 1994, Silver Beaver Award – 2005, Daniel Carter Beard Masonic Scouter Award – 2008 and Order of the Arrow – Vigil Honor,2006.  Distinguished Service Award, Scatacook District – June 9, 2010, and four Woodbadge Leadership Courses.  With strong support, I initiated the Connecticut Masonic Scouters Association and the Eagle Scout Commendation Award in 2009 and the Masonic Youth Committee with the Grand Lodge Youth Award for Heroism and/or outstanding Humanitarian Service in 2012.

To serve as Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Connecticut is one of the greatest challenges and honors of my life and I pledge to diligently work toward restoring solidarity, compassion, fairness, transparency, harmony, honorable/effective two-way communication and the Spirit of Freemasonry within our Grand Jurisdiction.  I also pledge that the Craft will quickly experience their renewed ownership in the new direction of our Grand Lodge. So Mote it Be.


Thomas McCauley Maxwell II

Most Worshipful Grand Master 2014 – 2015