S.K. Koon was born in Lima, Ohio on March 12, 1949 to William H. and Vivian Brown Koon. He is a graduate of Bath High School, and attended the Ohio State University. He is a member of the Columbus Grove United Church of Christ. Bill is married to Elizabeth Jane Thornley, and they reside less than a mile from the family farm where he grew up near Columbus Grove, Ohio. They have a daughter, Andrea Koon Gillespie; son-in-law, Adam Gillespie; two grandsons, Adam Kade Gillespie, Silas Robert Gillespie; and son, William Steven Winebrenner. Bill is the President of Lord's Enterprises Inc. and Republic Mills Inc., both family agri- businesses including, livestock feed manufacturing, grain elevators, and a farming operation. He is involved in many professional and civic organizations, both locally, and statewide.
Masonically, Bill is a Senior DeMolay of Fidelity Chapter in Lima, and holds the Chevalier, Cross of Honor, Active Legion of Honor, is an Active Member of the International Supreme Council Order of DeMolay, and in 2006 was invested with the DeMolay Grand Cross. He was raised a Master Mason in 1970 in Ada Lodge No. 344, and demitted to Rufus Putnam Lodge No. 364 in Columbus Grove, where he served 3 years as Worshipful Master. In 2001 he became a dual member of Ft. Amanda Lodge No. 706 in Lima. In 2009 he was appointed a Representative of the Grand Lodge F&AM of Alaska near the Grand Lodge F& AM of Ohio. In 2010 he was appointed Right Worshipful Honorary Grand Senior Warden of the Grand Lodge of Togo and in 2012 was elected an Honorary Past Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Portugal. He is a Past High Priest of Lima Chapter No. 49 RAM, an Honorary Past Grand High Priest of the Grand Chapter of the Philippines (2009). Bill is a Past Illustrious Master of Lima Council No. 20 R&SM, as well as an Honorary Past Thrice Potent Master of the Grand Council of the Philippines (2009). In 2008 Bill was appointed the Grand Representative of the Grand Council of Romania R&SM near the Grand Council of Ohio, and in 2011 was elected an Honorary Past Grand Master of the Grand Council R&SM of Romania. He was Knighted in Shawnee Commandery No. 14 by his father on March 13, 1971, and was elected Eminent Commander in 1980. He is a member of Shawnee Commandery No. 14 Drill Team, marching in 7 Triennial Drills beginning in Chicago in 1973, including twice as Captain. He is a member, and Charter Commander of St. George Commandery No. 76, Ivanhoe Commandery No. 54, Van Wert, OH, St. Bernard Commandery No. 41, Denver, CO, Frankfort Commandery No. 4, Frankfort, KY, Nashville Commandery No. 1, Nashville, TN, and Blaney Commandery No. 5, Tremont, IL. In addition to Ohio, Bill is a member and voting delegate of the Grand Commanderies of Ohio, Colorado, Illinois, Tennessee, and Kentucky. In 2006, Bill was elected an Honorary Member of the Wyoming Black Horse Troop.
Sir Knight Koon first served the Grand Commandery of Knights Templar of Ohio, as an Aide-de-Camp to S.K. William J. Faul, KCT, during his term as Grand Commander and received the Meritorious Service Award for his efforts in 1981. Bill served the First Division of the Grand Commandery of Ohio as Deputy Division Commander from 1985 - 1987, and was appointed Grand Sentinel by Sir Knight Frank W. Crane, KCT, REGC in 1987. He was elected Right Eminent Grand Commander of the Grand Commandery of Knights Templar of Ohio on September 13, 1996. In 2007 he was declared a Past Grand Commander of the Grand Commandery of Knights Templar of Ohio and its Jurisdiction, PHA. In 2009 he was made an Honorary Past Grand Commander of the Grand Commandery of Knights Templar of Virginia (2009), Portugal (2009), the Philippines (2009), and Italy (2010). In June 2009 he was elected an Honorary Past Commander of King Ferdinand Commandery No. 1 in Bucharest, Romania, and at the LXIV Triennial he was elected an Honorary Past Grand Commander of the Grand Commandery of Romania, which was the first official action taken after the formation of that Grand Commandery.
Bill served the Grand Encampment of Knights Templar of the USA, as a member of the Easter Sunrise Breakfast Committee, and an ad-hoc member of the Committee on Drill Regulations from 1991 - 1994, and was Co-Chairman of the Committee on Drill Regulations during the 1994 - 1997 Triennium. He served 8 years as the personal Aide to S.K. Ned E. Dull, GCT, MEPGM of the Grand Encampment, and as the Affinity Coordinator for the Knights Templar Eye Foundation MasterCard program from 1991 to 1999. Bill was the first Ohio Templar invested with the rank and dignity of Knight Commander of the Temple by the Grand Encampment in 1992, and is currently the Deputy for the Ohio KCT Program. He was appointed Department Commander of the East Central Department for the 1997 - 2000 Triennium. Bill was elected Right Eminent Grand Captain General of the Grand Encampment on August 15, 2000 in Nashville, Tennessee. Upon Installation into that Office, he was invested with the Knight Grand Cross of the Temple. On August 16, 2006, he was installed as Right Eminent Deputy Grand Master of the Grand Encampment. In 2007, he was appointed Grand Representative of the Great Priory of the United Masonic, Religious and Military Orders of The Temple and Sepulcher and of The Hospital of Saint-John of Jerusalem and of Palestine, Rhodes and Malta for France near the Grand Encampment, and in 2009 was advanced to the Honor and Dignity of the Knight Grand Cross (pro causa). Upon the resignation of S.K. Richard B. Baldwin, GCT, MEGM on August 28, 2007 for reasons of health, he was installed as Most Eminent Grand Master by S.K. Thurman Cleveland Pace, KGC, MEHPGM. On August 18, 2009, he was elected by acclamation as Most Eminent Grand Master for the LXV Triennium, and was installed the next day, again by Sir Knight Thurman Cleveland Pace, KGC, MEHPGM. Five Days later he was made an Honorary Member and Honorary Past Supreme Grand Master of the Sovereign Great Priory of Canada, and is currently serving as the Grand Representative of the Great Priory near the Grand Encampment. On June 28, 2012 he was unanimously elected a Past Grand Master of the Grand Encampment of Knights Templar of the USA, and its Jurisdictions, PHA, being the first to be elected to such a title from the Grand Encampment of Knights Templar. When his term as Grand Master ends in August 2012 he will have been the longest serving Grand Master in the past 147 years.
Illustrious Brother Koon is a member of the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite, Valley of Toledo and a dual member of the Valley of Dayton, receiving the Thirty-Third Degree from the Supreme Council Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, NMJ, in Grand Rapids on September 23, 1997. In June, 2004 he was elected to the Board of
Trustees of the Valley of Toledo, and served as Chairman from 2008 - 2010. In 2007 he was made an Honorary Knight Commander Court of Honor (KCCH) of the Valley of New Orleans, Louisiana.
He is a member of appendant organizations including, Royal Order of Scotland; Zenobia Temple AAONMS of Toledo, OH, and the Lima Shrine Club; Charter Sovereign and current Recorder of Charlemagne Conclave, Red Cross of Constantine in Lima, OH, Dual Member of Holy Grail Conclave, in Dayton, OH, Honorary Member of St. Leonard Conclave, in Jackson MS, St. Hilary Conclave, Ft. Wayne, IN, Lafayette Conclave, Athens, OH, St. Columba Conclave, Cincinnati, OH, and served the United Grand Imperial Council of the Red Cross of Constantine as Grand Herald 1999 - 2000, Intendant General at Large 2002 - 2003, and was invested with the Knight Commander of Constantine by the Imperial Council RCC of France in 2007; Past Preceptor of Prince of Peace Tabernacle X, HRAKTP, Charter Member, Hannibal Tabernacle LXXVIII, Past Grand Preceptor of the Grand College of America, Holy Royal Arch Knight Templar Priests, and awarded the GC (Grand Cross) of the Order, One of Five Honorary Members of the Grand College of Holy Royal Arch Knight Templar Priests, York, England, and recipient of their Certificate of Merit. In 2014 he was awarded the Grand High Priests Award and is the only American to hold that honor. In 2009 he was Knighted in Rose of Sharon Priory No. 2, Knights of the York Cross of Honor and advanced to the rank and dignity of Knight Grand Cross of the York Cross of Honor with one Quadrant. He is an honorary member of Lily of the Valley Priory No. 1 in North Carolina and Louisiana Priory No. 43.
Bill was the Charter and Past Chief Adept, IX° Grade, Ohio College SRICF, Honorary Member of Illinois College, New Jersey College, and Wisconsin College SRICF, in 1998 he was elected Junior Deputy Supreme Magus, and invested with the rank and title of Knight Grand Cross (KGC). On February 8, 2007, he was elected Supreme Magus of the High Council SRICF, and on February 7, 2008 was awarded the Knight Grand Cross (KGC) of the former SRIG (Societas Rosicruciana in Gallia), he has been honored as an Honorary Past Supreme Magus of the SRIC (Societas Rosicruciana in Canada), and SRIR (Societas Rosicruciana in Romania); Centennial College No. 87, Blackstone College No. 195, Sovereign York Rite College, Order of the Purple Cross of York 1997; Past Sovereign of Buckeye Council No. 92 AMD, Charter Member Shawnee Council No. 355 AMD, Awarded the Red Branch of Eri, and appointed Grand Tyler of the Grand Council AMD in 2005; Past Grand Chancellor of the Grand College of Rites of the USA; Charter Member of Irish Council No. 67 Knight Masons of the USA; Past Grand Tall of Ohio Northern Forest No. 188 Tall Cedars of Lebanon; Most Eminent Supreme Grand Master ad vitam, and Grand Commander Occidental of the Royal Society of Knights Occidental; Secretary of the Program Committee for AMD Week in Washington D.C.; Daniel Boone Chapter of National Sojourners Inc; Past-President of the Forty- Fivers; Grove Chapter No. 527 OES; Lima Shrine No. 20, White Shrine of Jerusalem; 7° Degree, Bryn Athyn Quarry Assemblage, Allentown, PA, and High Twelve International Club No. 590.