Born and raised in Enid, Oklahoma, Jim Tresner held a Ph.D. in communications.
He was a perpetual member of Garfield Lodge #501 in Enid, Oklahoma, Past Master and perpetual member of Albert Pike Lodge #162 in Guthrie, Oklahoma, a member of the Oklahoma Lodge of Research, a member of Oklahoma College, Masonic Societas Rosicruciana in Civitatibus Foederalis and Past Sovereign Master of Father Murrow Chapter, Allied Masonic Degrees, and was Grand Orator of the Grand Lodge of the State of Oklahoma.
He was awarded the Medal of Honor by the Grand Lodge of Oklahoma, served as the Grand Lodge Official Spokesman on matters of Freemasonry and Religion since 1993 until his death in 2017, and has served on numerous Grand Lodge Committees. He was the Publications Editor for the Grand Lodge of Oklahoma and the editor of the state Masonic magazine. He was an honorary Past Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Arkansas and was awarded the Grand Master’s Medal of Honor by the Grand Lodge of Kansas.
In the Scottish Rite, Brother Tresner held the 33̊, the Supreme Council Certificate of Honor, and the Grand Cross of the Court of Honor. He served for many years as the Director of the Work for the Guthrie Scottish Rite Temple, and the book review editor for the Scottish Rite Journal.
A member of the York Rite, he was made a Knight Commander of the Temple by the Grand Encampment. He was the 1995 Anson Jones Lecturer for the Texas Lodge of Research, the 1995 Pires Lecturer for the Dallas Scottish Rite Bodies, and the 1996 Lecturer for the Iowa Lodge of Research. In 1997 he delivered the Jack Ball Lecture for Albert Pike Lodge #1169, San Antonio. In 1999 he was elected to membership in the Society of Blue Friars, an international organization of Masonic writers and researchers. In 2001 he was awarded the Mackey Medal for Excellence in Masonic Research by the Scottish Rite Research Society.
In 2005, he received the Duane E. Anderson Medal for Excellence in Masonic Education from the Grand Lodge of Minnesota. He served on the Steering Committee and the Task Force of the Masonic Information Center in Silver Spring, Maryland.
His books include Vested in Glory: The Regalia of the Scottish Rite; Albert Pike: The Man Beyond the Monument; From Sacrifice to Symbol: The Story of Cornerstones and Stability Rites; The Craft’s Noyse: Composers who were Freemasons; Further Light; and, with Robert G. Davis, A Shared Spirit: Freemasonry and the Native American Tradition.
Brother James Tracy Tresner laid up his working tools of life and went to join his heavenly father on May 27, 2018.