RWB Thomas L. Schenk, Senior Grand Deacon 2019
Born March 28th, 1966 to Robert and Andriette Schenk of San Antonio, Texas with one sibling, brother, Robert Schenk II.
Thomas attended Theodore Roosevelt High School in San Antonio and upon graduation in 1984, immediately went to work in the construction industry as a heavy equipment operator, excavating for commercial properties, public roads and local schools.
While working as a heavy equipment operator, he met the love of his life, Shirley D. Smith on a ranch in South Texas and they were married in June of 1986. They have three wonderful children, now grown and on there own, and two beautiful grandchildren.
Developing a passion for construction and building, Thomas was next employed by the Northside Independant School District of San Antonio as an apprentice carpenter. Quickly escalating through the ranks, he eventualy earned the position of a lead carpenter responsible for the maintenance and constructive needs of 12 out of 120 campuses. Thus fueling his interest in home and commercial building.
While working at N.I.S.D. he met many people. He noticed a majority of the co-workers he would associate with all had the same values as he did and some he was able to identify as masons. One day while leaving work, he noticed a bumper sticker on one of his friend’s vehicles that said “2B1ASK1”. The next day he did, and not long after that he petitioned Bandera Lodge # 1123 in Bandera, Texas for membership, in the small town where he and his family lived.
Thomas was initiated into the Masonic fraternity in April of 2000. And was Passed & Raised that same year. In 2001 he entered the Lodge’s progressive line as Senior Steward and was elected as Worshipful Master of Bandera Lodge # 1123 in 2007. Even though he had moved to Ruidoso, New Mexico in 2004. His “Home” Lodge was so important to him he commuted twice per month and when needed to attend its functions. In 2002 he and his wife joined Bandera Chapter # 643 Order of The Eastern Star in Bandera, Texas.
As stated previously, in 2004, Thomas and his wife moved to New Mexico and purchased Golden Yarn Flooring, a company in Ruidoso, where they could raise there family in the mountain community and try to earn a living doing interior remodels. This soon led to Thomas starting his own business, Arquette Construction, which he named after his handyman grandfather, who was very influential in his life and taught him all the needed skills for construction. Being self-employed and wanting to build more, Thomas soon gained the trust of financial investors and started building spec homes in the Ruidoso area. Today Thomas is a succesful “hands on” custom home builder and truly enjoys his work.
Also in 2004, while trying to get his family situated in New Mexico, he visited and petitioned Ruidoso # 73 for plural membership. He was welcomed with open arms and the Lodge soon put him to work! In 2010 he was elected as Worshipful Master as well as in 2014 and 2017. In 2016, Thomas also became a member of Ruidoso Chapter # 65 Order of The Eastern Star.
In 2011, Thomas was appointed DDGM of the 11th masonic district by MWB. Bobby Arther and again in 2012 by MWB. Joshua Lightle. He served as DDGL in 2013 for MWB. Bill Childers.
Although Thomas supports all other appendant masonic bodies, he has yet to petition some of them for membership. He devotes all of his time to the “Blue Lodge” and feels that is where his responsibility and dedication lies. Thomas looks forward to both the opportunity and the challenge of serving the Grand Lodge of New Mexico.