Name: Marvin Bissen
Originally from: Defiance, Iowa
Occupation: Retired Farmer, District Sales for seed company, Agronomist
Joined K of C: Joined K of C in 1947
Degree: Became a 4th Degree in 1983
Offices held in the Order:
3rd Degree: Chancellor, Deputy Grand Knight, Grand Knight, Treasurer, and Trustee.
4th Degree: Faithful Navigator, Faithful Pilot, and Trustee
Hobbies and interests: Golf, playing pool, playing cards
What comes to mind when I think of the K of C: A group of Catholic men helping the unprivileged, providing kids warm coats through the Coats for Kids Program, and honoring our 4th Degrees with an Honor Guard when they depart
K of C projects involved in: Lead Rosary before Saturday’s Mass in Harlan, help set up tables for Fish Fry events, cashier for Fish Fry during Lent, help with the “Tips for Kids” initiative at Fish Fry, Eucharist Minister at Elm Crest Senior Living Community, delivered meals for Meals on Wheels, trash pick-up on highways, help with Tootsie Roll Drive
Why Am I a Knight?
By Marvin Bissen
I was first asked to join the Knights of Columbus In 1947, but I was not interested. However, my girlfriend at that time talked me into joining since she had just joined the Catholic Daughters; I joined the Knights…, and my girlfriend and I were married two months later.
I worked for my father until I was twenty one, and started farming for myself in 1948 when I rented a farm. I did this until 1970. I bought the farm and I own it now. In 1972 I started working for a seed company as a District Sales person as I traveled throughout the county. I did this job for thirty years. During that time, I earned a degree in Agronomy.
In my younger years I worked very hard to support my family and I am proud to say we raised six wonderful children that have become good adults and have blessed us with many grandkids, great- grand Kids, and great-great-grand kids. I feel this has been a blessing from God.
Later in life I’ve had time to help with many projects of the Knights of Columbus. I have held many of the offices in the 3rd and 4th Degrees, and have attended many State Conventions. Now in my senior years, I help the Knights of Columbus by chairing the Reading of the Rosary on Saturday afternoons at St. Michaels before evening Mass (I read the Rosary myself just about every 4 weeks); I’ve been a Communion Minister for the homebound, people at the hospital, and for the Elm Crest Senior Living Community in Harlan – this I have done for twenty years. Also, delivered Meals on Wheels in January for ten years…In 1992 when I was Grand Knight, we started the Fish Fry events in Harlan even though there were many people that said it would not work… to this day, twenty four years later, we are still doing the Fish Fry event every Lent. I have also helped with the many projects the Knights do for low income people like building ramps for the handicapped. Also helped pick up trash on the highway and sharing tootsie rolls during the Tootsie Roll Drive.
I am a Knight because of what the Knights of Columbus stand for… mainly, helping the underprivileged. The Knights of Columbus is a good Catholic organization to belong to. I would encourage good practicing Catholic gentlemen to join the Order to do God’s work and make a difference.