Three Generations of Knights of Columbus

For 80 years, there has been a member of the Hanneman family in the Knights of Columbus, the world’s largest Catholic fraternal and charitable organization. The line of service runs from Carl F. Hanneman (1901-1982), who joined in 1934, to his son David D. Hanneman (1933-2007), who joined in 1953, to his son Joe Hanneman, who joined the order in April 2007.

The three generations share other things in common with respect to the K of C, based in New Haven, Connecticut, with more than 14,000 local councils across America. All three have been members of the Fourth Degree, which focuses on patriotism and love of country. All three served in the Fourth Degree Color Corps and Honor Guard. The Honor Guard, wearing tuxedos, colored capes, ceremonial swords and plumed chapeaux, is a ceremonial presence at Masses, funeral wakes, Flag Day ceremonies and other events. Joe Hanneman served on the Honor Guard for the installation of Archbishop Jerome Listecki in Milwaukee. Carl joined the Fourth Degree in the late 1930s or early 1940s, judging by the group portrait of his exemplification class. David joined in 1973 and Joe joined in 2008.

Carl F. Hanneman (left section, second row, second from center aisle), joined the Fourth Degree of the Knights of Columbus in the late 1930s or early 1940s. Exact date of this photo is unknown.
Carl F. Hanneman (left section, second row, second from center aisle), joined the Fourth Degree of the Knights of Columbus in the late 1930s or early 1940s. Exact date of this photo is unknown.

All three also served as Grand Knight of their respective local K of C council. The Grand Knight is leader of the local council. Carl Hanneman was Grand Knight of Solomon Juneau Council 2770 in Mauston, Wisconsin in the late 1960s. David Hanneman was Grand Knight of Holy Family Council 4879 in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin, from 2001 to 2003. Joe Hanneman was Grand Knight of Msgr. Stanley B. Witkowiak Council 697 in Racine in 2010 and 2011.

Altar server Joe Hanneman with his father David D. Hanneman (at right) and Bill Dziadosz.
Altar server Joe Hanneman with his father David D. Hanneman (at right) and Bill Dziadosz.

The Knights of Columbus is a fraternal and charitable organization founded in 1882 by Venerable Father Michael J. McGivney, whose cause for sainthood is being considered at the Vatican. The Knights operate under the principles of charity, unity, fraternity and patriotism. Knights raise money and volunteer for a wide range of causes, from pro-life programs such as crisis pregnancy centers, to programs providing free wheelchairs to the disabled, to grants to local programs that support the mentally retarded. The K of C and local councils have provided more than 500 ultrasound machines to crisis pregnancy centers.

David D. Hanneman was part of a large class that became Fourth Degree Sir Knights on April 14, 1973 in Madison.
David D. Hanneman was part of a large class that became Fourth Degree Sir Knights on April 14, 1973 in Madison.

Knights provide free coats to needy children each winter. They run a variety of athletic events, including Punt, Pass and Kick, and a basketball free-throw competition. Knights also support and promote vocations to the priesthood, sponsoring seminarians and providing other material support for those studying for the priesthood. In 2013, Knights provided a record amount of charity, with over $170 million raised and 70.5 million hours of voluntary service provided. In 2014, the K of C provided more than $2 million to help persecuted Christians from Iraq and other Mideast countries being targeted by ISIS and other terrorist organizations.

Boy Scouts participate in a flag retirement ceremony run by the Knights in Racine. Speaking at the podium is Deputy Grand Knight Joe Hanneman.
Boy Scouts participate in a flag retirement ceremony run by Assembly 1207, the Fourth Degree Knights in Racine. Speaking at the podium is Deputy Grand Knight Joe Hanneman.

The Fourth Degree of the Knights is especially dedicated to patriotism and the idea that love of God and love of country go hand in hand. The Fourth Degree was founded in 1900 to combat the prejudiced notion that Catholics were not loyal Americans and could not be trusted in public office or with civic responsibility. The Fourth Degree provides free flags for schools and nonprofit organizations, supports veterans’ organizations,  provides material needs to local veterans’ hospitals, and sends faith materials and other assistance to members of the military serving overseas.

Famous Knights include Venerable Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, one of the Catholic Church’s all-time great authors and communicators; former Green Bay Packers coaching legend Vince Lombardi; baseball’s Sultan of Swat, Babe Ruth; Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito; Ray Flynn, former U.S. ambassador to the Vatican; Cardinal Francis George, former archbishop of Chicago; Saint Rafael Guizar Valencia; and six martyrs of the Cristero War in Mexico: Father Luis Bátis Sáinz, Father José María Robles Hurtado, Father Mateo Correa Magallanes, Father Miguel de la Mora, Father Rodrigo Aguilar Alemán and Father Pedro de Jesús Maldonado Lucero. The K of C operates in the United States, Canada, Mexico, the Philippines, Poland, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Panama, the Bahamas, the Virgin Islands, Cuba, Guatemala, Guam and Saipan.

A number of other members of the extended Hanneman family have been members of the Knights of Columbus: Earl J. Mulqueen Sr. (my grandfather), Earl J. Mulqueen Jr., Donn G. Hanneman, longtime Wisconsin Rapids building inspector Arthur J. Hanneman, and former state representative Arthur Treutel.

— This post has been updated with a date correction and two new photographs.

©2014 The Hanneman Archive

2 thoughts on “Three Generations of Knights of Columbus”

  1. One of my fondest activities in childhood was going out with my stepdad for deliciously greasy hamburgers at our local “KC” grill on the Atlantic side of the Panama Canal Zone. The Knights did a great deal of good work in the Canal Zone–though I was not raised Catholic, I was well aware of the “KC” (though, admittedly, mostly because of my terrible french fry addiction.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. A number of KC councils still operate halls with restaurants and bars, although that practice is falling out of favor due to the costs involved. Many councils use pancake breakfasts as fund-raisers. The food is always good.

      Liked by 1 person

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