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Know Our Knights: Bill Summers

Degree: Fourth

Member since: October 2018

Hometown: DeWitt, Iowa

Meet Bill Summers, our current Financial Secretary for Council 12422.

Bill is a “born and raised” Catholic from the small eastern Iowa town of DeWitt. He worked at many part-time jobs during high school and college, including the weekend, overnight on-air shift at radio station KRNA in Iowa City. Bill graduated from the University of Iowa in 1985 while continuing to work his way up to Program Director at the successful radio station.

After more than a decade spent in broadcasting, he left to become Communications Director for a large non-profit organization: the American Heart Association. Several years of constant travel to meet local volunteers across Iowa and neighboring states eventually led to residing more centrally here in West Des Moines. In 1998, Bill was asked to join Forethought Financial Services (now a part of Global Atlantic). The new job consisted of helping funeral homes find a very secure investment product to hold the funds in their advance planning programs.

Even with no prior connections to funeral service, Bill welcomed this opportunity to help so many local families in communities of all sizes. He has now been involved with this unique niche of funeral planning for more than two decades. Since 2018, Bill has been a partner at Cairn Partners, a respected team of independent consultants advising a select group of premier funeral homes and cemeteries across America.

Bill and his wife Mary Claire were married at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church by Fr. Ray McHenry in 2002. They have two sons who are still at home: Tucker (a junior at Waukee High School) and Ty (in eighth grade at Timberline). Bill has two adult children: Mike (Cedar Rapids) and Elizabeth (Denver, Colorado) and three adorable grandchildren.

“I joined Knights of Columbus at St. Francis to become more active in my faith and get to know other Catholic men here in West Des Moines,” Bill says. “I had lots of friends in other places who were Knights, and one Sunday a Knight spoke to our parish from the pulpit. After Mass, I signed up on the spot. That was a great decision. I’ve made so many good friends in our parish, and all across the state.”

Since 2019, Bill has served as our council’s Financial Secretary, helping to oversee finances, fundraising and membership processes. He enjoys working with Treasurer Mike Bohn and the other Council officers, plus he is also a member of the James Jordan Assembly of Fourth Degree Knights. Many of his fellow Knights of Columbus brothers are helping his kids with the sizable project to get this life-long Hawkeye to also cheer for the Cyclones.

“Catholic men of any age, my advice is this: join the Knights of Columbus. Join first for your faith, second for the fellowship and third for fun of it all. If you are already a Knight, then please stay involved with your council. More fun equals more involvement. Pick just one activity, any activity you like, from the dozens available. The list is long, and you can make LARGE improvements to life with such SMALL investments of your time.”

“It’s an honor to serve this council and all the good things that these gentlemen do. Thank you, Brother Knights!”

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