Council #1013 History

Harold Gentling

The Minnesota Knights of Columbus established the Rochester Bureau in the late 1930's. Harold Gentling became the first hospital visitor - Mayo Clinic go between - for the Minnesota KC's. He helped many Knights and their families and other Catholics who came to Rochester seeking medical assistance.

Harold was an interesting man. For one thing, he joined the Knights of Columbus at age 18. Early in his life he enjoyed athletics very much. He went to Tulane University. As the World War commitment escalated, Tulane faced mostly military opponents in 1918. The only loss in a 4-1-1 record was to Camp Pike. The Tulane defense shut out four of its six opponents and allowed only 16 points all season. In a 74-0 battering of Southwestern Louisiana, Harold Gentling broke off a 95-yard run, the longest in Tulane history.” He continued this hobby later in life by being a football coach for the St. Johns High School (later Lourdes HS) in Rochester.

Harold was Secretary of the Minnesota Knights of Columbus Welfare Society and visited some quarter million patients in Rochester hospitals over 39 year years up to 1970. Mr. Gentling had visited with many famous personalities including former President and Mrs. Franklin D. Roosevelt, former President Lyndon Johnson, the Queen Mother of Egypt, and well-known sports figures and entertainers who had been in Rochester for medical care. It was his duty to visit hospitalized Catholics, but he also visited countless persons of other religious denominations in hospitals here. As a result of his long history of helping, in 1965 he received the Bishop’s Medal for Catholic Action from Most Rev. Edward Fitzgerald, former bishop of the Winona Catholic Diocese.

Harold passed away suddenly Sunday, January 11, 1970. The following year in May of 1971, Knights of Columbus Council 1013 of Rochester adopted his name to honor him and his long record of helping those in need.