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Virgil C. Dechant (born September 24, 1930) was the twelfth Supreme Knight of the Knights of Columbus from January 21, 1977 to September 30, 2000.[1]

Virgil Dechant
Born (1930-09-24) 24 September 1930 (age 89)
TitleSupreme Knight
of the Knights of Columbus
PredecessorJohn W. McDevitt
SuccessorCarl A. Anderson

He was born September 24, 1930, in Antonino, Ellis County, Kansas, and lives in Leawood, Kansas. He and his wife Ann L. Dechant have four children and 12 grandchildren. His ancestors are German-Russians from the Mariental region. In 1998, Dechant was the recipient of the National Right to Life award along with Senator Jesse Helms. Mr.Dechant is the vice president of the Vatican Bank, a Gentiluomo di Sua Santità (a Gentleman of His Holiness), and a Councillor on the State Council for Vatican City. He is a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of Pius IX, a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St. Gregory the Great, and a Knight of the Order of the Holy Sepulchre.

He had the honor of escorting President George W. Bush to the funeral of Pope John Paul II.

He stepped down as Supreme Knight of the Knights of Columbus on September 30, 2000 at the age of seventy after serving the longest term ever by a Supreme Knight. He was succeeded by Carl A. Anderson.


  1. ^ "Knights of Columbus: 125 Years in Review –1970s". Retrieved 14 January 2013.