Celebrating the life of DiGiorno: A gift from Fish God


Maeley Rosengren

Alex Murphy was pictured holding up DiGiorno’s make-shift casket during the funeral service.

A crowd gathered along the north shore of Lake LaVerne Sept. 6 to mourn the loss of DiGiorno, the fish who swam into the hearts of many.

DiGiorno, the betta fish, died on Sept. 5. The owner, Nick Bishop, a freshman in engineering, posted about his pet’s passing on the ISU Class of 2026 Snapchat story. Bishop said he would be holding a memorial for his fish at 9:30 p.m. Tuesday at the north side of Lake LaVerne.

“I got him the day after I moved in,” Bishop said. “My friends were bored, and we went to Petco and bought the fish.”

Many people started sharing and reposting, spreading the word about the passing of Bishop’s fish. With the help of Alex Murphy, a freshman in business, and Jason Broska Jr, a freshman in entrepreneurship, the trio planned and organized the funeral with Murphy getting the word out and Broska acting as a priest.

Initially, Bishop was conflicted about the post blowing up due to the possibility of authorities showing up; however, he was glad it was getting lots of traction. He wanted to honor DiGiornio’s life while still respecting the law. He still wanted a lot of people to join and be in the area.

On the day of the funeral, approximately 100 people showed up to the north side of Lake LaVerne, some dressed casually and some in their best attire with suits, dress shirts, slacks, dresses and make-up.

Approximately 100 students gathered on the north shore of Lake LaVerne last Tuesday to pay respect to the recently departed Betta Fish, DiGiorno. (Maeley Rosengren)

Even a couple of officers from the ISU Campus Police showed up to pay their respects to DiGiorno.

The funeral started with playing taps on the trumpet along with the owner, Bishop, and Broska saying a few words in honor of DiGiorno. Broska led by reading a few passages from the “Fish Bible” and led the prayer in the name of fish Jesus.

EFishians (a play on words for Ephesians) 2:8 “For it is by grace you have been saved; through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is the gift of Fish God,” Broska said.

Broska said DiGiorno’s death was caused by the Hawkeyes, and he knew his death would be avenged by beating the Hawkeyes at the CyHawk game.

“If I could describe DiGiorno in three words, I would describe him as charming, audacious and adorable,” Bishop said during the funeral service. “DiGiorno’s three weeks were full of adventure, excitement and rizz. He made every person he encountered a happier person.”

Bishop said that DiGiorno’s favorite artist was Chief Keef, and he became popular among the people of Bergman House in Welch Residence Hall.

“As we bid our earthly brother goodbye, delivering him into the afterlife, I remind you that it is not in fact delivery, but it is DiGiorno,” Broska said.

Although the original plan was to burn the casket, they opted to bury him, and DiGiorno was laid to rest on the north side of Lake LaVerne at around 10 p.m.

“It was really great having him; it was great having the responsibility of having a fish,” Bishop said. “Every day I would wake up and feed him, maintain the tank. Every time I sat down, I would see him in the tank, and I enjoyed his company. I’m happy that everybody joined the funeral and celebrated him passing on into the fish afterlife.”