Date of death: 2/8/2018
Saint Meinrad Class: PD 2008
Deacon Donald Dearman, ordained on June 28, 2008, as a member of the first group of permanent deacons in the history the Church in central and southern Indiana, died on Feb. 8 in Indianapolis. He was 67.Raised as a Baptist, Deacon Dearman was received into the full communion of the Church in 1996. Seven years later, he was accepted into the first group of men to be formed for the diaconate in the archdiocese.His wife Carol suggested that he consider being a part of the group.ôHe said that I put him in the diaconate,ö Carol recalled with a laugh. ôI saw it in The Criterion. He always said that I sent him [to the first meeting], but I told him that he didnÆt have to stay, so he couldnÆt say that I sent him.öShe was pleased when her husband was accepted into the deacon formation program and later ordained.ôIt was pure joy for me,ö Carol said. ôI knew he would be a good deacon. When he became Catholic, he was all in. He was proud of being the first African-American deacon in the archdiocese.öDeacon Steve Hodges, who serves at SS. Peter and Paul Cathedral Parish, and Deacon Dearman became friends during their years of formation.ôDeacon Donald had a strong, yet simple faith life,ö Deacon Hodges said. ôHe trusted God wholeheartedly in all things. Although he struggled with health issues, he answered GodÆs call to become a permanent deacon, trusting in GodÆs providential care.öThat example of simple but deep faith helped Deacon Hodges grow in his own faith, saying that he ôinspired me with his deep, trusting faith in God throughout formation and since ordination. His unwavering faith carried him through the many ups and downs of life and the health challenges that he and his wife, Carol, faced.öDeacon Michael East, archdiocesan director of deacons, noted Deacon DearmanÆs desire to serve at-risk youths and people in jails and prisons.ôHe was very passionate in his love of the less fortunate in our society,ö said Deacon East, another ordination classmate of Deacon Dearman. ôWhen his health caused him to retire from active ministry in the parish, he continued his ministry to the incarcerated in Marion County Jail, even though at times this was physically very challenging due to his decreasing mobility.öAfter he was ordained, Deacon Dearman ministered in his home faith community, St. Rita Parish in Indianapolis, from 2008-11. He then served at the former St. Bernadette Parish in Indianapolis from 2011-13.He ministered in the Marion County Jail in Indianapolis from 2008-13, when he was granted early retirement for health reasons.Deacon DearmanÆs previous work experience prepared him for this ministry. He worked for a period as a counselor for Public Advocates in Community Re-Entry and the Juvenile Detention Center, both in Indianapolis. He also taught religion at the former St. Andrew-St. Rita Catholic Academy in Indianapolis.Donald Lee Dearman was born on Aug.13, 1950, in Indianapolis. A 1967 graduate of Crispus Attucks High School in Indianapolis, he married his wife Carol, who survives, on Nov. 25, 1978, at the former St.Francis de Sales Church in Indianapolis.In addition to his wife Carol, he is survived by his daughter, Carmen Dearman, his son, Todd Liggins, his sister, Eunice Early, and two grandchildren.