Friday, November 14, 2008


Judge Deiters was in charge of many of the Marion county records for adoptees and their families. Things are rapidly changing in this world. He passed yesterday from cancer. He was planning on retiring at the end of this year. Sadly it came too late.

Here is the link and the story:

November 13, 2008

Longtime Marion County probate Judge Charles Deiter dies

Charles Deiter, who was to getting ready to retire, has died at 71

By Jon Murray

Charlie Deiter's plans to step down after 17 years as Marion County's presiding probate judge did not include slowing down.

He brought sharp elbows to the basketball court each Saturday to play with his six sons and his brother. He figured he might fill in as a senior judge after he left the bench.

But the discovery in July of late-stage lung cancer that had spread throughout the nonsmoker's body stole his plans for an active retirement. Deiter, 71, died Wednesday morning.

"It's just a bad day," said Court Commissioner Mark Batties III, who worked under Deiter on one of the largest staffs in Marion County's courts.

The Probate Division handles estate, adoption, guardianship and mental health commitment cases. For more than three decades, it was Deiter's turf -- first as a commissioner, then as judge.

Attorneys and colleagues said compassion was his hallmark. He carefully gave each side its say, even when emotions ran high.

"The calm was in the eye of the storm, I guess you'd say," said Indianapolis attorney Jerry Hammond, who handled estate and other cases before Deiter for 26 years.

Deiter oversaw several high-profile cases involving wills and estate matters, including the Humane Society of Indianapolis' trusts and the estate of heiress Ruth Lilly.

His oldest son, John, 41, said Deiter's chief passions were his family, the law and basketball. Survivors include his wife of 45 years, Sonja; 10 children; and 20 grandchildren.

Deiter's funeral Mass is set for 9:30 a.m. Saturday at St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church, 4217 Central Ave.

The court's executive committee earlier selected Judge Tanya Walton Pratt to succeed Deiter in January.

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