Tribute to Richard O. ``Dick’’ Deignanby Representative Todd Rokita
Posted on 2015-01-20
in the house of representatives
Tuesday, January 20, 2015
Mr. ROKITA. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize and salute an
extraordinary Hoosier, Richard O. ``Dick'' Deignan, who passed away on
January 13, 2015. I wish to express my heartfelt gratitude and
appreciation for his and his late wife Joan's leadership and service in
my hometown of Munster, Indiana, in the Indianapolis, Indiana community
and in other parts of our state.
First, Mr. Deignan was willing to put the welfare of his fellow Americans above his own self interests. His service aboard the USS Hugh Purvis as a sailor in the United States Navy remained one of his proudest achievements and an obligation he was happy to undertake to ensure that our nation remained free and his children and grandchildren were afforded the same liberty promised by our Founding Fathers.
Mr. Deignan was an astute businessman and well known in our community, not only as a Burger King franchise owner, but for the way he trained his employees, many of whom were seeking their first job. He sought to hire high-quality employees, train them well and empower them. In doing so, what he really did was help grow responsible members of the community.
Dick built his business from nothing. Starting out, he had very little wealth or other resources. But what he, and so many others who have helped build and maintain this great country had, was a dream and the tireless work ethic to make it reality. He also recognized that what he and Joan built couldn't be done just anywhere in the world. Dick understood, and always promoted, our exceptionalism as the reason the United States had the ability to be the freest, most prosperous nation world history had ever seen, and the greatest force for good on earth.
In his free time, he was a staunch advocate and supporter of the Munster Booster Club, aiding the purchase of athletic and scholastic equipment and supplies for the Munster School System.
As a close friend of the Deignan children, Kerry and Owen, I quickly came to know the entire family, who lived on Chestnut Lane in Munster for years. They were typical of the best of American families, having and practicing the values we often talk about on this very floor.
Joan Deignan was one of the best teachers I had in grade school. And Dick was the very first community leader to support my successful bid for Indiana Secretary of State. They believed in me as a product of a community in which they believed even more.
[[Page E81]] Mr. Deignan leaves two children and three grandchildren to carry on his legacy of community service and joins Joan, in eternity. On behalf of Hoosiers, I am humbled to honor Dick here today. He will be missed for his friendship, leadership, work ethic and his character. His legacy is evidence that hard work combined with the opportunities of American exceptionalism can lead to the realization of the American Dream, however an individual wants to define it. Rest in peace my friend, and thank you for your example and leadership.