Sioux City

James E. Deignan, 82, of Sioux City, went to his heavenly home on the morning of Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2017, at his home.

Services will be 11:30 a.m. Saturday at Meyer Brothers Morningside Chapel, with the Rev. Donna Smith of Cornerstone World Outreach officiating. Burial will be in Memorial Park Cemetery. Visitation with the family will be 10:30 a.m. until service time Saturday at the funeral home.

James was born at home in Sioux City, on June 1, 1935, the son of James Edmund Deignan and Jean M. (Brownlee) Engel. James graduated from Central High School in 1953.

In 1954, he married his high school sweetheart, Carol Gray. James then immediately enlisted in the U.S. Army. He continued his education at Morningside College in 1959, where he earned his B.A. in English and physical education. He then taught at Woodrow Wilson Junior High and Central High School as a teacher and coach. In 1965, he earned his M.A. in secondary school administration from the University of South Dakota.

He then became assistant professor, athletic director and coach at Briar Cliff College in Sioux City until 1968, when he became director of Parks and Recreation for the City of Sioux City. In 1971, James became principal at South Sioux City High School in South Sioux City, and in 1975, became assistant principal at East High School in Sioux City. In 1980, he became principal of East High School, where he remained for 15 years. In 1984, James earned his Ed.S. in educational administration from the University of South Dakota and went on to earn his Ed.D. in 1987. He remained at East High School until he was transferred to West High School in 1990, where he retired in 1997.

James will be lovingly remembered by his wife, Ruth Deignan of Sioux City; his two wonderful sons, Michael Deignan of Sioux City, and Jeffrey Deignan of Sioux City; his three loving stepdaughters and their husbands, Leann (Tim) Hicks of Sioux City, Rhonda (Jerry) Yezek of Burnsville, Minn., and Michelle (Tom) Clark of Sioux City; his grandchildren, Josh Baxter and Caitlyn and Conor Deignan; his stepgrandchildren, Lauren and Trenton Hicks, Allison and Averi Yezek, and Michael, Daniel and Noah Clark; three sisters and one brother, Patricia (Pat) Mansfield of Ventura, Calif., Maureen Norton of Sioux City, Marilyn O'Donnell of Sioux City, and Robert (Kathy) Deignan of Sioux City; a goddaughter, Kimberly Russell of La Jolla, Calif.; and his daughter-in-law, Heidi Deignan of Sioux City.

James was preceded in death by his father, who died in 1941 when James was only 6 years old; his stepfather, Robert Engel, who died in 1992; his mother, Jean Engel (Brownlee) Deignan, who died in 1993; his daughter-in-law, Cindy Deignan, who died in 2014; and his brother-in-law, Jon Norton, who died in 2016.

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