Indiana has lost a longtime Marion County judge who’s been on the probate bench for three decades and was considered one of the state’s top probate jurists.
Marion Superior Judge Charles Deiter, 71, who presided over the court’s probate division, lost a battle to cancer this morning, according to his colleague and longtime friend Judge Tanya Walton Pratt.
“He was a wonderful judge, someone who was well-loved by everyone in the community and on the bench,” said Judge Pratt, who said the two of them lived in the same neighborhood and attended St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church together. “He was a wonderful person, and this is such as loss for everyone.”
Judge Deiter took the bench as a probate court commissioner in 1978 and served in that capacity until his election as judge in 1991. The judge’s term expired at the end of this year; he did not run for re-election because of his planned retirement.
In January, Judge Pratt was planning to move from criminal court to his Probate Division 8. Now, that move may happen earlier, and the pro tempore judges who’ve been assisting will be asked to help more, she said.
The judge, who had been optimistic and doing well with chemotherapy, was hoping to return to the bench before his judicial term expired, Judge Pratt said.
Prior to becoming a commissioner in probate court, the 1965 Indiana University School of Law – Bloomington graduate served as a commissioner in the civil division for a year, and he’d worked for about four years in the Indiana Attorney General’s Office after law school.
Arrangements are pending but are tentatively scheduled for calling Friday and a funeral mass Saturday. The services will be at St. Joan of Arc, 4217 Central Ave., Indianapolis, according to Judge Pratt.