American Veteran 01

Joseph Doran Sr.

April 18, 1924 ~ December 18, 2020 (age 96)


Joseph Thomas Doran, 96, of North Vernon, passed away peacefully at his home on Friday, December 18, 2020. 

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Monday, December 21, 2020, at St. Mary's Catholic Church. Rev. Jerry Byrd will officiate. Burial will be in the St. Mary's Cemetery. Visitation will be held from 9:00 a.m. until the start of service, at Sawyer-Pickett Funeral and Cremation Service.

He was the son of Frank and Anna (nee Sadler) Doran, both the children of Irish and German immigrants who had ventured to southern Indiana to build farms and railroads.  Joe was born in North Vernon in 1924 to a family that would include Mary Hope, Frank, Viola, Edward, and Anne.  All have predeceased him. He married Dympna O’Connor, a nurse from Ireland, in 1959.  Dympna was the joy of his life.

Joseph, known as Joe, did many interesting things over the course of a long and fruitful life.  All shaped the man he became. His early life centered around Irish Hill and St. Mary’s Parish.  With the untimely passing of his mother, his family merged with another on Irish Hill, the Millers, and he would grow up in a boisterous extended family. To the Millers, whom he was raised with, he was the beloved uncle. To his sister Mary Hope, who helped raise him, he was a surrogate son. He would attend the parish school and graduate in 1938.  Joe lived through the Depression, which struck when he was a young boy.  He did what he could for the family, even driving trucks for his father’s beer distributor business from a young age.  After graduating from North Vernon High School, where he excelled and played a number of sports, he served as a commissioned officer in the Navy during the Second World War.  Like so many other veterans, he attended college after returning home.  Joe graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 1948.  He flirted with the idea of the priesthood, even spending some time in the seminary, before deciding he did not have such a calling.  Joe earned a Master’s degree at Notre Dame in the newish field of sociology.  Eventually, he would obtain a doctorate in the subject, specializing in criminology.  During his advanced schooling, Joe worked as a probation officer in Chicago and a parole officer in Cleveland.  He would then become a beloved college teacher at a number of institutions, including Xavier University and Girls College in Cincinnati, Portland College in Oregon, Canisius College in Buffalo, and Franklin College in Indiana. Above all else, Joe prided himself on being a devoted husband.  Together, he and Dympna ran a number of liquor stores in the area.  They would have four children. Joe remained a member of St. Mary’s Parish.  He gave generously to the church, served on the school board, and became, by the time he died, a pillar of that community.  He was throughout his life a proud Notre Dame man.  His varied experiences taught him values that he lived by—prudence, generosity, sacrifice, and dedication to family.  All in all, his life epitomized the virtues of the “Greatest Generation.”  We will not see his like again.

 Joe is survived by Genevieve Mangine (Stephen), John, Joseph (Sandra), and Mary Hope Griffin (Patrick).  Joe also had twelve grandchildren: Matthew Mangine; Christopher, John, Joseph, and Dympna Doran; Alexander, Bridget, and Julie Doran; and Michael, William, Mary Magdalene, and Anne Griffin; as well as one great-grandchild, Johanna Doran.

Memorials can be made through the funeral home to the St. Mary’s School.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Joseph Doran Sr., please visit our floral store.


December 21, 2020

9:00 AM to 10:45 AM
Sawyer-Pickett Funeral and Cremation Service
115 South State Street, P. O. Box 112
North Vernon, IN 47265

Mass of Christian Burial
December 21, 2020

11:00 AM
St. Mary's Catholic Church
212 Washington St.
North Vernon, IN 47265

December 21, 2020

12:00 PM
St. Mary's Cemetery
Madison Ave.
North Vernon, IN 47265

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