In Memoriam


Arthur Grant Dignan

May 12, 2023 

Obituary & Life History

Arthur Grant Dignan, 83, of Jefferson City, Missouri, passed away peacefully Friday, May 12, 2023, at SSM Heath St. Mary’s Hospital. He was born in Jacksonville, Florida on November 14, 1939; a son to the late Peter Arthur and Jewel Edith (Miracle) Dignan. On June 17, 1972, he was united in marriage to Joyce Ann Bradley in Akron, Ohio.

Arthur was a 1958 graduate of Florida School for the Deaf and Blind. For 7 years after graduating, he worked as a typesetter for a newspaper where he was self-taught. He then attended Gallaudet University in Washington D.C. where he studied and graduated with his degree in Sociology in 1971. Arthur began working as a teacher at Montana School for the Deaf for two years. Before going on to further his education, he would marry the love of his life in 1972. He then attended California State University, Northridge, where he gained his Master’s in Education.

After achieving his first Master’s degree, he and Joyce moved back to Florida where they welcomed their first son, and he started teaching at his high school alma mater. His family then moved to Utah and he taught at Utah School for the Deaf. It was in Utah that his brother-in-law, Raymond Bradley, would lead Arthur and Joyce to Christ in 1977 and they would welcome their second son. This year was a life-changing year for him and his young family.

Arthur went on to teach at various other institutions for the deaf including California School for the Deaf, Southwest Collegiate Institute of the Deaf, and Oklahoma School for the Deaf. While teaching in Big Spring, Texas, he would welcome his third child and only daughter. He decided to continue his education and received his second Master’s degree, which was in Counseling. After this achievement, he would continue to teach at schools in Florida, California, Kentucky, and Pennsylvania, before making a final move to Missouri where he taught at William Woods University from 1996 until his retirement.

He was incredibly dedicated to the deaf community. Arthur was a true pioneer for the deaf culture and sign language. Nationally known for his influence in the deaf community, he made a way for individuals to know that they can succeed and have the best things in life. He truly made a long-lasting, positive impact on the world that will continue to bless people for generations to come.

Arthur was a very brilliant, dedicated, and driven man. Along with his many accomplishments in education and career, he was also successful in creative ventures. For many years he had a one-man comedy show, authored a book, and acted in a movie about the Book of Job. He was actively engaged in his church life where he was a deaf leader, Sunday school teacher, and held various leadership positions. His love for God and people shone through everything that he did.

It is important to note that Arthur was a huge football fan. He was successful in the sport, earning the title of All-American in high school. His passion for the game would be passed down to his sons who also earned the All-American title, and eventually would trickle down to his grandchildren. Their common love of the game created an extremely special bond.

After he retired from teaching, Arthur’s main goal and priority was spending time with his family and grandchildren. He loved attending his grandkids’ sporting events and rarely missed a ball game. He never missed church, always showed up with a smile, and loved being involved. Even when his health began to decline, Arthur never complained. His family was his greatest pride and he loved them deeply. He will be missed immensely by those who know and love him.

He is survived by the love of his life and wife of nearly 51 years, Joyce; children, Randy (Janelle) Dignan of Jefferson City, Nick (Ashley) Dignan of Groves, Texas, and Jennifer (Jorge) Morales of New Bloomfield; grandchildren, Briella, Rayana, Grant, and Clara Dignan, Cade Madelyn, Colt Arthur, and McKinley Ann Dignan, and Amelia, Benton, Conan, Darrion, and Emalie Morales; nephew, Philip Van Dignan; niece, Nelda Knapik; and numerous additional nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, Peter and Edith; and brother, Philip Dignan.

Friends will be received on Thursday, May 18, 2023, from 2:15 p.m. – 3:45 p.m. at Bible Baptist Church in Jefferson City. The funeral service will begin at 4:00 p.m. with his sons, Randy and Nick Dignan, officiating.

Expressions of sympathy may be made to the Deaf Fund of Bible Baptist Church in memory of Arthur.

Arrangements are under the direction of HOUSER-MILLARD Funeral Directors, 2613 West Main Street; Jefferson City, MO 65109. (573) 636-3838. Condolences may be left for the family online at



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