Deatra E. Sullivan-Morgan
1962 - 2019
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Deatra Elise was born on May 26, 1962 in Gary, Indiana to Juanita and Edgar Hull. Deatra decided at the age of 7 to begin her walk with Christ. This was followed by her baptism and a lifetime faith journey as a member of First Baptist Church of Gary. During her 50 years of membership she participated in various activities at First Baptist Church, and was a dedicated member of the Miriam Missionary Ministry. Deatra attended Gary Roosevelt High School. After graduation, she attended The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio where she graduated with a B.A. in Journalism in 1985. For a period of time after graduation, Deatra worked for WCMH, NBC 5 Columbus as a Field Reporter in the Community Services News Division. Later, Deatra worked as the Media Coordinator for the State of Ohio, Office of the Governor Richard Celeste. When she returned home to Indiana, Deatra pursued her M.A.in Organizational Communication at Purdue University. Her graduate school advisors saw her talent and creative teaching style while she was a Teaching Assistant in her Master's Program, and urged her to purse a Doctoral Program in Communication. In 2002, Deatra received her Ph.D. in Communication Studies with a Concentration in Rhetorical Criticism and Communication Education from Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan. Deatra's academic pursuits led her to touch the lives of hundreds of students during her career that took her from her Purdue University, Wayne State University, St. Cloud University, Northern Kentucky University, Davenport University, and finally Elmhurst College. Deatra was a dedicated Professor in the department of Communication and Media Department at Elmhurst College, until her passing. At Elmhurst, she founded and served as co-advisor to the Elmhurst chapter of Lambda Pi Eta – Communication Honor Society, received the I Am Elmhurst award, was named a Student Government Association – Unsung Hero, and received a Faculty Appreciation Award from Sigma Kappa Sorority. Deatra left a legacy in the students that she touched along this life journey. She did more than simply teach-she showed a deep care and concern for students' well-being. Whether it was purchasing textbooks, buying groceries, providing train fare to get to and from class, getting shoes for job interviews, writing letters of recommendation, offering career advice, or creating a safe space for students to truly be themselves, Deatra was a constant, positive presence in her students' lives. Deatra was so much more than her academic career, and never wanted to be defined by the letters behind her name. She was a dedicated mother to her daughter Jessica Marie, from a previous marriage. In the midst of her academic journey, she made it a point to always be present in Jessica's life even if that meant driving the highways and byways every weekend from Detroit or Highland Heights, Kentucky. Deatra gave Jessica her love of books, politics, learning, teaching, and crafting. Deatra found the man who was meant to be her true love and life partner and on May 24, 1999, she was united in Holy Matrimony to Wayne Morgan. Throughout their 20 years of marriage they shared a love of music, politics, and dogs. Their love of music led them to attend various concerts including several Dave Koz shows and George Clinton & Parliament-Funkadelic's Final Tour. Wayne always admired her drive and ability to move from creating content for course work or academic conferences, then move effortlessly into reading The Muller Report or watching an episode of "Say Yes to the Dress." Deatra was a voracious reader of many genres of literature including fiction, non-fiction, mystery, and even a little romance. She had a passion for scrutinizing and analyzing political affairs, and therefore dedicated time to not only being an avid viewer of MSNBC and CNN, but listened to Mark Thompson's Make it Plain and Danielle Moodie-Mills' Woke AF on Sirus Radio. She presented at numerous academic conferences including The National Communication Association Conference, Central States Communication Annual Convention, the National Conference on Race & Ethnicity in Higher Education, and the Lilly Conference on Teaching. She has also published works in the following anthologies: Performing Antiracists Pedagogy in Rhetoric, Writing, and Communication, and Challenging Images of Women in the Media: Reinventing Women's Lives.



Deatra lived her life in bold and beautiful ways in spite of battling Multiple Sclerosis (MS) for more than 25 years. Deatra was a MS Warrior until her sudden passing on Sunday, November 24, 2019. She was preceded in death by grandfather James Jewell, sister Joyce Marie Hull, grandmother Katie Mae Jewell, aunt Alma Brumfield, father Edgar Hull, uncle James Jewell, and mother Juanita Marie Hull. She leaves to mourn her passing and carry on her legacy her loving husband Wayne Morgan of Gary, her devoted daughter Jessica Marie Sullivan-Wilson and her caring son-in-law Robert M. Wilson Jr., both of Chicago, IL, a host of cousins, loving, lifelong sister friends, friends and acquaintances, the campus Community of Elmhurst College, former students, and a loved and spoiled dog Tuxedo Maximillian. A Celebration of Deatra's life will be held Thursday, December 5, 2019 at 11:00 am, Visitation/Family Hour 9 – 11:00 a.m., at First Baptist Church, 626 W. 21st Ave, Interment at Oak Hill Cemetery.



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Published in Post-Tribune from Dec. 1 to Dec. 4, 2019.
MEMORIAL EVENTS
DEC
5
Visitation
09:00 - 11:00 AM
DEC
5
Celebration of Life
11:00 AM
Memories & Condolences
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34 entries
February 9, 2020
I was very thankful to have Professor Sullivan Morgan for Interpersonal Communications my junior year. She was a great professor that always made class fun and an excellent learning experience for her students. She was always willing to take time out of her schedule to help her students which shows that she was very dedicated to her students success. Her real life examples to help understand the course content really made the class a fun and interesting experience. Her enthusiasm and knowledge for the course material was amazing! I am so glad I had the chance to take her class! She will be missed!
Maddie Pasterik
January 14, 2020
I just saw Dr. Sullivan Morgans information of her passing. She was one of my favorite professors. She not only took an interest in her students work but in her students well being. I was lucky to sit in her class Tuesday and Thursday mornings. Sending many prayers to the family!
Kristi Gregory
December 30, 2019
Dear Jessica & Robert, and Wayne,
I am deeply saddened to hear of your dear mother and wife's passing in your Christmas letter. Deatra was my roommate our Freshman and Sophomore years at OSU, and one of my dearest college friends. Dee's joyfulness, kindness and love for the Lord were such blessings to me. I thank the Lord for His providence in putting Christian roommates together on a very secular campus. I was a music (trumpet) major, and she always cheered me on in the Concert and Marching Bands at OSU. She was a dear friend with whom we could speak heart to heart. I wish we had made an opportunity to visit after college years...but I praise God we will be together for eternity.
In Christ's Love,
Barb Hendricks Freed
December 24, 2019
Deatra was my favorite professor at Elmhurst College. She wrote letters of recommendation for me and made me interested enough in the field of Communications to make it a minor. A wonderful person and professor. Will be missed.
Travis Zimmermann
Friend
December 11, 2019
Thank you for helping my find my voice. I still have the guide for public speaking you told me to keep and I use it daily in my career. We all miss you very much. Rest In Peace.
Kaitlin Holyk
December 7, 2019
Sending condolences to the Family. May God continue to wrap his arms around you in your time of sorrow.
Cassandra Ford
December 6, 2019
I wish to extend our deepest condolences to the family and friends of this phenomenal woman. I can tell from her write up this diamond of a person will truly be missed. She left some legacy.
Georgi Hooks
December 5, 2019
To the family of Dr. Deatra Sullivan-Morgan, I'm so sorry to hear of your loss and I will pray for you in this difficult time, my heart absolutely breaks for you. Dr. Deatra Sullivan-Morgan had a special and profound impact on my life as she was always so helpful to me, and truly cared about me. She would always ask how I was doing before class, and was so compassionate to me in my times of need, its something that I'll never forget. She was more than just a great teacher to me, she inspired me to chase my dreams, follow my heart, and never give up no matter what.
I remember taking Mass Media & Ethics classes with her and she taught me so much about the media, it's impact on our daily lives, and in our ethics class how to treat other people with compassion and empathy. She always gave great personal advice too which really meant the world to me. She always went above and beyond to help me in anyway possible, it's something I'll never forget. She was a very strong and incredible person! I'll always remember her beautiful smile everyday walking into class, it would light up the room. To Jessica, Wayne, and Robert, I'll pray for you everyday and hope that you all are doing well in this difficult time. You have my love, condolences, and prayers. Please let me know if there is anything you need.

Sending lots of love,

Alexander Dal Moro
Alexander DalMoro
Student
December 5, 2019
The wonderful Dr. Deatra Sullivan-Morgan will be missed by so many especially the Elmhurst College community and the students who were in her classes. She was always so helpful to me and I always cared about her. Always asked her if she had been getting enough sleep..she was a very strong person! The fact that she would get to school every morning at 2 4 days a week...always worried about that. You were taken from this world way too soon. Thank you so much for helping me step out of my comfort zone. Taking interpersonal communication and public speaking was really wonderful...the fact that public speaking was at 8 am...I used to be nervous to speak in front of crowds but now it's easy...just because of your class!
Love you, Deatra! Know I am thinking of you up there and I will do anything to help your daughter, Jessica help get through this loss.
Lots of love,
Condre Koepfgen
Condre Koepfgen
Student
December 5, 2019
To the family of Jessica Wilson......We are so sorry to hear of your mother's passing. You have our deepest and sincerest sympathy.
Samantha Stewart Ard and Natalie Stewart
December 4, 2019
So saddened to hear about Professor Sullivan-Morgan's passing. She was one of my first professors at Elmhurst College and loved her class that I ended up taking 3 to 4 more of her classes from the time I was at Elmhurst. She made classes so interesting and was always there for her students when we needed additional assistance. I will always remember her with that warmth and beauty smile.
Esmeralda Rodriguez
December 4, 2019
Your legacy lives forever within us, Sis. We love you from here to Heaven. Thank you for being such a wonderful Sister and Friend. You are the epitome of God's Love and His heart of compassion and care for everyone who knew you. Sleep in Heavenly Peace, Queen Morgan.
Todd and Janet Morgan
Family
December 4, 2019
Deatra Sullivan-Morgan was one of the finest women I have ever known. It truly was a privilege to be her colleague and friend. She had an amazing spirit despite her health issues, always showed a genuine concern for others, and was deeply respected by all who met her. The joy of her presence will definitely be missed...until we meet again. Eternal rest grant unto Deatra, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon her. May her soul and all the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.

Jessica, I know you love your mom, and she truly adored you. Your sweet smile and big, bright eyes remind me of hers. I hope that you, Robert, and Wayne are all doing as well as possible. You have my love, sympathy, condolences, and prayers. Please let me know if there is anything you need.

Love,

Cheri Carrico
Cheri Carrico
December 4, 2019
Cheri Carrico
December 4, 2019
Praying that the Lord will comfort you with his peace, surround you with his love and encourage you with his presence.
Sadie Ethridge
December 4, 2019
My heart goes out to you in your time of sorrow. May God give her eternal rest, and the family the strength to bear the pain of her passing. May God grant you peace.
Leontyne Madison
December 4, 2019
Leontyne Madison
Acquaintance
December 3, 2019
I didn't see Deatra much after high school but I remember her well. She was always warm, smart and very sweet! You have my sincere condolences.
Linda Alexander
December 3, 2019
Marjorie Goodban
December 3, 2019
Deatra had a warm and wonderful spirit. She loved people and had trouble saying no if she could help someone. We were friends for 43 years but that time passed so quickly. You made a difference in my life and the lives of so many people. Job well done and now you can rest in power!
Patricia Jackson
December 3, 2019
To the family. On behalf of Gary Roosevelt class of 1979 you have our heartfelt condolences on the passing of our classmate We will keep you all uplifted in prayers hold on to Gods unchanging hands we love you ------ Ernestine Gousby Strickland ------@ Indianapolis Indiana velt class of 1979
Ernestine Strickland
Classmate
December 3, 2019
I am very sorry Deatra passed at such a young age. She was such a wonderful person and loved by so many. I always enjoyed working with her and will miss her. The world seems a sadder place without her. My condolences and love to Wayne and Jessica.
December 3, 2019
In loving memory of a wonderful person. We will love you and miss you always.
Marjorie Goodban
December 3, 2019
As the days and weeks pass, and as you return to life's routine, may you continue to feel comforted by the love and support of family and friends.
December 2, 2019
Living Spirit Dishgarden
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Marjorie Goodban
December 2, 2019
Lisa Hurd
December 2, 2019
May God bless you and your family in this time of sorrow.
Lisa Hurd
December 2, 2019
She touched so many lives! A great lady and a great scholar. I always looked forward to her visits.
Love, Lisa Hurd ( from her optometrist )
Lisa Hurd
December 2, 2019
Sorry to the Family for your loss. Me & Deadre were Classmates.
Jeffery Weathersby
December 2, 2019
Dear Jessica and Robert,
May the Holy Spirit comfort you during this difficult time and give you peace.
With Deepest Sympathy, Madame Tucker
December 2, 2019
Eternal Friendship Remembrance Bouquet - VASE INCLUDED
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a loved one
December 2, 2019
To Jessica and Family,
May God give you comfort and peace for your loss. You and your family are in my prayers.
Luv,
Erica
Dr. McGillen Office
December 2, 2019
Dear sisterfriend. I miss you. I will always love you.
Delores Anderson
December 1, 2019
My The Lord Almighty grant you peace as you travel thru this journey of sorrow. Know that there are others who care and share in your lost. Sincere condolences to you Mr. Morgan, Jessica and Robert.

The Family of Robert Wilson Sr.
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