By James F. Maguire | Editor, Indiana Court Times
This is the 48th of our Court Times articles that highlights a member of the Indiana Judiciary.
Marshall Superior Court No. 2 Judge Dean Colvin graduated from Indiana University at its South Bend campus in 1978 and obtained his law degree from Valparaiso University School of Law in 1983.
Following law school, he served as a Deputy for Indiana Attorney General Linley Pearson followed by a brief time in private practice before his appointment to the court. Governor Robert Orr appointed him as Judge of the Marshall County Court in 1986. The legislature elevated it to a general jurisdiction court, which is now Marshall Superior Court No. 2. He has been elected in consecutive terms and will complete his current term in 2020.
Judge Colvin has five grown children and four grandchildren and is active in his community as a Rotarian. He has served as a board member and volunteer in numerous organizations.
What was your childhood like?
I was born and raised in Marshall County, graduating from Plymouth High School before heading off to college. In my formative years, I spent time on my grandparents’ farm where I learned to treat people as you want to be treated and to help a neighbor without being asked. They were solid folks with strong Hoosier values.
My sister, brother, and I were fortunate to have parents who worked diligently in building a family business to create opportunities for us. My brother and sister followed in the family business. My interests were in fast cars, music, and sports before I focused on the law.
What prompted you to study law?
While I was completing my undergraduate degree, I served as a reserve officer with the Marshall County Sheriff’s Department, as a Patrolman with the Plymouth City Police, and as an Investigator with the Marshall County Prosecuting Attorney. I graduated from the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy and held multiple certifications in a variety of law enforcement disciplines. Those experiences turned my attention to pursuing a law degree.
What is the most challenging and most rewarding aspect of being a judge?
The most rewarding aspect of being a judge is helping people by listening and giving them a fair and honest evaluation of their situation. Receiving a thank you at the end of the day makes it all worthwhile.
The biggest challenge is the day-to-day administration of the office and finding the time for the people who work in and interact with the court. The county council, commissioners, court staff, service providers, and private and public organizations who use the services of the court each have unique and important roles.
What would you do if you were not a judge?
I would be in private law practice focusing on representing professional athletes, engaged in a management position in Major League Baseball, or working in the family business.
What are your hobbies or favorite leisure activities?
I have three passions: baseball, cars, and cooking. I have been a licensed baseball official for more than twenty-five years and coached or managed baseball at some level for the last 40 years. I recently stepped down after 16 seasons as a manager of the local American Legion baseball team. I enjoy watching major league baseball and visiting their ball parks. I am an avid Chicago White Sox fan.
I was very fortunate to share a passion of automobiles with my father. I am currently completing the restoration of a third-generation 1953 Chevy pickup truck that was purchased as a farm vehicle by my grandfather, transferred to my father, and now it is mine.
I have always enjoyed cooking and gained most of my informal training from my grandmother, mom, and aunt. When my family opened a Bed and Breakfast and restaurant, I ventured out to add some formal training to my cooking skills.
Who are the people you most admire?
Hands down, it is my parents who always placed a priority on offering advice, encouragement, and love to their kids while building the family business.
I also acknowledge former prosecutor David Holmes for whom I worked, and the men and women in law enforcement and public service who do so with compassion, dignity, and respect.
Do you have a favorite saying or quote?
“Be the best you can be” embodies all that each of us should ask of ourselves in whatever we do.
Name one or more books that would make your recommended reading list.
I don’t have a favorite book, but I do enjoy reading fiction, autobiographies, and the history of baseball and its players.
Do you have a preferred getaway spot or place where you like to relax?
I enjoy time in warm climates, so it’s not unusual to find the family vacationing on the west coast of Florida. I also enjoy traveling to baseball parks or car auctions while visiting the local attractions along the way.
Do you have a favorite meal/recipe/restaurant?
I enjoy all types of foods, especially homemade pasta, sauces, and anything out of the ocean.
My favorite recipe is my grandmother’s meatloaf that brings back good memories of family gatherings.
My favorite restaurants are:
- Owens Fish Camp in Sarasota, Florida
- Made in Italy in Venice, Florida
What are you most looking forward to in the next 10 years?
More time with family, friends, and doing the things I have enjoyed for so many years. I have a large bucket list!