By Ken Severson
Don Searcy has led quite the life. He’s been a student, engineer, salesman, husband, father, grandfather, golfer and cancer survivor – the latter constituting a 30-plus year battle.
Searcy, 82, has battled several different cancers since his early 30s, including melanoma, lymphoma and, most recently, breast cancer. He was diagnosed with that cancer four years ago.
“I was first diagnosed (with cancer) when I was living in Omaha (Neb.),” Searcy said. “That was melanoma and that was Round 1. I’ve had parts removed but have undergone treatment and I take medicine to help. It seems to be working.”
Searcy and his wife Joan are residents of the Sycamore Reserve Senior Living facility in Lawrence Township in Indianapolis.
The Searcys have made it their home for the past two years and have enjoyed the living experience.
“I like it very much and am happy there,” Searcy said. “There is a variety of things to do, like picnics, bingo, going to restaurants and having entertainers come and put on a show for us.”
A native of Des Moines, Iowa, Searcy has not only had a plethora of jobs, but he’s lived in a variety of places in the Midwest.
Searcy, who studied engineering at Iowa State University, has worked for companies like Proctor & Gamble, Hallmark Cards, Inc. and W.T. Rawleigh Products as an engineer and as a salesman.
He and his family lived in Des Moines, Kansas City, Kan., Freeport, Ill., Hoffman Estates, Ill., before settling in Fishers more than 20 years ago at the behest of his children.
“I went to work with them and also, this was where they could keep track of us,” Searcy said.
Married for 60 years, Searcy thanked his wife for standing by him.
“Joan’s a saint,” Searcy said. “Like me, she’s from Iowa and she worked as a registered nurse, though she hasn’t worked as one in years.”
Searcy and his wife had three children, identical twin sons Tim and Tom, and a daughter, Carajane. Tim, a McCordsville resident, died at age 53 in 2018. The Searcys also have six grandchildren, one great-grandchild and another on the way.
Searcy enjoys playing golf, which has been a lifelong hobby.
“I first started when I was 5,” Searcy said. “My dad was a golfer, and he gave me a 7-iron and said, ‘Swing that club, son!’”
Besides cancer, Searcy also battles Parkinson’s disease.
Despite his recent health issues, Searcy refuses to let them define him.
“I’ve been fighting (cancer) for 50 years,” Searcy said. “I’m a walking specimen and a fighter, and I’m still here.”