Deanell, born in Goodland, Kansas, is a lay member of Lawrence, KS: First UMC. She has served on Trustees, Staff-Parish, and Council on Ministries. She has been elected to membership in the Kansas East Annual Conference (now Great Plains Annual Conference) and is active in United Methodist Women. She hasretired as Dean of Pepperdine Law School at the end of 2017 having served since 2011. Prior to her Deanship, she was Circuit Judge in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit from 1985. She has served on the Trustees of St. Paul School of Theology and Baker University – two UMC institutions in Kansas. She is married to John and has four children and five grandchildren.