James W. Quander, 86, permanent deacon in the Archdiocese of Washington and a retired federal employee, died of diabetes-related complications Oct. 9 at Washington Hospital Center. He was a District resident.
Mr. Quander, a native Washingtonian, was considered one of the longest-living juvenile diabetics in the nation. The disease, also known as Type 1 diabetes, was diagnosed when he was 5. In 1925, he was among the first to use insulin.
He was also a patriarch of one of the nation's oldest African American families. The Quander family has been in the United States since 1684 and has traced its ancestry to the Amkwandoh family of Cape Coast, Ghana.
Mr. Quander attended Washington's then-segregated public schools, graduating from Garnett Patterson Junior High in 1933 and Paul Laurence Dunbar High School in 1936. He worked his way through Miner Teachers College (now part of the University of the District of Columbia), graduating with a bachelor's degree in chemistry.
Barred by his doctors from contact sports or military drills, Mr. Quander was hired by the U.S. Post Office in 1940 and had a variety of white-collar jobs for the Office of Price Administration, the Commerce Department, the Census Bureau, the Department of Defense and the Department of Labor before retiring in 1973.
In 1971, he became one of the first 16 men ordained by the Washington Archdiocese as permanent deacons in the Roman Catholic Church, the restoration of a ministry that had been suspended for 800 years.
Mr. Quander was a member of Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Washington, the Dunbar High School Class of 1936 scholarship fund, the M Club, Omega Psi Phi fraternity, the Cub Scouts, the Boy Scouts and organizations related to his family history.
His wife of 60 years, Joherra Theresa Amin Quander, died in 2002.
Survivors include four children, Rohulamin Quander of Washington, Joherra Quander Harris of Hyattsville, John E. Quander III of Silver Spring and Dr. Ricardo V. Quander Sr. of Silver Spring; 11 grandchildren; and a great-grandchild.