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Obituary of James Y. Dayananda, 84


James Yesupriya Dayananda, beloved husband, father, and grandfather, passed away peacefully at the age of 84 on April 4, 2019, at his home in State College, Pennsylvania.

Born in 1934 in Shimoga, India, James graduated with honors from the University of Mysore in Bangalore, India, in 1956. He taught literature at universities in Venkateshwara and Chennai, India, before earning his doctorate in English literature at Temple University in Philadelphia in 1969.

Dr. Dayananda married Vanitha Shadrach in Bangalore, India, on July 17, 1969. That same year, he began his career as a professor of English literature at Lock Haven University (LHU). While in Lock Haven, James and Vanitha raised two daughters, Priyalatha and Soumyalatha. The success of his daughters is a testament to his commitment to the ritual of bedtime readings during their childhood.

During his thirty-two year career at LHU, Dr. Dayananda cultivated his passion for teaching and academic writing. His focus was literary criticism (history, theory, and practice) and twentieth-century American and British literature. He was the author of numerous books and academic articles which examined the writings of Thomas Hardy, Eden Phillpotts, and Leo Tolstoy, among others. Dr. Dayananda also served as chair of the Department of English and Philosophy. Together he and his wife, Dr. Vanitha Dayananda, served as visiting professors at universities in China and Poland. In 2001, Dr. Dayananda retired from LHU and the family moved to State College.

Among his many joys in life, Dr. Dayananda was an avid reader of rtthe New Yorker magazine. His unyielding curiosity about the world spurred annual international family trips to countries including Egypt, Portugal, and Turkey, to name a few.

In State College, "Dr. D" was a regular fixture at the local Rotary and the YMCA, where he recently served on the Board. He was a member of the State College Presbyterian church.

Dr. D will be missed dearly by his family and friends.

Dr. Dayananda is survived by his wife, Vanitha, his daughters Priya (Vinay) and Soumya (Wayne), and three much adored granddaughters, Rana, Jaya, and Jhansi. He is also survived by his sister Damayanthi Sadhu of Bangalore, India.

A small memorial service for family members was held on April 5. In lieu of flowers, the family asks for donations to the Mother of Good Health Educational Society in Bangalore, India.

Dr. Dayananda's family would like to thank the doctors and nurses at Mount Nittany Medical Center and the greater State College community for their overwhelming kindness in caring for him.

Arrangements are under the care of Koch Funeral Home, State College. Online condolences and signing of the guest book may be entered at

Name of Deceased

James Y. Dayananda



Date of Death


Funeral Home

Koch Funeral Home

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