American Veteran 01

William Arthur Dando

June 13, 1934 ~ January 1, 2021 (age 86)

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William Arthur Dando

13 June 1934 – 1 January 2021


William Arthur Dando passed away after a brief illness on January 1st, 2021.

William (Bill) was born on June 13, 1934 in Newell, Pennsylvania. He grew up exploring the hills and valleys around Newell. He served in the U.S. Air Force from 1954-1956. He received his B.S. from California University (PA).  He received a M.S.  in 1962 and Ph.D. in 1969 from the University of Minnesota. An award-winning teacher and scholar, Bill taught at the University of Maryland; he taught and was chair of the Geography Department at the University of North Dakota; and he taught and was chair of the Department of Geography, Geology, and Anthropology at Indiana State University until his retirement in 2002. 

An internationally-recognized scholar, Bill studied and taught geography to thousands of students.  His research specialties included food and famine issues, especially in the former Soviet Union, Middle East, and China, and his book The Geography of Famine (1980) received international acclaim. In 1982, he was awarded the World Hunger Media Award for his work.  For many years, he worked with teachers to help improve the teaching of geography in schools, with his contributions recognized by awards from the Geographic Educators of Indiana, the National Council for Geographic Education, and the American Association of Geographers. Over the course of his life, Bill published over 29 books and monographs, 79 articles, book chapters, and encyclopedia entries, and two atlases. A scholar to the end, Bill continued to publish books and articles after he retired from ISU. His most recent books were Food and Famine in the 21st Century (2012) and Geography of the Holy Land: Jerusalem, Regional Cities, Small Towns, and Rural Places (2020).  He brought the world alive to thousands.

Bill married Caroline Zaporowsky in 1958.  They had three children:  Christina, Lara, and William II.  Bill and Caroline taught at ISU, wrote, and traveled together. He was an active member of Centenary United Methodist Church of Terre Haute, where he served as usher, Sunday school teacher, liturgist, sang in the choir, and served on committees.

Faith and family were important to Bill.  Wherever he lived in the world, he was actively involved in his faith community.  He studied and researched the geography of the Bible, sharing his knowledge through Sunday school classes as well as geography presentations, articles, and books.  He loved his children, grandchildren, and extended family and delighted in instigating family gatherings.  There was nothing he loved more than to be surrounded by friends and family, telling stories, singing, and laughing.  He will be missed by his geography family, his church family, and his immediate family.

Bill is preceded in death by his parents Carl and Myrtle (Foster) Dando and siblings Jack Dando, Nina (Dando) Sobek, and Carl Dando II; brothers-in-law Stanley S. Sobek Sr and Leonard Tonarelli; sisters-in-law Eleanor Dando and Betty Dando; and nephew Stanley S. Sobek, Jr. 

Bill is survived by his wife Caroline; his daughter Christina Dando of Omaha NE; his daughter Lara Dando (Greg Vandeberg) of Grand Forks ND; his son William Dando II (Cheryl Dando) of Golden Valley MN; grandchildren:  Emmaline Sabin (fiancé Josh Bloomquist), Anna Vandeberg (fiancé Matt Picklo), John Vandeberg, and Alex Dando; and his siblings Shirley Tonarelli and Richard Dando; as well as many extended family members and friends.

Due to current health concerns, a small graveside service for immediate family will be held at LaFayette Memorial Park, Briar Hill, PA, Friday, January 8th, at 11am. A service for family and church members was held at Centenary United Methodist Church of Terre Haute, IN on January 5th.

The family suggests in lieu of flowers, contributions be made in his name either to: Newell United Methodist Church (PA),  a local food program, or Bread for the World (an international program to end hunger).

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of William Arthur Dando, please visit our floral store.


Private Committal

LaFayette Memorial Park
Rt 40
Brier Hill, PA 15415

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