Remembering William Dando

Bill Dando

William Arthur Dando, former professor and chair of geography, Terre Haute, Indiana, passed away on Jan. 1, 2021, at the age of 86.

He 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.

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 N.D.; 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.

Online condolences may be made to

The family suggests in lieu of flowers, contributions be made in his name either to: the ISU Foundation, a local food program such as Catholic Charities and the 14th & Chestnut Community Center, or Bread for the World (an international program to end hunger).

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