Dr. Jay B. Landis, 87, Harrisonburg, departed this life May, 17, 2020 at Sentara RMH Medical Center.
Mr. Landis was born September 20, 1932 in Lancaster, Pennsylvania and was the son of the late Martin S. and Esther Good Landis.
On June 10, 1961, he married the former Peggy Heatwole who survives. Also surviving are two daughters, Ann M. Landis (Susan Otto, partner) of Keezletown, and Jill I. Landis Snider (Craig, husband) of Broadway; three grandchildren, Rebecca Snider (Michael Yoder) of Goshen, Indiana, Nathaniel Snider of Richmond, VA, and Timothy Snider of Broadway; a sister, Marlene Shepard of Ephrata, Pennsylvania; brother Martin C. Landis (Ruth), of Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania; and numerous nieces and nephews.
In 1954 Jay received a Bachelor’s Degree in English from Eastern Mennonite University (then EMC) and a Master of Arts in English from Case-Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio in 1958. In 1976 he received a Doctor of Arts in English from Idaho State University in Pocatello, Idaho.
Dr. Landis was a beloved teacher. In 1956 he joined the faculty of Eastern Mennonite High School, later becoming a professor in the Language and Literature Department of Eastern Mennonite University until his retirement in 2007.
In his retirement he published Verse Assignments, a collection of his own poetry in 2013. He was an active member of Park View Mennonite Church and the Colloquy Sunday School class. He loved music and was a member of the church choir and the Shenandoah Valley Choral Society. He carefully tended his rose gardens and enjoyed sharing their beauty with others. Volunteer work included the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Free Clinic, Patchwork Pantry, Artisans’ Hope and the Brethren Mennonite Heritage Center. He cherished his relationships with colleagues and students and was known for remembering many of their names years later. Throughout his life he endeavored to live out EMU’s proclaimed mission to espouse justice, show mercy for all, and walk humbly with God.