Young's Funeral Home

11831 Sw Pacific Highway, Tigard, OR


Jon Elliott Mandaville

Passed away on 5 August , 2019

The Mandaville Family is deeply saddened to announce that Jon E. Mandaville, Ph.D., a longtime professor of History & Middle East Studies at Portland State University, and former director of PSU’s Middle East Studies Center, passed away on August 5th.

A memorial service will be held Wednesday, August 7th, from 7pm to 9pm at the Muslim Educational Trust, 10330 SW Scholls Ferry Road, Tigard, OR 97223. Friends, family, former students & colleagues, as well as members of the Muslim community, are all invited to attend.


  • Memorial Service Wednesday, 7 August , 2019


Jon Elliott Mandaville

have a memory or condolence to add?

John Ott

8 August 2019

Jon was, as others have said, an unfailingly kind, gentle, and generous person. As a colleague, he was quick to offer suggestions, books, and ideas drawn from his immense reservoir of knowledge about the Middle East. He and Diane unfailingly brought a turkey to the department holiday potlucks, and they were both an essential part of the History Department's social life.

One of his enduring legacies was his leadership in establishing and directing Portland State's Middle East Studies Center and our world class library collection of Arabic literature and scholarship, a gift that will serve the PSU community for generations to come. Jon, you will be keenly missed. Rest in peace.

Tim Garrison

7 August 2019

This is a very sad time for the PSU History Department. Jon was a fine scholar, an outstanding teacher, a devoted department and university citizen, and a kind gentleman. He was a great friend and adviser to our students, particularly those from the Middle East.

I know I speak for the entire department when I say that Jon will be missed. We offer our deepest sympathy to Diane and the rest of Jon's family and friends.

Friedrich Schuler

7 August 2019

I am very saddened by his passing. John was a wonderful colleague. Something that stands out for me was how he helped students from the Near East traversing Oregon's culture regardless of one's approach or leanings. He also stands out for me how he and his wife contributed socially to the department. In particular around the Christmas reception his family brought a turkey, emphasizing community, eating together recognizing each other as human beings regardless of approaches, generations or evaluations that miss what life is about.
He loved poetry that says it all. Wonderful. Peace to you John! Thank you for what you gave.


Jennie Alexander

6 August 2019

I am so sorry to hear of Dr. Mandaville’s passing. I started taking his classes at PSU in 2000. Middle East history was a completely unknown subject to me at the time and he awakened an interest that I didn’t even know I had. He taught with humor, intelligence, and a passion for the subject that brought me back to his classes time and again for the next five years. He always encouraged me and I will always appreciate that support. That foundation has kept me reading more about the things he introduced, even to this day almost 20 years later. I think of him almost every time I look at the shelves of books in my library that I probably never would have discovered without him, and I will always be grateful for his role in expanding my knowledge. Thank you, sir.

Aisha Musa

6 August 2019

Jon helped and supported me during the most difficult time of my life. Without his support, I would have dropped out of PSU before finishing my MAT, and I would not have gone on to Harvard for my PhD. Thank you, Jon! May you rest in the peace of God! As the Quran says: We belong to God, and to Him we return (2:156).

Ken Ruoff

6 August 2019

I always found Jon to be an inherently decent person and a wonderful scholar. He did more for Portland State University than has been acknowledged by the administration, but there are many, many individuals who remember all that he did. He shall be missed.

Karen Carr

6 August 2019

I came to Portland back in 1992 for a campus interview for the History Department position I ultimately took up. One of my best memories of that weekend is being taken around Portland by Jon. He was so unfailingly sympathetic and friendly, that I really felt welcomed and wanted in the Department. I think it was as much his reassurance as anything else that enabled me to shine in the interviews and giving my job talk (if I did shine at all).

This first impression of Jon turned out to be entirely accurate, as he continued to be a supportive, upbeat presence throughout my time at Portland State, even after he retired. His idea of Islam as a religion of peace and scholarship has been a powerful force for good. Today, the world is a poorer place without him, but we must try to carry on in his generous spirit.