K-State theater history professor dies during emergency surgery

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Photo courtesy of J. Ryan Roberts Daniel Davy (center) with some of his students during the fall 2013 semester. Davy died during emergency surgery over the weekend.

Daniel Davy, associate professor of theater, died Saturday at Saint Luke’s Hospital in Kansas City, Mo. during an emergency surgery.

“It is with tremendous sadness that I convey to you that Daniel Davy, associate professor of theatre history, has passed away over the weekend,” Gary Mortenson, director of the School of Music, Theatre and Dance, wrote in a letter sent to K-State theatre students. “My thoughts are with all of you as we remember Dr. Davy’s legacy here at Kansas State University.”

Mortenson said he was alerted Monday by Daniel’s wife, Lynne Davy, and temporarily suspended Davy’s classes.

Davy, 69, received a Ph.D in dramatic art from the University of California at Santa Barbara; he taught at the University of California and Ohio University for fourteen years before coming to K-State.

According to his professional page on the K-State website, his favorite quote was, “The voice of intelligence…is drowned out by the roar of fear. It is ignored by the voice of desire. It is contradicted by the voice of shame. It is biased by anger and extinguished by hate. Most of all, it is silenced by ignorance,” a quote by American psychiatrist Karl A. Menninger.

After Davy’s death was announced to students and faculty, both used social media to spread the news and express their condolences.

“It is very sad news,” said Jennifer Vellenga, assistant professor of theater, to her theater forum class Monday. “Very shocking.”

Emergency heart surgery

According to a Facebook post made by Lynne on Daniel’s page, Daniel was flown to Saint Luke’s Hospital for a 6:15 a.m. surgery on Saturday after a cat scan revealed a dissected aorta – a tear in the inner wall of the body’s main artery that causes blood to flow between the layers of the artery’s wall.

Hours after the initial surgery, while a surgeon was working on a graft for the aorta, Lynne wrote, Daniel passed away from organ failure.

Daniel’s had plans to retire at the end of the school year. New applicants were being interviewed at the time of his passing. The interviews will continue through next week.

‘Not a huge service’

A Facebook post from Marci Maullar, associate professor and managing director of theater, on Tuesday night announced plans for a memorial service Friday at 5 p.m. in All Faiths Chapel.

“Davy said that he did not want any sort of huge service,” Vellenga said to her class. “…It will probably be something small in All Faiths Chapel. That is what he would want.”

The Collegian will provide further details on Davy’s death and funeral services as more information becomes available.

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