In Memoriam, Alain P. Toumayan, Emeritus Professor of French and Francophone Studies

Author: Kelli Brown

In Memoriam Feature

Alain P. Toumayan

September 1, 1954 ~ October 5, 2023 (age 69)

We are deeply saddened to announce the passing of Alain Paul Toumayan, age 69 on Wednesday, October 4, 2023.

Alain grew up in Bethesda, Maryland. He attended the University of Pennsylvania as an undergraduate and earned his Ph.D. in French Literature at Yale University. Soon after graduation in 1982, he married Vicki Douillet.

Alain’s academic career started at Johns Hopkins where he taught for a year before joining the faculty at Princeton University for seven years. In 1989 he accepted a position at the University of Notre Dame in the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures and remained there for the next 34 years. He held many administrative positions and authored numerous publications of literary criticism which often drew from the fields of Philosophy and Art History. But his true gift was for teaching and mentoring students, which he did wholeheartedly both on the South Bend campus and during his directorship of the study abroad program in Angers, France.

He loved the outdoors, nurturing his woodland property, and enjoyed visits to Lake Michigan and kayaking on the Saint Joseph River. He also was an accomplished guitarist, especially in Blue Grass and increasingly in Classical music. For several years he organized the student choir and played accompaniment for the mass in French at Notre Dame.

Alain is survived by his spouse Vicki, their two sons Nicolas (Momoko) of Tokyo and Georges-Philippe of South Bend, as well as his father Alec of Bethesda and two brothers Eric (Trini Rodriguez) of Maryland and Paul (Meredith) of Maine. He will also be missed by numerous family members, including mother-in-law, Eva Douillet, brothers-in-law Duke and Laurin Douillet, sister-in-law Julie Ponticello, cousins, nieces, and nephews in the U.S. and in France.

Alain was blessed with many good friends and colleagues. The family wishes to thank them for all their help and support.

Alain was a kind, generous, entirely selfless person until his last breath.

A visitation will be held at Kaniewski Funeral Home, 3545 N. Bendix Drive, South Bend, IN on Thursday, October 12, 2023 from 4:00 - 7:00 p.m., followed by a Vigil Service at 7:00 p.m. A Mass of Christian Burial will be said at Holy Cross Church, 1050 Wilber Street, South Bend, IN on Friday, October 13, 2023 at 11:00 a.m..

In lieu of flowers, contributions could be made to Catholic Relief Services, 228 W. Lexington St., Baltimore, Maryland 21201-3443 or the National Wildlife Federation, PO Box 1583, Merrifield VA 22116-1583 .

Condolences may be sent to: 
Vicki Tormayan
21590 Auten Road
South Bend, IN  46628

To send online condolences, please visit

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Alain P. Toumayan, please visit our floral store.


Originally published by Kelli Brown at on October 09, 2023.