Lissa Jean Yogan (nee VanBebber), 64 of Valparaiso, passed away March 11, 2024.  She was born November 10, 1959 in Greenville, Ohio to William and Dolores (Davis) VanBebber.  Lissa graduated with her bachelor of arts in international economics and cultural affairs from Valparaiso University in 1982 and earned her master’s degree in student personnel in higher education and counseling psychology from The Ohio State University in 1984.   She began her career at the University of Maryland, College Park as assistant director of commuter affairs and coordinator of instruction and training, and then moved to Saint Mary’s College (Ind.) as director of residence life and housing.  Her work with African American and homeless communities sparked an interest in Sociology and she went across the street to earn her Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Notre Dame in 1994.  Lissa returned to Valparaiso University in the fall of 1995 as a visiting assistant professor and as a faculty member in the Department of Sociology and Criminology she progressed from assistant professor (1997-2008), associate professor (2008-2019) to full professor (2019-2024).  From 2018 to 2020, Lissa served as associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. She then was appointed assistant provost for faculty affairs in August 2020 and associate provost in October 2021.  Lissa won many awards over her distinguished career, and the most important to her were her Excellence in Teaching Awards.  Like her mother, Lissa highly valued education and was a teacher at heart.  A passionate advocate for her students, she gave her time and personal resources, and often was the lone dissenting voice arguing for giving another chance to a student facing hardship.  Lissa was a member of St. Paul Catholic Church in Valparaiso where she was a member of the St. Vincent de Paul Society.

Lissa enjoyed warm, sunny days, morning walks with her golden retriever, Finn, spending time on Lake Michigan, taking leisurely swims, playing golf with her friends, traveling and experiencing new places, attending plays at the theater, doing jigsaw puzzles, and reading good books – but most of all Lissa loved being a wife, mother, and grandmother.  Her smile, warmth, and generosity will be greatly missed by all. On May 29, 1993, Lissa married Thomas Yogan who survives along with their children, Billy (Christina), Rylee, and Maria Yogan; grandsons, Thomas, age 2, and Luke, 6 months; brothers, William (Tina) and James VanBebber; brothers-in-law, Jay and Gary (Teresa) Yogan; nephews and niece Justin VanBebber, Greg Yogan, and Kara (Dylan) Radford; and many loving aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends.  She was preceded in death by her parents and brother-in-law, Dale Yogan.

Visitation will be held on Sunday March 17th from 12:00-5:00 PM, beginning with a Prayer Service at 12:00 PM at Moeller Funeral Home, 104 Roosevelt Rd., Valparaiso.  Funeral Mass will be celebrated by Rev. Kevin McCarthy on Monday March 18th at 10:00 AM directly at Nativity of Our Savior, 2949 Willowcreek Rd., Portage.  Burial to follow at St. Paul Catholic Cemetery, Valparaiso with a luncheon to follow at the Valparaiso Country Club.  Memorials may be sent to the St. Vincent de Paul Society, c/o St. Paul Catholic Church, 1855 W. Harrison Blvd., Valparaiso, IN 46385.


Lissa, your achievements are so many to name. You were a model student. Smart, funny, kind, unique and beautiful. We are saddened by this terrible news but take with us a great Ohio gal “who did good in the world”. May your family find peace with so many thoughts and prayers coming your way. Your momma would have been so proud of you. Rest now. Your friend and classmate, -Carmen Stocker Girouard 

Words could never express the sorrow and sympathy we feel for the loss of our beloved Lissa. Her kindness and influence will forever be imbedded in our hearts. We will be grateful for the time God allowed her in our lives and cherish our memories at VCC, Pebble Beach and more. We will miss you, “Buddy”, but know that you are at peace in heaven with our Father. Love and condolences to the entire Yogan family. Tom, thank you for being her rock. -Kevin & Marci Crozier 

Tom, Billy, Rylee, and Maria, I am having a hard time wrapping my head around this!! My heart goes out to each and every one of you......I am holding all of you in my thoughts and prayers. Lissa will always hold a special place in my heart for helping me, supporting me, loving on me, at such a difficult time in my life (as did you, Tom). I am forever grateful to her and your whole family! Also, as a mom, so blessed that Lissa loved my Aaron so well and was available for him when he needed it! Love to all of you, -Janet Jeffrey King

Dear Yogan Family, I’m so sorry for your loss. Lissa was a very vibrant, engaging and kind person ~ she will be missed at Valpo! May you know the Lord in a real way, now and in the coming weeks. Warm regards, -Chelle Whetstone

Tom am so sorry to hear of the passing of Lissa. I am praying for all of you that the peace of God will surround you in this difficult time. -Sharon Lager 

The profound level of my broken heart is beyond any words I can find. I love Prof. Yogan. My soul aches. I was her student and she my teacher and advisor. Her coming into my life became one of my greatest gifts of all time. She saw the world through this incredible kaleidoscope of life; through different colors, shapes and sizes with her depth of knowledge that intersected on the grandest stage of education. The insight, understanding and compassion to the struggling, seeing beyond a situation; to the core of another's love for learning. Angelic and heroic all in one with a contagious laugh. Always, always knowing the right words to say, even in the most difficult situations. A bright light shining on so many different stages; always incredibly giving of her time, her space, her words, her encouragement and support. I carried Prof Yogan with me daily. She was my greatest role model and a major factor of the person I am today. I loved her deeply for all she represented and the incredible changes she made to the world through her teachings and by who she was. My deepest condolences to the family. -Tina Mulinaro 

My deepest sympathies go out to the Yogan family. I knew Lissa in the exercise realm of her world but her kindness, positivity, and love for life shone through in each exercise class. I so enjoyed her personality and laughter. A genuine ball of energy. The community of Valpo has lost a beautiful soul. May you be surrounded with love and wrapped in the wonderful memories you have of her during this time and always. -Michelle Coeling 

I am so very sorry for your loss. I had Dr. Yogan twice at VU; I was a social work major. Back then, I thought she was so tough and perhaps too hard on us. But looking back now, she wanted to challenge us. To make us think crucially, to champion social justice and change. Years later I’d see her walking at local 5ks, and I thought to myself, “here is a woman who has it all.” And she still looked as beautiful as when I’d had her years before. . God bless you and your family during this difficult time. -Carri Massau Ables, VU class 1999 

Dear Tom & Family. I was sad to hear the passing of Lissa. The last time I saw & spoke to Lissa was at VCC Octoberfest. She came up to me and expressed again her sympathy of Bill’s passing. I had no idea that she was ill. My prayers for the family to give them strength & know she is at peace. -Sharon Hall

Tom, Our thoughts and prayers are with you at this difficult time. Please take comfort from the love all of your friends are sending to you. Although we never met Lissa- she sounds like a lovely and caring lady. You are a lucky man to have her still in your heart, and to have been loved by her. Take care. We are thinking of you. -Kevin, Flo, Sam- and all your friends at P&G Brussels

I met Lissa when she was ministering at St Mary’s College and I held a position similar to hers across the street at Notre Dame. She quickly became a friend and a colleague. It saddens me to learn of her passing much too soon. Her memory is a blessing to me and soooo many others. I am grateful and better for having had her as a friend during those formative years together. -Sister Betsy Pawlicki OP

Lissa was a special golf friend Prayers for Tom and family you are in our prayers Rember the good times. -Lucille Thomas 

Dear Yogan Family, my deepest and most heartfelt sympathies at this most difficult time. I am so sorry to hear of Lissa's passing. Having had the pleasure of working with her, I always admired her thoughtfulness, passion, and positive energy. She is extremely missed on campus; but, I know that pales in comparison to your tremendous loss. Please know that we share in your grief. May you find comfort in the support of others and in your numerous treasured memories. May God bless and keep you all! -Jennifer Zatarski 

I worked at ASA and coordinated the group of program reviewers that Lissa was part of. She always had a positive attitude and said yes when we asked her to share her expertise with those who could benefit. A wonderful person to work with and I was so sorry to hear she is no longer with us. Take care. -Erynn Masi de Casanova 

My condolences, may the mention of Lissa Yogan's name be a blessing. -Robert Cotton 

I am so sorry for the loss of Lissa. She was a great mentor and friend to all who knew her at Valpo. With a positive attitude and endearing smile she brought hope to all who knew her. -Patty Jarosz 

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