PUC Community Mourns the Loss of Student

By Staff Writer on May 28, 2015

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The Pacific Union College family lost a cherished student, devoted friend, and adventurous spirit this past weekend.

Senior communication major Jayaram Notestine died in an automobile accident on Butts Canyon Road near Lake Berryessa Estates in Napa County around 10 p.m. Friday, May 22. Jayaram was one of two men in the vehicle. Ernest Crain, 54, of Angwin, also died in the crash. The accident remains under investigation by the Napa County Sheriff's Office.

“Jayaram was a sweet, kind, friendly and thoughtful soul,” says Michelle Rai, chair of the department of communication and Jayaram’s advisor. “His smile could light up a room. He had an adventurous spirit and was an avid, extreme bike rider. He loved his family and friends and treasured growing up in Angwin where he could enjoy being out in nature.”

Jayaram was preparing to graduate this June with a B.S in Communication: Communication Studies emphasis. “He was looking forward to starting a new chapter in his life and seeing where the Lord would lead him in his professional and personal life,” says Rai.

“We are devastated by the tragic loss of our dear student Jayaram Notestine,” says Lisa Bissell Paulson, vice president for student services. “He was such an amazingly sweet guy, always willing to help.” Paulson notes that Friday afternoon, Jayaram was busy setting up the mountain bike course for the College’s upcoming triathlon. “Our hearts are broken and we ask all to join together in prayer,” she adds.

President Heather J. Knight, Ph.D. said in her announcement to the campus Sunday morning, “At a time when campus is especially vibrant and filled with optimism for the future, Jayaram’s death is even more distressing, and his passing a source of immense grief. I ask all of you to keep Jayaram and his family in your thoughts as we acknowledge this unfortunate loss to our extended PUC family.”

A campus memorial service is planned for Thursday, May 28. 

The family has expressed the desire for privacy at this time, but do appreciate your thoughts and prayers. Notes of sympathy can be sent to Bob Notestine and Aranyani Notestine-Azevedo at 15300 Mustang Ct., Middletown, CA 95461. A memorial fund has been established at http://www.gofundme.com/jayaramsmiles.

Jayaram was preceded in death by his mother, Angela, who fought a long battle with cancer. He is survived by his father, Bob Notestine, who was employed by PUC for many years, and sister Aranyani, who graduated from PUC in 2011.