[INDOLOGY] Diego Loukota (16 April 1985 – 17 March 2024)

Stefan Baums baums at lmu.de
Mon Mar 18 18:32:03 UTC 2024

Our dear friend and colleague Diego Loukota has passed away. Even
in his last days, the fields of study to which he gave so much
were in his thoughts, and he asked for the following obituary to
be shared with you.


Diego Loukota, Assistant Professor in Indian and Central Asian
Buddhism at UCLA, died at the age of 38 on Sunday, March 17th,
2024 in his home in Santa Monica, California, surrounded by family
and friends. He had been diagnosed with an incurable and
aggressive form of brain tumor (glioblastoma) in March 2023. Diego
was a proud husband to his colleague Stephanie Balkwill, Assistant
Professor of Chinese Buddhism at UCLA, and father to 8-year-old
Remedios, as well as a proud citizen of Guatemala, Colombia, and
Canada. He continued his activity as instructor, graduate
supervisor, and researcher throughout the course of his illness up
until the end of 2023, when his physical limitations made work
difficult and secondary to end-of-life considerations.

Diego had unfinished studies in Classics and Music (cello) from
the National University of Colombia, a BA in Asian History from
the University of Bologna in Italy, and an MA in Sanskrit and Pāli
from Peking University, where he also studied Khotanese and
Gāndhārī under the late Prof. Duan Qing; after this he completed
his doctoral studies under Prof. Gregory Schopen in Buddhist
Studies at UCLA.

Diego focused on the philological treatment of unpublished
documents, fragments, and inscriptions in Central Asian languages,
with an eye to their contribution to the history of Buddhism and
of the Silk Road.

If you would like to contribute a personal reminiscence or
anecdote to be shared at an upcoming memorial event at UCLA,
please write it in this thread or write to his wife Stephanie at
balkwill at humnet.ucla.edu.


Stefan Baums, Ph.D.
Institut für Indologie und Tibetologie
Ludwig‐Maximilians‐Universität München

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