Donald Walter (PhD) Hepburn

November 29, 1930 – December 15, 2018
Don Hepburn passed away peacefully at home on December 15, 2018 after a lengthy battle with Parkinson’s Disease.

He was pre-deceased by his sister Joyce, his sister Jean Brown, his daughter Cathy McPhail and son Robert.

He is survived by his wife of 66 years, Joan and sons Gordon (Elsie) of Granville Ferry, Nova Scotia, Bruce (Edith) of Lethbridge, and Neil of Edmonton, together with numerous nieces and nephews.

A life-long educator, Don taught school in Edmonton, and in Ft. Simpson and Inuvik, N.W.T. before returning south. As Supervisor for Special Education for Alberta Education, Don’s work pioneered many of the supports now available to Alberta children with special educational needs. He also taught special education at the Red Deer College and the University of Alberta.

Upon his retirement, Don became an active volunteer for the Central Alberta Historical Society. Don was highly motivated by social justice issues and put his energies into Friends of Medicare, the Council of Canadians, numerous church committees and activities. Most notably, he was involved in reconciliation efforts fostered by Sunnybrook United Church and helped found the Remembering the Children Society. In 2003, the Red Deer Rotary Clubs named Don as Citizen the Year. In 2018, Don received an honorary Doctorate of Sacred Letters from St. Stephen’s College for his work with the Remembering the Children Society. Don Hepburn was a quiet, scholarly, gentle man who accomplished much. We will miss him greatly.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to a charity of the donor’s choice.

A celebration of life is planned for some time in the new year.


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