Abram Dietrich (Hap) Heppner completed his life’s journey and reached his final destination on October 2, 2011. He was greeted there by his son, Bruce, his first wife, Suzanne, his sister Anne, his faithful dog Katie, and many other family and friends who have gone before him.
He began his journey on September 12, 1930 in Birtle, Manitoba, the third of seven children where life in the dust bowl of the prairies taught him from an early age the importance of producing things from the earth. In 1938, the family relocated in the Chilliwack area. Throughout his life, Hap worked primarily in the logging industry, but was eventually able to purchase a farm on Lickman Road.
Hap’s motto in life was “If you have too much of something and you don’t share it or give it away, you’ve wasted it”. This belief guided him in celebrating the earth’s bounty and in finding ways to share it with others. Hap took a great deal of enjoyment in his ability to provide for others. He delighted in sending visitors home with a bag of produce from his garden or game he had caught himself.
His real life-long passion was being out in the woods. He hunted and fished throughout his life. He was a life member of Chilliwack Fish and Game Club and served as trap chairman for many years. A highlight for him was winning a medal in the BC Summer games in shooting sports.
In his later life, Hap became very concerned with passing his knowledge on to others. Although he had no grandchildren of his own, he was an honorary grandpa to many. He thought often about how he could leave a lasting legacy and make the world a better place than he found it. To this end he set up a trust through the Chilliwack School District to provide continuing scholarships for students who wish to study agriculture or wildlife conservation.
Hap will be sorely missed by those left behind; his second wife Linda, his daughter Paulette, his son-in-law Harry Peterson, his sisters and brothers, Richard and Dorothy Heppner, Mary and Lloyd Johnston, Ed and Vi Heppner, Frieda and Harry Winkles, Ernie and Leslie Heppner and many friends, nieces and nephews too numerous to mention.
A celebration of his life will be held at the Atchelitz Farmers’ Institute Hall, 6542 Lickman Road, Chilliwack on Sunday, October 16, 2011 between 2 and 4 pm. In lieu of flowers, a donation may be made to a charity of your choice. Hap’s favorite charities were those that benefited children. The Vancouver Children’s Hospital and the Zajac Ranch were two that were close to his heart.