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Diedrich Helmuth Epp Dick to all who knew and loved him, exited life's final classroom with a report card of great distinction. Dick passed away peacefully on Sunday, June 28th at Sunnyside Adventist Care Centre.
Dick was the loving and devoted husband of 53 years to Betty (Berg) Epp; supportive and generous father to David and Karen of Edmonton, Donald and Christine of Saskatoon, and Robert and Andrea of Edmonton. Dick was the adoring grandfather of Marla and Eric, Kyle and Michelle, and Adam, Erin, and Colin.
Dick was predeceased by his parents, Diedrich D. and Helena Epp; in-laws, Henry and Maria Hildebrandt, Tina Hildebrandt, Sarah Berg, Abram Berg, and Catherine (Martens) Berg. Dick was the oldest brother to the late Bill (Betty) Epp of Saskatoon, Peter (Trudy) Epp of Calgary, Martha (Harry) Grams of Calgary, and Arthur (Marjorie) Epp of Black Diamond, AB. Dick is fondly remembered by Katherine Berg of Ottawa, Mary Rempel of Yarrow, BC, and Anne Hildebrandt, Pete (Evelyn) Hildebrandt, and Walter (Judy) Hildebrandt, all of Abbotsford, BC. He was also predeceased by his sisters-in-law,Tina Hildebrandt and Mary Epp and his brother-in-law Henry Hildebrandt.
Uncle Dick held a special place in the heart of all of his nieces and nephews.
He was born near Rosthern, SK on September 4, 1927 and grew up in Glenbush, SK. Dick attended Avery School and the German English Academy, now known as Rosthern Junior College.
Dick then attended the Saskatoon Normal School and began his teaching career in the Northvale S.D. near Mullingar. He taught in many Saskatchewan village schools, in Yellowknife, NWT, and at Rosthern Junior College.
On August 13, 1955 he married his sweetheart, Betty Berg.
In September of the same year, he began working for the Saskatoon Public School Board, holding the positions of teacher, vice-principal, and principal. While raising their family of three sons, Dick completed his B.Ed. and in 1977 was appointed Coordinator of the Learning Resource Centre for the Saskatoon Public School Board, a position he held until his retirement in 1986.
Dick was an avid photographer, shooting hundreds of rolls of colour slides and spending countless hours developing black and white prints in his basement darkroom. He later produced many mutli-image media shows and generously shared this creative gift with his family, friends, and church as well as bringing his productions to cities in the United States and Canada. Dick's Christian faith led to a deep involvement in church activities, and he played an active role on various boards, committees, and organizations. Dick and Betty have been charter members of Nutana Park Mennonite Church, a community of friends who will deeply miss Dick.
In his retirement, Dick became very passionate about family history and wrote and published From Between the Tracks 1927-1952 a volume of personal stories.
Dick was awarded the Saskatchewan Centennial Leadership Award in 2005 for his outstanding contribution to our province.
Dick was also honoured in 2006 by the Saskatchewan Mennonite Historical Society for his many years of service as the editor of the Saskatchewan Mennonite Historian. He was also a long-standing member of the Board of Der Bote.
Dick and Betty loved to travel. Their adventures included camping with the family, skiing in the mountains, and trips abroad to Europe, Russia, and China. His second home for 30 great years was the cabin he built at Big Shell Lake.
All those who knew Dick were touched by his kind and friendly nature and his keen sense of humour. He was generous with all that he had and gave in so many ways to so many.
Nothing is lost on him who sees
With an eye that feeling gave:
For him there's a story in every breeze
And a picture in every wave.
The celebration of Dick's life will be held on Friday, July 3, 2009 at 2:00 p.m. There will also be a viewing Thursday, July 2 at 7:30 p.m. Both services will take place at Nutana Park Mennonite Church, 1701 Ruth Street, Saskatoon. In keeping with Dick's generous nature, and in lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to a community organization of your choice. Arrangements have been entrusted to Dalmeny Funeral Home Ltd. (306)254-2022.