School 14

H. Philip Hepworth

November 16, 1936 ~ April 23, 2021 (age 84)


Harold Philip Hepworth

Peacefully, on April 23, 2021, after a two-year illness. Cherished husband of Dorothy, loving father of Sheila Hepworth (Michael Colborne) and John Hepworth (Mary Smith), proud and loving grandad to Alexander, Samuel, Gregory, Charles and Molly. Predeceased by his parents Harold Hepworth and Doris Hepworth (née Smith), and sister Alice Nancy Hepworth. Fondly remembered uncle, cousin, brother-in-law, neighbour and friend.

Philip was born in Sutton-in-Ashfield, Nottinghamshire on November 16, 1936. Growing up during the Second World War, and as the son of the town’s head librarian, Philip developed a lifelong love of reading and a keen interest in history and current events. He had fond memories of helping out with his father on his uncle’s farm, working as a ‘beater’ for local grouse hunting parties, and going on rambles in the Derbyshire countryside. He also recounted playing on “The Impossibles” football (soccer) team at the Queen Elizabeth Grammar School for Boys.

Philip earned a Bachelor’s degree in English Language and Literature from the University of London in 1958, and briefly studied accountancy before switching to work and further studies in social work and social policy at the London School of Economics.  While working as a probation officer in 1965, Philip met Dorothy, a Canadian studying at the London School of Economics. In the summer of 1967, Dorothy and Philip moved to Canada and were married later that year in Peterborough, Ontario.

Shortly after the birth of Sheila in 1969, Philip and Dorothy moved back to England where Philip completed a Master’s in Social Service Planning at the University of Essex. John was born in 1971 and a few months later Philip took on the position of Assistant Director of the Leicestershire County Council Social Services Department in charge of Homes and Day Centres Branch. In 1973, Philip and family moved to Ottawa where Philip worked as Program Director at the Canadian Council on Social Development. Philip and John became Canadian citizens on Canada Day, 1975. Following a short two-year stint as an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Social Work at the University of Regina, the family returned to Ottawa where Philip worked in various senior social policy development and crime prevention positions with the federal government until his retirement in 1998.  

Over the course of his career Philip wrote and spoke on a wide range of social policy issues from child day care in 1974 and services for the elderly in Canada in 1981 to the personal and societal costs of the incarceration cycle (Jack’s Troubled Career) in the late 90s.  He founded or co-founded several publications, including the Canadian Review of Social Policy and served on the editorial board of others.  He was an active member of the Board of Directors for the Ottawa Children’s Aid Society, the Somerset West Community Health Centre, and the Friends of the Churchill Seniors Recreation Centre.

Philip was devoted to his family. He spent countless hours reading bedtime stories, and Sunday morning bike rides on the Ottawa Parkway were a ritual. There are many fond family memories of adventures and misadventures during summer trips to visit Philip’s family in England, Dorothy’s family in BC, and time spent at Dorothy’s sister Betty’s cottage in Quebec. In later years, Philip and Dorothy enjoyed theatre trips to London, and trips with friends and family to France, Germany, England, and PEI, and cherished time spent with their children and their families. Philip was also an avid and skilled gardener, and the beautiful spring flowers he planted last fall are a source of joy and comfort for all who knew him.     

Grateful thanks to Dr. Jonker and the staff at the Ottawa General Hospital, to the SE (Saint Elizabeth) community health care group, and to the staff at Elizabeth Bruyère Hospital.   The immediate family will be holding a memorial service at the Tubman Funeral Chapel in the next few weeks.

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