David H. Klippenstein

February 15, 2020 9 Condolences Print Obituary

1944 - 2020

With great sadness the family announces the death of David Klippenstein on January 30, 2020. He will be remembered with love by his wife of 45 years, Janice, his son Jonathan (Claudia), daughter Alison (Darryl) and cherished granddaughter Zoey. He is survived by his brother Sam (Judy) and his sister Susan (Peter), many cousins, nephews and nieces and other relatives in Canada and the US. He was predeceased by his parents Bernard and Sara Klippenstein and his brother Timothy.  He will be dearly missed by his family, friends and colleagues.

David grew up in rural southern Manitoba and remained committed to his roots there.   He attended one-room schools in his younger years.  David graduated with a BA in Geography from the University of Manitoba. He subsequently enrolled in graduate studies at the University of Alberta in 1970 where he met Janice and they both completed Masters degrees in the Department of Geography. David’s career as a planner was a natural path for him.  He had a lifelong fascination with maps, acquiring his first provincial road map of Manitoba at the age of seven. The map collection grew and diversified over the years. A road trip honeymoon starting in 1975, after David and Janice were married in England, provided a bonanza of maps from the UK, Scandinavia, Europe, the Middle East and South Asia. It was a classic Seventies trip in a time of relative peace and had a profound influence throughout their married life. Travel, a deep curiosity and respect for other cultures of the world and his heritage of Mennonite migrations and settlements were all woven into a quest to understand how we live, survive and thrive in the world.

Music was also an integral part of David’s life, from the church music of his youth, through two years studying music at Brandon College and on to acquiring an eclectic collection that was enjoyed by all the family. Live performances and concerts in Edmonton and pub music with friends on Vancouver Island were all keenly appreciated. He sang, played a number of instruments and refinished a beautiful old upright piano which was only traded in fifteen years ago for an electronic model. The latter with its multiple switches and knobs proved irresistible to Zoey who loved to play piano with him.

David was committed to his role in the planning profession, working for municipal and provincial governments in his early career. He joined consulting firm UMA (later AECOM) in Saskatoon in 1979 and moved back to Edmonton in 1992. He became Director of Planning in both offices.  His portfolio included government departments, developers and many projects with northern communities, Metis groups and First Nations bands. He took great pleasure in his many trips north, meeting the people and evaluating the land opportunities. After he retired from AECOM he established his own planning consultancy which he ran for ten years.

David approached all planning needs in a thoughtful, responsible and ethical way. Over the years he served on the executive of professional planning associations in Saskatchewan and Alberta, and as a director on the Canadian Institute of Planners. In 2017 he received an Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Profession from the Alberta Professional Planners Institute.

David’s immediate family was much-loved and while he was modest about his own achievements, he was very proud of and followed keenly the progress of his children and their spouses. There were many lively conversations around the family dinner table, especially in recent years. He also tried to convert everyone into as ardent a supporter of the Winnipeg Jets and Blue Bombers as he was, but with notably limited success. Perhaps his greatest joy in the past five years was in becoming a grandfather. Zoey gave him with endless hours of pleasure and great happiness as she grew from newborn baby into the kindergartener who dearly loved her Grandpa.

Over the last five years we have received much skill and kindness from those we encountered on the journey through the health care system. We would especially like to thank surgeon Dr. Schiller, of the Royal Alex and oncologist Dr. Zhu, of the Cross Cancer Institute. That David survived more than five years after his initial diagnosis of pancreatic cancer made him one of the fortunate few and we were grateful for every day. He bore his illness with fortitude and a determination to carry on as long as possible. For the nurses and doctors of Unit 43, the palliative care unit at the Grey Nuns Hospital, we are so grateful for your gentle care and compassion for David and the family members with him at the end of his life.

A celebration of David’s life will be held at 2pm February 22 at the Faculty Club, University of Alberta. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Pancreatic Cancer Canada or a charity of your choice.

  1. Dear Allie

    My sincere condolences to you dear! I wish we could have known your father . What a wonderful Dad you had. You will miss him dearly. I understand.

    With love & care
    Shirley Hewlett xox

  2. Laraine and I wish to extend sincere condolences to the Klippenstein family. Saying, “Goodbye” to a loved one is never easy but there is much comfort in remembering that David poured out his love on his family, above all else

  3. I was shocked and very saddened to learn of David’s death – I am so sorry for your loss. He was a very good man, and an even better planner – he will be missed. I share in your loss, as he was a mentor and a friend.

  4. My condolences to the family. It was my great pleasure to work with David on several community land use plans in the Northwest Territories. I will always remember David asking “What is the land telling us?”. David was a very warm person and a true mentor. Best wishes, Petr Cizek

  5. Sincere condolences.
    David taught me so much about subdivisions development that I made a career out of it.
    Dave will be missed by many of us
    Reg Lalach formerly of AECOM Saskatoon

  6. Please accept my sincere condolences on David’s death. He adored his family and friends, and his prodigious memory for detail ensured that he knew you warts and all – and loved you unconditionally. His unfailing support, his keen observations and wry humor will be missed and will eventually appreciated as they were when he was with you.

  7. Dear Jan, Jonathan, and Alison: As your neighbour on Gilmore Crescent , I had the pleasant opportunity to meet your husband/dad out walking my dog, on several occasions in the the last several years. While knowing that he was fighting cancer, I was so inspired by his determination to push himself to get into the outdoors, and onto the trails whenever he could. He was always positive and smiling and interested in others, and making the most of each precious moment given to him. It’s funny how some people leave such a noticeable impact on others, even more so in their absence. Your husband Jan, and father, Jonathan and Alison, was/is definitely one of those people. You are blessed indeed to have had him in your lives. May your many amazing memories of being with him, bring you comfort in the days ahead.

  8. My belated condolences to Janice and the family! I did not see David a lot over the last 40 years but I realized every time we met what a good man and a good friend he was.

  9. Dear Janice and family… My very sincere condolences… What a sad way to reconnect… after almost 45 years… David was indeed a very fine man… I have very fond memories of you both… that I treasure… May his soul rest in peace and may his memory give you and your family much peace and solace. Sam

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