Helen Stevenson-Galpin

Raised so far


Graduating in Social Work from UBC in 1940, Helen Marie Stevenson-Galpin was well known for her adventurous spirit and zest for life. Born and raised in Vancouver, after the Second World War she moved with her husband Richard Galpin to Detroit, where she raised a family of four. She then returned to BC, serving as a medical social worker at Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops, before retiring to Comox on Vancouver Island. She passed away in December 2012 at the age of 97, a wonderful example of a life well-lived.

Helen was well known for both an adventurous spirit and also a commitment to her communities. Her travels by land and sea were legendary, highlights of which included solo-trekking the Hindu Kush Mountains of Afghanistan, sailing to the Queen Charlotte Islands and several road trips to Mexico.

Helen also had a huge capacity for giving. Whilst in Detroit, she devoted her life to her family and her community. Her love of art and music, combined with her generous community spirit, led her to found art centres, jazz festivals and kite festivals as she raised her family. Her commitment to helping others continued upon her return to BC, where her full career at Royal Inland Hospital had a positive effect on many patients. She was also a devoted lover of pets and, after retiring to Vancouver Island, remained a committed companion to animals to her last days.

Helen possessed a generosity of spirit and wonderful capacity to wring the best out of each day, even when it seemed impossible. She was an example of how to find joy in life and live every day to its fullest. She always cherished her widespread family, with whom she liked nothing more than sharing stories and hearing about others’ life experiences.  She will be sadly missed by all who knew her.

The impact of your support

Helen’s family has created the Helen Marie Stevenson-Galpin Prize in her memory. The prize will be awarded to UBC students studying social work, as a tribute to all Helen did for her communities, patients, family and friends during her life. The prize will have a particular focus on a student’s community or international service, in keeping with Helen’s adventurous and generous life.

Your gift will provide both financial help and recognition to outstanding students. The costs of a university education keep rising, and your support will help ensure that UBC social work students are able to afford and work towards a career in the field that was so close to Helen’s heart.


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