Dr. Donald Joseph Bédard died Wednesday, May 9, 2018, at his home in Seal Beach, Calif. He was 91 years old.
Don was born on July 24, 1926, in Argyle, Minn., the first born of five children to Joseph and Grace Riopelle Bédard. The family moved to Red Lake Falls, Minn., in 1936 and then to Long Beach, Calif., in 1942.
In 1953, Bédard married Rosalie Klennert at St. Anthony’s Church in Long Beach. He graduated from Loyola University in 1949 and began teaching at Orange High School where he later became a counselor and vice-principal. He served in the Army during the Korean War from 1950-1952 as a public information specialist. He received his master’s degree from the University of Southern California in 1956 and his doctorate, also from USC, in 1964. In 1959, he became principal of Laguna Beach High School.
In 1966, he helped to open up the brand new Cypress College campus in Cypress, Calif., as vice-president of student personnel services. He retired from Cypress College in 1988, known by then as “Mr. Cypress College.” He served as president of Cypress College from 1977-78 and from 1998-99. He continued to be active and involved with his beloved Cypress College as executive director of the Cypress College Foundation and other events including attending the campus’ 50thanniversary celebration in April of 2017.
His genuine love of people, especially students, and his great love and pride in his family will forever be treasured, as well as his singing “Alouette” in front of any group on his ukulele.
He was a member of St. Hedwig’s Parish for 52 years, and a resident of Seal Beach, Calif., for the last 50 years.
Bédard is survived by his children Laurie Genovese (Raymond)of Mission Viejo, Renée Ashcraft of Long Beach, Michael Bédard (Diane)of Redlands, Dana Bédard (Pam)of Cypress, Craig Bédard of Bermuda Dunes, and Annette Davis (Al) of Murrietta, Calif. He is also survived by 13 grandchildren and two great- grandchildren (with another one on the way). Additionally, he is survived by his sisters, Rhodyne Tappe of Ramona, Sandra Runkle of Las Vegas, Nev., and Adair Watkins of Yaak, Mont.. He was preceded in death by his wife Rosalie and sister June Putnam, and son-in-law Don Ashcraft.
Rosary/Visitation is at 11:45 a.m. Friday, May 18, at St. Hedwig’s Catholic Church in Los Alamitos, followed by a funeral mass at noon. Burial will be at All Soul’s Cemetery in Long Beach.