Team Gary Heppell
“We have lost a best friend, our role model, and our Dad, who always put family first. Dad had a unique gift of making people feel special and was loved by all who knew him. We will keep his spirit alive by honoring him, his name, his legacy, and all that he worked hard in his life."
—The Heppell Family
This year, the Cypress Challenge will be held in memory of Gary Heppell.
A community leader and skilled businessman, Gary Heppell was respected and admired by all who knew him, from colleagues and friends to his loving family: wife Maxine, children Brian, Gail and Leanne, six grandchildren and seven great grandchildren.
Gary gave 42 years of service to the Overwaitea Food Group as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. During this time, he made an indelible mark on the company. His gift for meaningful connection and relationship building ensured everyone he met felt special. This positive attitude also served Gary well as a young athlete; he loved team sports and was a gifted record-setter in his high school years.
When he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2014 at the age of 78, Gary worried for his own health, but was also concerned for his family, particularly his three children. He was all too familiar with the disease. One of Gary’s three siblings and several aunts and uncles had already succumbed to pancreatic cancer and another sibling was undergoing treatment at the time.
In spite of his personal struggle, Gary’s children say, “He never complained and kept his positive attitude until the end, facing cancer with bravery, treasuring time with his family and having fun.”
By investing in pancreatic cancer at the BC Cancer Foundation through the Cypress Challenge, you will raise awareness of Gary’s story and bring hope to families impacted by pancreatic cancer now and for generations to come. Your generosity will inspire others to give and enable experts to find new ways to stop this deadly disease before it starts.