To his kids, Richard Bulpitt was a quiet, hardworking man with a wicked sense of humour who encouraged them to follow their passion.
To the Langley School District, the deceased father of five was an educator and administrator whose legacy is worthy of having a school named after him.
The new school being constructed at 20965 77A Ave. will bear the name Richard Bulpitt Elementary when students start streaming in through the doors in September 2013.
"We were blown away," said daughter Cindy Moller, about the family reaction when the district asked to name the school.
"What an honour," the Abbotsford resident added. "He was my first hero and still is one of my heroes."
As adults, Moller, and her younger brother Corey Bulpitt can now see the impact he had on local education. They are often approached by former staff and students with stories about Bulpitt.
"All my friends tell me stories about how he kept them in school," Corey said.
That's not to say it was easy for the Bulpitt children. Richard often worked at schools they attended. Moller laughed that her father would often tell them as they were driving home "don't tell mom," when anything happened. The incidents were typical kid stuff and mom always found out anyway, she said.
"He always had time for us," Moller said.
Now living in Vancouver, Corey is an artist, working in various media and having done a carved pole for Camp McLean in South Langley.
Haida by heritage, he was adopted by the Bulpitts and said his father always encouraged him to pursue his love of art. Corey just returned from Toronto where he did a graffiti mural. Corey was supported in his graffiti art by Richard.
"He bought me my spray paint cans," Corey said.
He's hoping he can do some art
for the new school.
Born in 1943 in England, Richard Bulpitt was a teacher, principal, and administrator in Vancouver and Langley before becoming the local superintendent (19962001).
His kids say a key thing he taught them was about the value of education.
"Continue learning," Moller said was his lesson. "It doesn't matter what, just continue learning."
Richard was serving as an Asian welfare services missionary when, in 2007, he suffered a heart attack on assignment.
He was there with his ife, Valerie, in Hanoi, Vietnam.
The Langley School District invited suggestions on what to name the new school earlier this school year.
Lucy Lenko, the principal at Langley Meadows Elementary, was named principal of the new school.
"It's such an honour to be asked to open a school," she said.
Lenko, with the school district since 1988, met Bulpitt as a teacher and took administrative courses under his leadership.
She said he taught her by word and deed that family was utmost, whether it's the person's family at home or the family created in the workplace.
"It was always about family," she said. "The biggest rock you have is family. You first of all have to care about the people who are in your building."