Don Robert Rapier, 89 of Reston, Virginia, passed away peacefully at 7:23AM on September 22, 2013 at Inova Fairfax Hospital, Falls Church, Virginia.
Visitation will be held from 1:00PM until 2:00PM on Sunday, September 29, 2013 at the Shorter Funeral Home, 1905 South Main St, Farmville, VA 23901. The funeral will follow immediately after the visitation, also at the Shorter Funeral Home. Pastor Rev. Michael Kendall will be officiating. The interment will be at the Worsham Baptist Church Cemetery.
A subsequent Celebration of Life Service will be held on October 13, 2013 from 2:00PM to 4:00pm at the Everly Funeral Home, 10565 Main St, Fairfax, VA 22030.
Don was born in Van Buren, Arkansas to Bessie Elvira Rapier and Val Marquis Rapier on July 31, 1924. A native of Van Buren, Arkansas, Don graduated from Van Buren High School and enlisted in the Navy Seabees shortly after the outbreak of WWII. He subsequently graduated with honors from Hampden-Sydney College and received his Master’s degree in administration from the University of Arkansas. His professional appearance began with two years teaching at his alma mater, in Van Buren High School, Arkansas. After moving back to Virginia and teaching for one year at Bassett High School, he became an elementary school principal in Henry County for three years. In 1955 he accepted a position as instructor in Methods of Instruction with the Army Corp of Engineers at Fort Belvoir. After a year’s absence from the public educational field, he joined the McLean High School faculty as a math teacher. Throughout his career, Don has been a member of the VEA, NEA and his local association and has frequently been chosen to provide leadership in these organizations. From 1966-67, he served as a President of the Fairfax Education Association. In 1971, Don became the first full time President of the Virginia Education Association. During the summer months, he pursued his hobby of building executive home in Reston, VA. He subsequently accepted a position as principle of Brookfield Elementary, Chantilly VA, where he served until his retirement in 1979. Afterwards he enjoyed traveling and spending time with his wife, Esther Rapier, until her death on August 24, 2011.
Don is preceded in death by his parents, Bessie and Val; two brothers, Paul Val Rapier and Gayle Rapier and a sister, Juanita Bess Rapier. Don is survived by his younger brother, Kent Edward Rapier and his wife, Sakae, as well as several nieces and nephews.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Lupus Foundation of America, Inc, 2000 L. Street, NW, suite 410, Washington, DC 20036 or the American Cancer Society, PO Box 23718, Oklahoma City, OK 73123-1718.
Online Condolences may be left in Don’s online guest book at www.shorterfuneralhome.com. Select Don R. Rapier under the “Obituaries” heading located on the far right side of the home page, and then select the condolence tab.
The family wishes to extend their gratitude to the Reston Hospital Center, The Virginian Continuing Care Retirement Community and to the Inova Fairfax Hospital for their support, kindness and gentle care in his final days.