Donald Eugene Galvin

Donald Eugene Galvin passed away peacefully from ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease) on November 24, 2012. Don was born in Detroit on March 5, 1935. He is survived by his devoted family, wife Jan; son, John; daughter-in-law, Michelle; grandchildren, Samantha, Brendan and Declan, of Sandy Spring Maryland and niece Pamela and Marvin Yost of Renton, Washington. Family from England and the U.S. had a chance to spend time with Don in his final weeks. Don had a long and distinguished career in the field of rehabilitation, graduating with a B.A. in Psychology from Central Michigan (1958); Michigan State University with an M.A. in rehabilitation counseling (1960) and a Ph. D. in 1970 from the University of Michigan, home of his beloved Wolverines. While in Michigan, Don was Associate Superintendent of Education, Director of the Bureau of Rehabilitation Services (1972-1978), and adjunct professor at DePaul University. From 1978-1982, Don directed the Michigan State University Center for International Rehabilitation. In this role, he consulted extensively in England, Ireland, The Netherlands, Sweden, Germany, Poland, Yugoslavia, Israel, Egypt and Costa Rica. From 1982-1986 he was a professor at Michigan State University. Don was a tireless champion of independent living and employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities, providing congressional testimony and presenting at conferences both here in the U.S. and around the world. In 1980, he was nominated to the National Council on Disability for a three year term by President Carter and confirmed by the Senate later that year. In 1986, Don and Jan moved to Washington DC, where Don joined the newly opened National Rehabilitation Hospital as Director of Strategic Planning and Outpatient Services. In 1990, he became a Vice-President of the Washington Business Group on Health and Director of their Institute for Rehabilitation and Disability Management. Don and Jan were thrilled to move to Tucson in 1993 when Don became President and CEO of CARF…the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities until he retired in December 2000. Since retirement, Don continued to contribute to his field by serving on Boards of Directors and through many consulting projects. As well, he enjoyed favorite pastimes of closely following the news, politics and myriad topics through his prolific reading. He enjoyed long walks with his dear companion, Sara, a golden retriever who predeceased him by two months. Although ALS is a devastating disease, Don did not regard himself as a victim rather he believed that what is important is not what happens in life, but how you deal with what happens. Don chose to deal with this disease with dignity, grace and courage. Sincere thanks to Dr. German Lasala and Casa de la Luz Hospice for their exceptional care, and to our wonderful neighbors and friends who have been with us every step of this journey. Celebrations of Don's life will take place in Tucson on Saturday, December 15, 2012 and Washington DC at a later date. Please email Jan at for details. Donations in his memory may be made to your local community food bank or any service/therapy dog organizations. Arrangements by SCIENCE CARE.

Published in the Arizona Daily Star on Dec. 2, 2012