Stephen D. Lapan, of Sedona, Ariz., died on April 19, 2011 following a short illness. Born in Aurora in 1940 to Richard and Gladys Lapan, he was the oldest of three children and attended K-12 schools in Galva, where he was an outstanding student.

He graduated from Parsons College in Fairfield, Iowa in 1962 with an education degree. He taught in Illinois middle schools while completing a master’s degree in special education for gifted students at the University of Illinois. From 1966 to 1973, he worked for the state as a consultant in gifted education and educational evaluation. He graduated from the University of Connecticut with a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology in 1972. From 1973 to 1986, he was a professor at Northeastern Illinois University in Elementary and Gifted Education, then joined the faculty of Northern Arizona University in 1986 where he became coordinator of the Curriculum and Instruction doctorate at the time of his retirement as professor emeritus in May 2010. Dr. Lapan authored numerous articles and books related to gifted education and educational research.

Steve Lapan is survived by his wife, Dr. Patricia Hays; his sister, Susan Lapan Fulton; his aunts, Lily Wallace and Dorothy Reed; his niece, Kate Fulton; his nephew, Josh (Jennifer) Fulton; his five nieces and nephews; his four great-nieces and nephews; and many cousins in Illinois, Iowa and Texas. He was preceded in death by his parents and his brother, David Lapan.

A family memorial will be held in Illinois in May. Because of his love of teaching, working with students, mentoring new faculty, and academic writing, his family requests that memorial donations be made to the Galva Public Library District at 120 N.W. Third Avenue in Galva, IL 61434.