Layth Matthews

Obituary of Dr. Ronald David Hilburn Ronald (Ron) David Hilburn died peacefully on Tuesday, November 28th, 2023, from complications related to diabetes. He was 77 Years old. Early Life Ron Hilburn was born on September 4th, 1946, at Hollywood Presbyterian Hospital in Los Angeles, California. He graduated from the Engineer Officer’s course at West Point in 1969 and was discharged from the US Army after a tour of duty in Europe in June 1974 at the rank of captain. Soon after being discharged, Ron enrolled in the University of Washington Environmental Engineering program, where he graduated with a PhD in 1983. His PhD thesis was recognized as the best in the U.S.A. for “Drinking Water Quality,” by the American Waterworks Association. Discovering the Buddha Dharma In 1978, Ron discovered the teachings of Chogyam Trungpa, Rinpoche, a Tibetan meditation master fluent in western culture as well as English. He read Trungpa’s book, “Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism,” and never looked back. Ron practiced meditation continuously over his 46-year Buddhist path and studied with many great teachers. He became an excellent Buddhist teacher himself. Data, Democracy and Football! In addition to an extensive Buddhist library, Ron’s bookcases reflected his limitless passion for predictive science. Even in retirement he signed up for courses in Machine Learning, just for fun. Ron was a proud American. He had deep respect for the constitution. He also loved the New England Patriots, Seattle Seahawks, and all exceptional basketball teams. Retirement When Ron retired from teaching at Dalhousie University, in Halifax, Nova Scotia, in 2012. He moved to Richmond, British Columbia, to study with Thrangu Rinpoche more easily at Thrangu Monastery. In October 2023, Ron experienced a second diabetic shock and finally transferred to the Salvation Army Rotary Hospice in Richmond. Never losing his sense of humour, he enjoyed reconnecting with his brother Bob Hilburn, nephew Jim Bricken and many old friends during the last weeks of his life. Ron passed away peacefully on the night of Tuesday, November 28th, 2023. A Sukhavati (Buddhist Funeral) ceremony was held for him at the Vancouver Shambhala Centre on Sunday, December 3rd and we scattered his ashes around a beautiful evergreen tree with prayer flags behind Thrangu Monastery in early January 2024. Ron is survived by his sister Emily, brother Bob, sister-in-law Melanie, and nephew, James Bricken. Ron Hilburn will always be remembered for his jovial spirit, devotion, and dedication to the benefit of all sentient beings from the groundwater up.