In Memoriam

This page is intended to highlight news of the passing of any AEA members within the recent months. These individuals enriched our lives and our community. We are saddened by the loss and ask that you join us in remembering them fondly. If you have news to post here, please send to

Don Compton

We’re sharing the sad news of the passing of Don Compton with the AEA community, an active AEA member and well-known to many.  He was active in several TIGs, authored and co-authored many AJE volumes and, to honor the impressive work he did in building evaluation capacity at the American Cancer Society, was the 2000 recipient of the Alva and Gunnar Myrdal Evaluation Practice Award.  Most won’t know this, but what is now known as the AEA Summer Evaluation Institute grew out of an annual ACS conference Don hosted for fellows participating in the ACS Evaluation Practicum he ran each year.  Don was a great friend to many and will be missed. See his official obituary below.  For more information feel free to contact Michael Schooley ( or Tom Chapel (

Donald Wayne Compton, 71, of Tucker, Georgia, passed away suddenly on March 13, 2023. A Celebration of Life service will be held Saturday, April 15th at 11:00 AM at St. Andrews Presbyterian Church, 4882 Lavista Road, Tucker, GA 30084. Born in Blacksburg, Virginia, on January 8, 1952, Don was the son of the late Stan and Helen Compton. He is preceded in death by his beloved wife, Susan McCain. Don graduated from Hamlin University in 1974 with a Bachelor of Science in sociology. He went on to earn his Masters degree in sociology from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in 1976. Don earned his Ph.D. as Doctor in Philosophy specializing in education, youth studies, and sociology from the University of Minnesota in 1980. He worked for over 10 years in education program evaluation in Houston and Austin, Texas. In 1991, Don worked as an Evaluation Specialist for the Virginia Department of Education. Don moved to Atlanta in 1995 and became the Director of Evaluation Services with the American Cancer Society. In 2003 Don started working with CDC and stayed for over 10 years as a Health Scientist for the Office on Smoking and Health, the Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity, and the Division of Oral Health. After his time with the CDC, Don stayed on as an Independent Program Consultant in the public health, education, and non-profit sector before officially retiring in 2022. Always living life to the fullest, Don’s favorite activities included fishing, camping, spending time with his family and friends, and Virginia Tech Hokie sports. Don was the best at sharing great stories, especially given his exciting life. Don had a wicked sense of humor and the most compassionate heart that will be forever remembered. Don is survived by his two sons, Jonathan Compton and Marco Compton; his wife, Jianping Zeng, all of Tucker, GA; and stepson Shaojing Lu, of New York.