ForeverMissed
This memorial website is created in loving memory of Val Ivey. He remains in our hearts and will be remembered forever - until we meet again. 

Val Gordon Ivey was larger than life. He was a seeker of knowledge and an explorer in his own right. He loved to share stories and incite curiosity in others with his vast knowledge of the world. You never knew what might be around the corner when you were by Val's side, but it would always leave an impression on your heart, and wisdom in your life in some way or another.

The life of Val was a wondrous trail of adventures that left in its wake more questions than answers. 74 trips around the sun weren't nearly enough for us. He held his family close and friends even closer. If you gained passage to his heart, it would be lined with a treasure trove of love curated especially just for you. Val was a man who made friends wherever he went. When Val loved you, he loved with all of his might, and was a fierce friend.

His thirst for travel took him to many places, and on many adventures, but home is where his heart resided – where he was truly the master of his kingdom, garden, and barbecue. Val transformed his home into a library of all things that embodied his interests. He surrounded himself with generations of knickknacks and keepsakes that we now sift through to rekindle memories into golden ones.

He was fascinated by the curious and the unsolved. Although, one can say that he himself was a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma.

Val was dedicated to the principles of Social Work and improving the human condition. He had a deep respect for education, earning several undergraduate and graduate university degrees, and by continuing his education on a personal level, as an avid lifelong reader.

Val’s friend Rick shares, “Although he had a kind heart and a generous manner, he could also hold a grudge. Notably, he never forgave a former owner of the Seattle Supersonics for selling the team and allowing the new owners to move the Sonics to Oklahoma City.” This obituary would not be complete if we didn’t mention his unwavering love for the Seattle Seahawks.

Val was born on Vashon Island, Washington, and was raised in both Fairbanks and Anchorage, Alaska. At 17 Val enlisted in the U.S. Army, then was stationed in Korea, and Fort Lawton, Washington. While serving he married Kerry Ivey in 1965 and had three children. Upon returning to civilian life he and his family resided in Port Townsend, Washington, where he worked for Crown Zellerbach Mill. After a life-altering accident at the mill, Val returned to school attending Central Washington University where he studied Art History, Theology, and Sociology. Later he attended Eastern Washington University where he secured a master’s degree in Social Work and Public Administration. In 1975 Val began working for Washington State Department of Social and Health Services. Val welcomed his fourth child in 1990 and married Cynthia Ivey in 1995. Val retired May 1, 2009, after 34 years with the State of Washington. He spent his retirement years with his lovely bride, traveling the world, perfecting his garden, and indulging in all things adventurous.

Val had a passion for unraveling history and religion, this man truly held knowledge in every step of his journey. Val lived life to the fullest. He was funny, intelligent, big-hearted, and authentic.  He is deeply missed. Val is survived by his wife Cynthia Ivey, son Vincent Ivey, three daughters Kristine Marzolf, Valerie Hamry, Sara Ivey, eight grandchildren, and 15 great-grandchildren. The family would also like to recognize Val’s many nieces and nephews, friends, and loved ones including his best friends Rick Arnold, Debbie and Jeff Willis, former wife Kerry Ivey, mother to his three eldest children, and Shirley Stirling, mother to his youngest daughter. Val would encourage you to stay strong, live in the moment, and continue the journey with hope and acceptance. He loved you all.

Shirley sums up how we are all feeling at this moment, “There is an empty place in my heart with Val gone, one that cannot be filled. His death was the end of an era for me, and I think of him every day. I think of conversations we had, his intelligence, his love of learning, his intellectual curiosity, his appreciation of so many beautiful things, his unique perspectives. I wish that I could talk to him again - but it is not to be.”

A celebration of Val’s life will be held on Saturday, August 14, 2021, which would have been his 75th birthday. Time and location to be announced. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Union Gospel Mission. Val felt very strongly about homelessness and contributed regularly to the Mission. Please reach out to them directly at https://ougm.org
Posted by DanCarolyn Ohlson on June 10, 2021
Val, you always had time. I will miss those times with you. Cheers, mate! 

Dan
Posted by Dave Andersen on May 31, 2021
I was both shocked and saddened to hear of Val’s passing. I enjoyed his enthusiasm and friendliness. One of the best and most heated arguments I ever had with a coworker was with Val. Once it was over we never brought it up again. It was over. Now it becomes a good memory. Val and I wondered if we ever passed like ships in the night on Vashon Island as children. For 10 years I spent my summers just down the hill from where he said he lived. I’d like to think we did.
Our condolences to Cynthia and family.
Posted by Dee Osemeno on May 31, 2021
My sincere condolences to the Ivey family. Loosing a loved one is heartbreaking and confusing, I can only imagine the pain felt by Mr.Ivey's dear family but I know that God understands and he will help you heal. Infact at Isaiah 25vs 8 God promises to 'swallow up death forever'. I pray that Jehovah gives you strength beyond what is normal.
Posted by Cynthia Ivey on May 27, 2021
It was a combination of friendship, timing, karma and magic that brought us together. And it was friendship, respect and great love that bonded us and saw us through the trials and tribulations throughout the years. Thank you for loving me so well and giving me the strength and courage I need now. I will miss you in a million little ways for the rest of my life. Hearing 70’s music (your favorite), smelling Keri lotion, using Tabasco (never had a breakfast without it), working in the garden (one of your happy places) playing table games (you were always the score keeper), making spaghetti sauce (yours was the best) and parties and get-togethers in the backyard with friends and family. So many wonderful and happy memories.
Rest in peace my love. I will love you forever and hold you in my heart until we meet again.
Posted by Krista Donnelly on May 25, 2021
I only had the good fortune to meet Val once with my aunt Shirley. He was a generous host and showed me his amazing garden. He was the sort of man that I would have loved to be friends with. I'm so sorry for your loss Sara and Shirley.
Posted by Wallace Thompson on May 25, 2021
It was truly my great fortune and a blessing to have the chance to know this magnanimous gentleman we called Val. He was more like a wise and magical sage than a modern human being, as is Cindy. Through Val I came to know and love everything about Washington and its principles in ways that were renewed each time we spoke, as is the case with Shirley. He fully embodied the virtues of Cascadia and served America, Washington, and his family and friends every day of his life.

From the significance of the epic 1926 Rose Bowl game between the upstart Alabama Crimson Tide and the Washington Huskies, to the works of Tesla and going back to the origins of religion and society itself, there was very little that Val did not know and understand, or had not at least thoughtfully considered. He could be said to be the Asimov of the Puget Sound.

Val showed every type of intelligence that exists, but he reached his apotheosis when it came to emotional intelligence. He lived empathy, grace and patience and forgiveness, all of which he developed through actual lived experience, not a book or good feelings. I did see him angry about 1.5 times: believe me, that was more than enough. He never hesitated to stand up for his values, the truth, and what's right, and he never backed down.

I will always be grateful that Val Ivey believed in me when I could barely even believe in myself. He took the time to substantively help however he could, and he kept it as real as it can realistically be kept. Yet he always maintained hope and optimism and the joie de vivre. May his memory never be extinguished and may his descendants be as numerous as the stars in the sky and the sand on the seashore.

On the night that his own sister died, Val returned to his home. He greeted me in his customary fashion. He didn't lament and his nature shined through despite being dimmed by pain. He simply poured a stiff drink, consumed that beverage, and exhibited his usual nature the next day. May we all have the strength to do the same today and any time we face grief. May we always choose gratitude for the years we enjoyed with Val, and all that we learned through his life, and may we incorporate his lifestyle and teachings into all that we do.
Posted by Randy Kelsey-Knapp on May 25, 2021
Val Ivey sounds like the most amazing person that I never had the good fortune to meet. Cousin Sara, we are so sorry for your loss, and wish there was something we could do to make it better.
Randy and Shannon Kelsey-Knapp
Posted by Chris Holland on May 22, 2021
Mr.Val, my friend, who always made me laugh! I adored you and I loved your sense of humor!! I loved when I came to visit and you would make us all a special drink, and then stick around and become part of the the party!
I thought you had the “greenest,” thumb ever and enjoyed watching you talk about your beautiful yard! The prettiest and most colorful in the neighborhood!!
You were always so kind to me, but I think I loved you the most for how much you loved my sister, Cindy. Thank you for that. She finally found her soul mate!
You were one of a kind and will be sorely missed!
I can just hear you now saying, “ Oh Chris.” And then laughing that great laugh of yours!
Heaven got another Angel in you Mr. Ivey. I will miss you ...God speed Val.
Love, Chris
Posted by Rebecca Nichols on May 22, 2021
Val - My brother-in-law, my brother, my friend. Who else can I call to discuss the absurdities and ridiculousness of life and politics with? Your hearty laugh, your bawdy sense of humor, your wisdom, your kindness - 30 years was just not enough. My one regret is that I never told you how much it meant to me to have you for a brother-in-law. I hope you knew. Those who knew you best know that you spent many years raging mightily against the dying of the light. Go gently into the new light, friend and brother. I miss you.
Posted by Jessica Hunter on May 20, 2021
You will be forever missed Uncle Val. Even though the past few years I didn't get to see you as much as I would have liked, just knowing you were there for some very important moments in my life is so special to me. You were definitely mom's favorite brother and she adored you so. I know you and Lael are both together now and that brings comfort. I always admired you and I have fond memories of spending time at your house as a kid with you and my wonderful cousins. You always had great and funny stories and I can still hear your distinctive song like voice. Rest in heaven my Uncle Val
Posted by shirley stirling on May 20, 2021
There is an empty place in my heart with Val gone, one that cannot be filled. His death was the end of an era for me, and I think of him every day. I think of conversations we had, his intelligence, his love of learning, his intellectual curiosity, his appreciation of so many beautiful things, his unique perspectives. He was also a wonderful cook and consummate host. I wish that I could talk to him again - but it is not to be.

We helped each other through this mystery of life and worked to forge and maintain a loving partnership amongst the four of us, Val, Cindy, Bob, and I, to support Sara, the daughter we raised together. It was an adventure of 30 years and we truly became one loving family, each filling gaps for the other, looking beyond each other’s faults to the good and pure essence of each. And I think that we each became a better person for it.

When Sara was in early grade school, we were startled and pleased to hear that families and staff at the school looked to us to see how a family with two sets of parents can unite and live in harmony. We were not perfect certainly, but made a conscious choice for good at each turn in the road to move toward love and understanding and to move away from pettiness, move away from the need to be right, and move away from the need for transactional equity. We worked very hard to make things work, but we were also lucky in terms of a fortunate chemistry amongst us that facilitated our success. I truly believe, and wish I had understood sooner in life that love is not just a feeling, but a choice of how to live your life each and every day.

The five of us celebrated holidays together, got together for meals, outings, game-nights. This was not just when Sara was growing up, but to this very day, as family. He had come through so much with his health that I was truly shocked, still am really, that he is gone. He is greatly missed.
Posted by Jasmin Flores on May 20, 2021
Uncle Val, hearing of your passing brought me such sadness. Sadness that we never had that dinner at my new house that we had planned but Covid took away. Sadness that I couldn't talk to you about my Mom, your favorite sister Lael, one more time. Sadness knowing the pain of those that loved you so much. You were an amazing brother to my Mom. She always spoke and thought the world of you. I thank you and Cindy so much for always taking such good care of her. One thing that gives me peace (as Kristine mentioned) is knowing my Mom was right there to meet you. I also know that if not for you, my Mom and Dad would have never met! I will always remember you as an amazing and fascinating person who I really enjoyed spening time with. I always appreciated your gardening expertise and taking care of my weeping cherry tree. ❤ You made me feel special everytime we were together. We will miss you and we love you, Uncle Val. 
Posted by Debbie Willis on May 20, 2021
By Jeff Willis
When I first met Val 30+ years ago at work, we did not hit it off! He came into my office with his over payment team and my team had all over payments! Needless to say it did not go well. Who would have ever guessed he would become my best friend years later.
Val and I spent many hours over coffee solving the world's problems, lol. I always looked forward to Vals call for our next coffee chat. We talked about family, friends, enemies (we loved that) and where we would travel next with Cindy and Debbie.
Val was always an awesome friend for me. Trusted and loyal and a good listener but not afraid to tell me the truth. I will always love that about Val.
I had coffee with Val one week before he left us, I feel so lucky to have had that time together. I sent him a text after our coffee meeting telling him I missed him and look forward to our next coffee meeting. He sent the same message back and ended it with, soon! Soon! I read that message daily.....it makes me happy and sad. I loved Val Ivey and miss him so much.
Posted by Debbie Willis on May 20, 2021
Val, you took a part of my heart with you when you left on your journey to the other side. You were one of the most generous people I have ever known! You would drop everything to help us if needed and you had the answer to every problem. I do believe you also had a tool for everything too! I don't even remember how many times I said "just call Val, he probably has that tool" or call "Val, he probably knows how to fix that." There was not a lot you couldn't do. But mostly, you knew how to be a good friend. You were loyal, funny, adventurous and the thing I really connected to...a compassionate advocate for those struggling. The heart of a social worker. I miss you everyday and think of you everyday. Our lives and our hearts will always hold that space for you, a space no other could ever fill. I love you Val Ivey 
Posted by Val Hamry on May 20, 2021
Dad, I'm going to miss those random text messages..."Sending hugs and kisses, love you-Dad" that was the last one I received from you!
I'm going to miss our silly disagreements - you know...I saw eagles, not osprey :-) I'm going to miss valentine flowers (thank you - Cindy), but most of all, I'm going to miss your infectious laugh. You could always bring humor to every conversation! I hope you rest easy Dad, Dad, Daddio! You are forever in my heart! Love you, Your Vally!
Posted by Kristine Marzolf on May 19, 2021
Dad you are the first man I ever fell in love with. I've lost my co-conspirator, my adventurer, my truth seeker. Losing you Dad, in this way, without saying goodbye is so hard. It doesn't seem real. I keep waiting for your call. Your text. Anything. Yet, nothing comes. I find solace in knowing that Aunt Lael met you at the pearly gates. You are in my heart, and my thoughts. I miss you Dad.

Death is nothing at all
I have only slipped away into the next room
I am I, and you are you
Whatever we were to each other
That we are still
Call me by my old familiar name
Speak to me in the easy way you always used
Put no difference into your tone
Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow
Laugh as we always laughed
At the little jokes we always enjoyed together
Play, smile, think of me, pray for me
Let my name be ever the household word that it always was
Let it be spoken without effort
Death is nothing at all
I have only slipped away into the next room
I am I, and you are you
Whatever we were to each other
Without the ghost of a shadow in it
Life means all that it ever meant
It is the same as it ever was
There is absolute unbroken continuity
What is death but a negligible accident?
Why should I be out of mind
Because I am out of sight?
I am waiting for you for an interval
Somewhere very near
Just around the corner
All is well.
Nothing is past; nothing is lost
One brief moment and all will be as it was before.
How we shall laugh at the trouble of parting when we meet again!

- Henry Scott Holland

Leave a Tribute

 
Recent Tributes
Posted by DanCarolyn Ohlson on June 10, 2021
Val, you always had time. I will miss those times with you. Cheers, mate! 

Dan
Posted by Dave Andersen on May 31, 2021
I was both shocked and saddened to hear of Val’s passing. I enjoyed his enthusiasm and friendliness. One of the best and most heated arguments I ever had with a coworker was with Val. Once it was over we never brought it up again. It was over. Now it becomes a good memory. Val and I wondered if we ever passed like ships in the night on Vashon Island as children. For 10 years I spent my summers just down the hill from where he said he lived. I’d like to think we did.
Our condolences to Cynthia and family.
Posted by Dee Osemeno on May 31, 2021
My sincere condolences to the Ivey family. Loosing a loved one is heartbreaking and confusing, I can only imagine the pain felt by Mr.Ivey's dear family but I know that God understands and he will help you heal. Infact at Isaiah 25vs 8 God promises to 'swallow up death forever'. I pray that Jehovah gives you strength beyond what is normal.
his Life

Scars are just wounds that have healed over time...

The universe has a strange sense of humor. With all of its twists and turns, starts and stops. We never quite know its intentions, but what we do know is that if we don’t follow our destiny, if we don’t make decisions ­­– the universe will do it for us. I'm reminded by this today.

When creating my Dad's obituary, I searched tirelessly for documents, articles, photos, and videos yet I never found the holy grail of artifacts. Most of it long gone, sopped up by mother nature in a flood some 40 years earlier. Then finally, I discover an archived article online from the Port Angeles Evening News dated Tuesday, September 24, 1968 making light of my Dads accident. Clearly the newspaper did not have all of the facts, and there is no reason today to ask for a retraction.

My Dad was airlifted from St. Johns hospital in Port Townsend to the University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle where he would fight for his life for six months before returning home.

The stress of it all caused my Mom to go into early labor delivering my brother 3 months premature. My brother was to be born in late December, but this wasn't in the cards for him. He was born September 27, 1968. While my dad laid in his hospital bed fighting for his life, his son Vincent was just down the street at Children's Hospital fighting for his own. My brother was coined the "premie miracle baby" by the Seattle Times. He had many complications yet survived. My brother arrived home just a few short months before my Dad. 

Once home, my Dad was cared for around the clock by my Mom for well over a year. Multiple daily bandage changes, bathing, therapy, etc. Where did she find the strength? Where did she get the energy? A husband and baby both needing such special care. It would be months later that my Dad would finally be able to hold my brother for the first time. The pain my Dad endured was unimaginable. The act of a simple hug was accompanied with struggle. But, when you got that hug, it was one of the most gentle loving hugs one could ever receive. In fact, my sister Valerie was the one that got the most hugs. My Dad's little mini me, in many ways. That was Daddy's girl. He would hug on her like crazy - it was almost not fair. Jealous? Oh, yes I was. But that's a story for another day.

I took it upon myself to share the Port Angeles Evening News article with my Mom. In that conversation she momentarily returned to the frightened young mother of two with a third on the way, who was just notified that that her husband was critically injured. My Mom’s response to me demonstrated the love she had for my Dad…

“This article is such BS. He was not fine – we all were not fine. Tears in my eyes. We were young and our lives were ruined. That’s why I loved him. The tragic pain of it all. This tragedy set a different turn of events in motion. I was 15 when I met your dad. There was a song that I listened to over, and over again called “My Little Soldier Boy”. That’s how I felt about your Dad. Sappy, I know. It was the 60’s. I am so sorry that you, your sister and your brother had to suffer through all of the tragedy and heartache.”

I responded to my Mom simply saying, “We didn’t suffer. Scars are just wounds that have healed over time."

I share this because my Mom and Dad though divorced, never spoke ill of the other. They held each other in high regard. For this, I am blessed.

My Mom is my Dad’s longest living friend, and as luck would have it, I may be the second. If you haven’t already done the math I was dubbed the love child. The reason for their wedded bliss. You know, I’ll take it! Because the love my Mom had for my Dad was just that, true love.

Did the universe cause a chain of events that would shape all of our lives? Perhaps. I know that I wouldn't be the person I am today had it not been for my life experiences.

Or, was my Dads accident just a tragedy? If that's the case, then from tragedy bloomed resilience, something that shaped my Dads life and made him who he was.  

Recent stories
Shared by shirley stirling on May 20, 2021
Once upon a time we were invited for Thanksgiving in Colville with my vegan cousins. We didn't know what to expect but when we got there the entree was proudly served. It was a  pressed gluten cutlet entitled, "chickey" which came out of a can. I, my mother, and Val all looked at each other in quiet desperation when we saw it cut into slices, as the texture and aroma were... peculiar. Politely eating it was even worse. But we enjoyed the company and hospitality - and had many good laughs about afterward. Val said that it was his most memorable Thanksgiving ever - ha!

Who hates pandas?

Shared by Debbie Willis on May 20, 2021
Val, Cindy, Jeff and I are great travel buddies! How we love to go places together! One trip was to Disneyland! The happiest place on earth, right? Well...the story goes that the four of us were walking through Frontierland and passed by a store where a woman working there was trying to sell backpacks in the shape of Pandas. As we walked by, she asked us if we wanted to buy one. Cindy, Jeff and I all politely declined at the same time I heard Val also decline by saying "I HATE Pandas!" I burst out laughing and the look on the woman's face was one of shock and disbelief....and she said "who hates Pandas???" I don't think I ever laughed so hard in my life and I chimed in "yea Val, who hates Pandas????" This was a running joke from then on! 

Sunday drives were the best

Shared by Val Hamry on May 20, 2021
Dad, Dad, Daddio. I will forever miss you. You always, always made lemonade. We didn't have a lot of money, but boy I remember those may have been the best of times. All 5 of us in the car for a Sunday drive. You and Mom oohing and ahhing as we passed by beautiful homes, beautiful scenery, and possible hopes for the future, while Kris, Vince, and I were squished in the back seat of your pinto...the love in that car was real! The humor - gut rolling...especially when you pulled into a Church parking lot - and asked if we wanted to go to Church instead of going on a car ride. I wish we had more time and that we hadn't wasted the time we had. I love you My Dad, Dad, Daddio forever and always! Love Your Vally!