Her Life
Valerie was born in 1944 in Barking where she spent the first 7 years of her life. Joined by her brother Ian in 1949, she remembered him fondly as a chubby little baby in a wicker basket.  In 1953 she boarded HMS Dunera with her mother and brother and travelled from Liverpool to Ceylon –She had fond memories of bucket showers in the garden, pony rides, jumping storm drains, tap dancing in shows, learning to swim and holidays in the cool hills above Kandy. This was the first of her many international Air Force adventures as a daughter and then later as a spouse.

From Ceylon back to Cornwall before moving to Wendover in Buckinghamshire and attending John Colet secondary school where she met her life-long friend Sandy.  In February 1963 Sandy introduced Valerie to Michael and their enduring love affair began. 

 Married in October of the same year they moved to RAF Wyton in Cambridgeshire living in a mobile home as Mike was too young to qualify for military housing!  Louise was born in 1964 and the following year they were posted to Germany, Valerie taking her very first flight 2 days before her 21st birthday!  Julia was born at RAF Wegberg in Germany in 1967 and Val and Mike returned to the UK the following year.  Mum got skilled at moving from home to home -Cheltenham to Edinburgh to Colchester to Huntingdon. During this time Valerie developed her sewing skills making outfits for her daughters and friends.  She discovered her love of flower arranging after studying a Constance Spry course and joined the officers club (Mess) Flower Team.  
  In 1974 a NATO posting took the family to Holland, where Valerie honed her floristry skills, tried pottery and woodwork in the workshops and travelled the continent holidaying far and wide in campsites across France, Germany, and the former Yugoslavia. They met many wonderful international friends during this time.  In 1978 upon returning to UK,  Valerie started work as a secretary once both daughters were at secondary school in Oakdene, and she and Mike bought their first home in Great Kingshill, Buckinghamshire. 

1988 saw a return to Germany for 3 years, then the traveling for Mike’s last posting as Air Attache to Jordan  from 1991 – 1996.  A rich and diverse social and diplomatic experience,  where Valerie’s love of women’s groups was born, with both membership and presidency of British Wives Associations, Diplomatic Wives Club and Ladies Golf Groups.  Shealso had a rewarding role volunteering at a Mother Theresa Children’s home for handicapped children.  Valerie took up golf whilst in Jordan having seen Michael play all his RAF career saying “if you can’t beat them join them!” Together they explored the Middle East from roman ruins of Jerash and Palmerya to the souks of Damascus and the Crusader Castles and camps of Wadi Rum, to the Egyptian pyramids, the bustle of Cairo and a cruise down the Nile.

Retirement saw a final move to Bassingham in Lincolnshire embracing all that was on offer in the community: joining the WI and NWR, sides people and floral team member at St Michaels, sewing costumes for the village panto, hosting open gardens, organising the village show and volunteering at Newark hospital.  Not forgetting the weekly bitch and stitch and a late discovery of artistic talents as Valerie joined the Bassingham Art Group. 

In 2005 Val became a proud grandma to Charlie and in 2009 to Freddie.  

Travel remained a passion with regular trips to New Zealand to visit her Parents and Brother, stopping over in the Far East and her happy place of Langkawi!  Cruising the Med and Caribbean, flying to New York and California to stay with Louise and her husband Steve and driving down to London to see Julia, Gordon and her grandsons; 

Val’s life was one adventure after another.

Loving, caring, supportive, funny, creative, elegant and strong – these are but a few words to describe our beloved mother, grandmother, sister and wife. 

May she rest in peace