ForeverMissed
Valerie was a lovely caring person, beautiful - both inside and out - who always had time for anyone and everyone, particularly the underdog...

She will be sadly missed by a network of friends, family and workmates across the world. Valerie Murray, what an experience! 


Posted by Jane Storey on April 4, 2021
Happy Birthday Valerie!! We’re drinking Villa Maria which we often used to with you and remembering all the times you used to gift us a bottle as you knew we loved it! Cheers Valerie! Xxxx
Posted by Jane Storey on April 2, 2021
Is it really just a coincidence that Christopher Plummer is gracing our screens on Easter Friday in the Sound of Music? Thank you Valerie!!! Xxx
Posted by yasmin Hooda on March 30, 2021
Yasmin and Azim Hooda.
We were deeply saddened by the loss of our dear friend Valerie.
Valerie was special. She was gentle,kind,compassionate,generous and a sincere loving friend.
We were far away from each other but our beautiful bond of friendship
kept us close.
I was blessed to have known you,Valerie,you enriched my life.
I will cherish all the wonderful memories we shared.Our shopping trips,
your G + T and B+C drinks and I remember your mischievous humour.
I would know who sneaked in chocolates and other funny things in my bag.
Thank you,my bestest,for being there for me during sad times and for always remembering my birthday. I have treasured all your lovely cards.
We will always miss you,Valerie,you were special to both your "Besties"
You will be in our hearts and memories forever.
Rest in peace,our dear beautiful friend.
Yasmin and Azim Hooda.
Posted by Richard Vaughton on March 29, 2021
I only ever knew Valerie and Kevin in the mid-'80s in Riyadh and thought a great couple they made and Valerie a particularly genuine and lovely person. 35 years ago now, but still made an impact on me and many others. I can see she made such a great contribution to all the people's lives she knew over these years. To pass away so young is a tragedy. Condolences to Kevin and their respective families and friends who are keeping her memory alive.
Posted by Monica Zolezzi on March 28, 2021
It was with immense sadness that I heard the news about Valerie's passing. She was such a big part of mine and my family's life. During the years we worked together in the pharmacy at the Military Hospital in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, we developed this lifetime friendship that despite the distance and the years that passed since, we remained closely connected. I really can't describe all the wonderful memories I have from her, her beautiful self, and specially her kindness and love she had for everyone, Kevin, her mom, her sisters, her friends... We will never forget her! She was an inspiration.

Dear friend, thank you for all you did for me, for loving my girls like an aunt, for sharing and providing us with your friendship, in happiness and in difficult times, we feel blessed having known you and having been part of your life. Thank you for leaving me your "vegetarian chili" recipe, a traditional dish among my family and friends, now called "Valerie's chili". You will live among us for ever. Rest in peace my friend.

The Castro-Zolezzi family (Monica, Enrique, Daniela and Sabrina)
Posted by william cowie on March 27, 2021
It has been a pleasure and a privilege to have Valerie as a cherished and much loved friend for over 30 years.We have had many,many great times together,where we experienced Valerie’s generosity,kindness,thoughtfulness and love.
We were always in awe of Valerie’s compassionate and selfless character,and appreciated her support,which was genuine and uplifting.
To not have Valerie in our lives,is going to leave a huge void,that at the moment doesn’t seem possible to fill,and we will miss Valerie more than words could ever express.
Valerie we will miss,you were beautiful not only on the outside,but on the inside too,we hold on to the fact that,that beauty will remain with us in the wonderful memories we have of you.
Bill & Julie
Posted by Karen Johnson-Hoyle on March 27, 2021
What a terrible loss - you have gone too soon Valerie. You were such a sweet, lovely person, always kind, happy, helpful and full of fun. When Maurice & I stayed with you in Dubai, you & Kevin couldn't do enough to make us feel so welcome, it was a wonderful time. Myself, Karen, Steven & families are here for you Kevin. God bless Valerie....fly high xx
Posted by Gerald Cowan on March 27, 2021
May flights of angels guide you to your rest.
Gerald and Ernie
Posted by Sally Cole on March 26, 2021
So sorry and shocked to hear this very sad news. We remember Valerie as a lovely, beautiful person. Our thoughts are with Kevin and all the family. Sending all our love.
Sally and Geoff
Posted by Bee Whelan on March 25, 2021
Dear Kevin so so sad to hear of Valerie sudden passing What a gorgeous person and so loved by Our girls Teri and Onelia They are going about with heavy hearts so broken hearted She was so kind to Matt and myself and the boys also had a great love for Maria RIP and always asked about Nancy was a great comfort to us in our grief Rest in Peace Valerie Kevin I hope you feel surrounded by much Love at this sad time Bee Matt Whelan
Posted by Jane Pickering on March 25, 2021
Dear Kevin
I’m so sorry to hear about Valerie’s passing. I can’t imagine how you are all feeling. So just to say, even though it’s been some years since I last saw you both, I remember how lovely she was and how many good times there were.
Deepest sympathy at this terrible time.
Posted by Shasily Matowe on March 24, 2021
I am so very shocked and saddened to hear this heartbreaking news. Whenever I think of living in Riyadh, Valerie’s beautiful presence comes to my mind. Although I was so young (only 4-6 years of age), I vividly remember how sweet and full of life Valerie was! I always envision a specific memory, which I have in the form of a picture, of us dancing at one of the compounds. I had my spice girls t-shirt on and Val and I were dancing hand in hand - we were sure having a blast! Thank you for being such a beautiful and bright light in this world. You will be dearly missed. Rest in paradise to an amazing woman! God Bless! xoxo

Shasily (Wandikayi & Patti’s daughter)
Posted by Teri Whelan on March 24, 2021
Posted by Marion Wakeham

Dear Kevin,

I was so very shocked to hear the sad news of dear Valerie.
I most kind and beautiful lady.
I never forget her kindness to me when I was unfortunately in hospital when visiting Dubai. Valerie visited me every day and made sure I had magazines to read and even gave me her hairdryer as she knew this would make me feel and look better.
My thoughts are very much with you, we truly share your sadness.
Take care my dear
All my best wishes
Marion Wakeham (Rogers mother, Onelia's grandmother).
xxxxxxxx
Posted by Wandikayi Matowe on March 23, 2021
Some people touch everyone who they come across in indelible wonderful ways. Valerie you were one such person. I’m sure many feel that you’re gone, but you will always be with us in our memories of wonderful you! Rest In Peace!
Posted by Janette Lee on March 24, 2021
Valerie, my treasured friend, I can’t believe that you are gone. I have felt numb since I heard.
We met on our first day in secondary school in 1970. Over the years since we have shared many laughs, joy, fun and laughter. You always had such a cheery outlook on life that you were never sad in your company for long.
The fabulous holidays we had together. The first as 16 year olds to Austria, the last being to New York for our 60 ths.
You were with me the night I met Alistair. Bridesmaid at our wedding, godmother to our first child. Treasured Auntie to our three children. You always showered them with gifts and hugs.
Thank you for being a special friend through all the ups and downs. I will cherish the memories we made together. While we have all aged you have stayed young forever.

Lots of love
Janette


Posted by William Mcewan on March 23, 2021
We never met you but we felt we knew you as your grieving sister Linda talked so much about you when we visited her every week Rest In Peace Valerie .
Eternal Rest Grant Unto Her O Lord

R.I.P
Kate and Willie xxx
Posted by Michael Bell on March 23, 2021
Valerie

Knowing you and Kevin over 30 years has been a privilege in our lives, and we will cherish the times spent with you both. Life is very cruel, and you have left us far too soon.

We remember back to parties in Holmfirth - you joined in all the fun and tried to keep the Sidebottom boys in order (which was a thankless task).

Full of humour, joy and (sometimes biting) wit! We shared lots of good times and even the bad ones.

Some our best holidays were spent with you – visiting you in Dubai, chilling out in Thailand and skiing – you were always easy company, caring, kind and considerate. The memories of you will always be happy ones.

You never seemed to grow older, even when we saw you on Russ's birthday Zoom, the girls wanted to know your secret.

You enjoyed your life, your travels and your cats. You were often surrounded by wonderful things, but the most wonderful of all was you.

You will always be with us Valerie, within our hearts and memories.

Mike & Angela

“You can shed tears that she is gone. Or you can smile because she has lived”.
(Marie Curie)
Posted by Brian Dingle on March 23, 2021
Although we didn't know Valerie too well, its tragic that she passed away far too soon.
Our thoughts and condolences go out to Kevin, family and friends.
Brian and Jackie Dingle
Posted by Erica Galbraith on March 23, 2021
Dearest Valerie what a void you leave in my life and I'm sure everyone else's who had the good fortune to know you. You were such a beautiful person, inside and out. You had time for everyone, you always listened and showed true empathy. You were supremely kind and generous but most of all you were fun. Your wicked sense of humour and mischief was legendary but never at anyone's expense. Our time together in Riyadh as workmates and playmates was a golden moment in time filled with the happiest of memories treasured forever. Love and laughter will follow you wherever you go.
Posted by Diane Swan on March 23, 2021
Valerie, I've known you since we started Primary School together, and you were one of the most kind, considerate and loving friends to have. We have shared some wonderful holidays which will always give me special memories, the last being our trip to New York for our 60th. I'll miss your daily what's apps which always put a smile on my face over the last year. Thanks for being a very special friend.
Posted by Jane Storey on March 23, 2021
Valerie, although we knew you over many years from Riyadh days, we came closer when we moved into the Green Community - a move inspired by yourselves - your design taste was always impeccable! Over those years, we spent many days sharing and enjoying breakfasts, BBQs and dinners out (as well as a few visa runs!), hearing about your lives and your holidays (and Kevin's terrible jokes!). And so we got to know you, the kindest, sweetest, funniest and most humble person I know - with a wicked sense of humour! You just loved Matthew and spoilt him rotten with a constant supply of sweets, chocolates and love - he adored you. You saw him grow from a babe to a giant, but still managed to give him big hugs - he is devastated as are we, but we have a thousand texts, memories and photographs, and you live on in our lives with those. Bless you and thank you - you will always be in our hearts...
Posted by Declan King on March 23, 2021
Kevin - our deepest sympathy at this terrible time... so sorry for your loss. Whilst we had only met Valerie a few times over the years we know she was a wonderful person. May she rest in peace. Declan, Annmarie & Matthew King
Posted by Caroline Edmond on March 22, 2021
My beautiful friend Valerie. We have been friends since nursery/primary school. Our times together have always been full of joy, love, laughter and lots of fun. Not forgetting all our wonderful blethers. My goodness, we never stopped talking until the wee small hours. Next again day we started blethering all over again. Cherished moments. Your kindness, compassion, love and friendship I will always cherish. You have and will always light up all our lives with your beautiful smile. Your in the arms of an Angel Valerie. Fly high my dear friend. All my love Caroline Edmond. Xxxxxxx
Posted by Roger Wakeham on March 22, 2021
Well Valerie - I read these words written by your family and friends and know that I cannot improve upon their sentiments. You were and will remain absolutely lovely and true to yourself. Kindness personified and without any pretensions - just Valerie and the ideal companion and foil for Kevin. His call on Saturday with the most dreadful of news was scarcely believable. Even now I am numb and cannot imagine not seeing you walking with Teri and Onelia in some Mall, laughing at some joke (hopefully at the expense of Kevin). This was not a note I imagined I would ever write and you will be sorely missed. Love Rog xxxx
Posted by Sandra Murray on March 22, 2021
Posted by Linda Murray
Valerie, my very much loved sister and best friend. You were always there for me. I remember all the laughs and fun times we had. All the daft things we used to do and we always ended up laughing. You were a very kind and extremely generous sister. I will miss our weekly chats on the phone, especially when you asked me to speak to Timmy and Bella (two stray cats). I loved coming out to see you in Dubai. You were a great host. You have left far too early. A light has gone out in my life. I know you have gone to a better place and you will be with the angels. I will never forget you. Until we meet again. Lots of love Linda xxx
Posted by Russ Sidebottom on March 22, 2021
Valerie, you were the custodian of ‘our Kev’s’ whole being and for that alone we all thank you. One thing we’ll guarantee is that we’ll never forget and if we all take forward with us just a little piece of what you were then the world will be a better place.

Rest in peace sweetie.

Rusty, Tracey, Jamie and Charlie
Posted by Teri Whelan on March 22, 2021
To my beautiful beautiful friend,

There are no words to describe the void.... you touched my life and many others in such a magical way.... selfless humble & true.
I am sooo blessed to have known you and sooo utterly devastated.
It unbelievable that I am writing this to you, so many thoughts and memories flashing in and out throughout my mind.
Valarie you were always the positive light, truly always seeing the unusual funny side of life. You were a rarity always seeing the good.
Everyone who met you never forgot you (for the right reasons) my family and friends would always ask for you before me :-)! Or when are we going to see Valerie (and Kev).
You had an uncanny knack of always touching the heart and hurt of everyone without judgement whilst always providing that ray of hope and humour.

As you once said ‘magical creatures just need to rest their wings’
My beautiful beautiful friend xxxxxxxx
heartbroken 

Kevin, Sandra and Linda you are soo in my thoughts
Posted by Janey Robertson on March 22, 2021
Moving in next door to you in the Green Community 16 years ago I remember the first day we met when you came in for drinks, we were so pleased to have found such lovely neighbours (Think it involved a few too many whiskeys as I recall!!) Seems like yesterday!

We remained good friends since that day sharing many chats over the garden wall, dinners, parties and drinks.
You have watched our then little 2 year old boy grow up to become a man and Alex will always remember your generosity and friendship throughout his life here.

I will always remember our common love of music and dance at the many zumba classes we shared and the laughs we had trying to remember the moves!

It will never be the same as I walk up my stairs and look down expecting to see your smiling face and a quick wave from the kitchen or whilst cuddling your furry friends in the garden.

We will miss your generous, kind, loving and caring presence in this world, you were one very special lady,

Rest in Peace Valerie,

Janey, Davie, Alex and Chip
Posted by Sandra Murray on March 22, 2021
Valerie, you were a sister in a million. Loving; kind; caring and generous to a fault. Always putting everyone and your many stray cat friends above yourself. We shared many funny moments in life and I will always cherish the good times. My heart is broken, but I take comfort knowing that you have gone to a beautiful place to be with mum; nana and all the furry friends that you looked after so well. You are greatly missed and will never be forgotten. A life cut short, but well lived.
Lots of love, Sandra XXX
Posted by Onelia Whelan on March 21, 2021
To my Godmother Auntie Valarie,
I hope you are reading this, wherever you are.
I feel like this is a horrible nightmare and all I want to do is wake up.
I miss you terribly.
There are so many things I had left to say to you, so many complaints about my mother I had left to complain to you about ( and agree about !).
You were and still are one of the best people I have ever met, I can’t begin to tell you how grateful and proud I am to have been a part of your life.
I know it’s cliché to say but whatever room you stood in, it really did light up and I will forever be looking for you wherever I am.
Whether my mum likes this or not, you were her better half and I will never forget how you made us laugh and smile. You were so special and I love you so so much.
I never wanted to know what the world was like without you so until we meet again, you will forever be in my heart.
Coke, Mamma Mia Violet creams and chocolate dreams these are a few of my favourite things.
Posted by Anne Stobie on March 21, 2021
Forever in my heart Valerie
Posted by Kevin Sidebottom on March 22, 2021
My dearest, beautiful and sweet Valerie.

The first time we met we were set up by one of your friends (Lynn Bo) from Scotland on a chaperoned blind date. She had been telling me for months (and apparently you too!) that we would be perfect for each other.....and when we were eventually introduced (as we have laughed about many times) the anti-climax was palpable on both sides.....and clearly it wasn't going to work!

Some months later we got scheduled together on a week of night shifts and started to get to know and like each other a little better. So let's give it another shot and try another date - unchaperoned this time - it's bound to work we said❤.

Well actually no - we couldn't agree on virtually anything, but we did afterwards agree it was probably the most irritating, frustrating date we have both ever had.

Somehow though we must have known, as we persevered with date 2, date 3 etc. and fast forward 35 years we have been irritating and frustrating one another ever since - but ALWAYS, ALWAYS mixed with massive amounts of support and unconditional love for each other - for which I will be eternally grateful.

We have shared so many amazing memories together over the years, surrounded by great friends and family and to put it simply - you are the best thing that ever happened to me. I would pinch myself regularly to think that you actually picked me ....... and as my mates (???) keep telling me, I have been punching well above my weight all this time - I can't really argue with that!

I am going to miss your smiling face so much. I'm not sure what I am going to do now, but I do know for sure it will be pretty rubbish without you.

Rest in peace my love,

Kevin

Posted by stewart sidebottom on March 21, 2021
Valarie, you will be in our thoughts for ever, we will miss all the WhatsApp Gif's we shared on a daily basis.
We will reminisce on the great times we had over in Dubai.
Thank you for being a special person in our lives.
Thank you for being a great sister -in -law.
Sleep tight, we will always love you.
Pam & Stewart
Posted by Nigel Lewis on March 21, 2021
We had so many great times together as a foursome - cut short far too abruptly. We will miss your bright, fun effervescent company very much. Dubai and our lives will not be the same. Rest in peace Valerie
Posted by Susan Lewis on March 21, 2021
Valerie , my dearest friend, One of the kindest , most thoughtful , giving and caring people I’ve ever met . What am I going to do without your whacky sense of humour , our endless blethers and your unquestioning support ? You went much too soon!! I’m broken hearted and am going to miss you so so much . Rest in peace lovely lady.

Leave a Tribute

 
Recent Tributes
Posted by Jane Storey on April 4, 2021
Happy Birthday Valerie!! We’re drinking Villa Maria which we often used to with you and remembering all the times you used to gift us a bottle as you knew we loved it! Cheers Valerie! Xxxx
Posted by Jane Storey on April 2, 2021
Is it really just a coincidence that Christopher Plummer is gracing our screens on Easter Friday in the Sound of Music? Thank you Valerie!!! Xxx
Posted by yasmin Hooda on March 30, 2021
Yasmin and Azim Hooda.
We were deeply saddened by the loss of our dear friend Valerie.
Valerie was special. She was gentle,kind,compassionate,generous and a sincere loving friend.
We were far away from each other but our beautiful bond of friendship
kept us close.
I was blessed to have known you,Valerie,you enriched my life.
I will cherish all the wonderful memories we shared.Our shopping trips,
your G + T and B+C drinks and I remember your mischievous humour.
I would know who sneaked in chocolates and other funny things in my bag.
Thank you,my bestest,for being there for me during sad times and for always remembering my birthday. I have treasured all your lovely cards.
We will always miss you,Valerie,you were special to both your "Besties"
You will be in our hearts and memories forever.
Rest in peace,our dear beautiful friend.
Yasmin and Azim Hooda.
her Life
Valerie was born at 2.30am in Elsie Inglis Maternity Hospital, Edinburgh, Scotland.
 
Her parents Alex and Vera separated when she was 4, and Alex passed on when she was in her mid 20's. Consequently she was largely raised by her mother and Nana (Nancy Erskine) - who she loved more than anything. She was a middle sister, leaving behind younger sister Sandra, and elder sister Linda, to whom she was devoted - and who both still live in Edinburgh.

Valerie was a qualified Pharmacy Technician working initially in a traditional local retail chemist shop before moving onto Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, and then Riyadh Military Hospital, where she met her partner of more than 35 years - Kevin.

After returning to UK she worked for the pharmaceutical company Fisons based in Loughborough as a Clinical Trials Leader for 7 years, before returning to Riyadh for a second tour.

When moving from KSA, she made home at the Green Community, DIP, Dubai and was resident there from July 2006. 

She loved to travel with Kevin, and together they shared wonderful experiences across Europe, the Far East and Australasia. Both now retired they were actively planning the next round of adventures which included spending more Alpine time given her love of skiing and walking. Not surprisingly her favourite movie of all time was "The Sound of Music".

Those who met her will also know....she quite liked cats!
Recent stories
Shared by Onelia Whelan on March 24, 2021
I have known you for my entire life as my godmother and as my Auntie. My earliest memory of you was a funny yet exalting experience for me and you! I was 5 years old at the time and you were talking to my mother and I decided that it would be fun to start pulling the pockets of your jeans from behind and to my dismay I got absolutely flattened!! This memory makes me laugh because I think you were as shocked as I was. For some reason, you had a habit of falling on me :,) One thing I always remember (my young tomboy-self respected you very much for this) was that you always wore a dress and I wisely thought to myself that instead of pulling you from behind….I would pull your dress up instead and this caught me by surprise because I got much more then I had bargained for……!!!!!!!!!!!!! I think you wanted to flatten me on purpose after that prank… When I went over to your house with mam, I remember you always having glass bottled coke and I remember thinking “she is so cool”. I instantly hoped that your ‘coolness’ would brush off on my mother too :) . When I was younger, I compared you to a fairy-godmother and there was honestly no better comparison, you were magic to me. The first time I had a sleep-over at your house, you brought me to the supermarket and let me buy as much chocolate as I wanted. This literally confirmed to me that you were my fairy godmother, we were destined to meet. There are so many memories that we have that make me smile, laugh and cry. I remember I never liked going to mass because I found it boring and I was always jealous of you because you never went and I said to my mam that when I grow up, I’m going to be just like Auntie Valarie. I know now that there were so many other reasons I hoped to be like you. If I ever become even a quarter of the person you were, I’ll have a shot at becoming a saint, no question. Wherever you are, I hope that you are in a world that has a better version of Mamma Mia 2 . Even though you and my mother said it wasn’t as good as the first movie, you still managed to cry when it finished! I realize now that you weren’t just a godmother or an auntie, you were my mother’s best-friend and you were also mine too. I will never stop missing you and your magic, you will forever be a part of my world even if I am not in yours any-more. Until we meet again, I love you always Your little prankster.

Valerie

Shared by Russ Sidebottom on March 22, 2021
“Valerie, call on me

Call on me, Valerie

Come and see me

Or you’ll miss the Inter-City......”


Just one of the many stories to tell over the 35 years that Valerie was in my life. This was me singing from the bottom of the stairs in Ibberson Avenue; it was a Monday morning and I was taking Valerie to Doncaster train station for her return to Loughborough after the week-end when she worked for Fisons. We were late and I can still see her laughing as she ran down the stairs and of course it was Kevin’s fault who had not set the alarm!


The Monday morning ‘dash to Donnie’ was soon replaced by a brand new ‘racey’ Fiesta XR2i - 1998 ‘F’ reg. It was a beaut in Diamond White with black trim. Valerie loved that car and truth be told I must have also as I seemed to wash it a lot ………. little brother syndrome I suppose - I was taxi & car cleaner and loved every minute of my responsibilities as delegated by Kev. It was a privilege to play such a part in their lives together.


We used to play Steve Winwood a lot at the many parties in Riyadh. This was where I first met Valerie - Kev’s new girlfriend in the mid ’80’s - it was obvious that this one was for keeps, right from the very start - Valerie was ‘the one’.


I say that, not just on reflection, but based on the fact that she was immediately like a sister; it was like we’d known each other for ages.


Some of those Riyadh parties were evenings of legend and every week-end was full of fun. Sometimes ‘twister by the pool’ when we all got really in the mood; Valerie would often be ring master. Or trips to the desert with the hooch (siddique) masquerading as Johnson’s Baby Oil in case we were stopped en-route by the authorities. It was also a comfort to have a Pharmacist and a Pharmacy technician in the team as we distilled our own liquor. It was a delicate and fine art making ‘Jeddah Gin’ from potatoes, lemons, water and yeast in a black bin. Similarly, ‘Bacardi’ from potatoes, lemons, water and yeast in a black bin and Vodka from (you guessed it) potatoes, lemons, water and yeast in a black bin.


With tonic the product was G&T, with Orange it became a screwdriver and with coke it was a Bacardi n’ coke. Now, with all the technicality aside; we had the secret weapon; the pharmacy brains to do it right - and everyone believed it! - Genius!


Raucous fun aside I also remember having both VHS and Betamax and watching Eddie Murphy films on quieter nights with Kevin and Valerie.


Mine & Kevin and Valerie’s late 80’s - early 90’s repatriation saw us all continuing with the fun: Our speedboat experiences in the Lakes (some quite remarkable bar bills at The Low Wood Hotel - one in particular when an innocent member of the bar staff was stopped literally in his tracks as he dared to serve the fiori sambuco just as Valerie was heading to the Ladies; … I can see it now, clear as day - she gently halted him with her left hand on his shoulder whilst picking one of the drinks up with her right hand and downing it … enough said).


Valerie could water ski well and it came to her easily and I understand the was pretty good on a ski slope; Kev would describe her as a really good “shoosher and whoosher”. 


And another moment of ‘pure Valerie’ - A dozen or so of us went to a new Italian restaurant in Sheffield where the cars were valet parked - Medios I think it was called. We were all in ‘National Lampoons’ mode and we played a game where we had to say a word and go around the table saying the word slightly louder each time. Brinkmanship. 


Valerie was 4th in line and won the contest outright by going immediately to a number 10 on the volume dial. It was truly hilarious as none of us thought we’d be trumped by this ‘wee slip of a lassie’ with such a voice. Don’t worry, we weren’t thrown out but the restaurant stopped for a moment and Valerie’s smiling face was a picture - was her victory ever in doubt?


Valerie saw the good in everyone, was amazing with kids (our two are truly blessed to have had such an Aunty - they will have their own thoughts to post) and loved pets; cats in particular. I’ve heard it said that animals have a 6th sense and are immediately attracted to humans who are that way inclined - when Valerie met our dog for the first time - he simply walked over and sat on her lap, and wouldn’t leave. Enough said.


Valerie’s levels of sensibility were beyond reproach. She didn’t need to be told when someone was down and she was a comfort to those close to her whenever they were feeling so. Equally she’d celebrate and congratulate with the best of them.


On my second Riyadh tour, Valerie was there for me in my hour of need when family circumstances required. A caring and compassionate person. 


Quite naturally, as a member of her ‘close-knit’, she let me off a time or two when I transgressed; Valerie had a very forgiving nature. 


Lotty and Jim loved her because of her genuine personality and the fact that she provided such a backbone to Kev’s life. She had no edge to her, just a genuine individual. So, as Kev & Val built and continued their overseas life Mum and Dad were happy that he was in safe hands and of course when they passed Valerie was Kev’s rock.


Family and friends visits to see them in DXB were always followed by family reports of how Valerie was the perfect host. We were all ‘treated’ when we went there and the extended family friends the same. 


Fast forward to September 2016 …….. a trip to celebrate Kev’s 60th. His best friends and his brothers & of course his darling Valerie. In many respects it was to mark the beginning of what was on the cards in the coming years. More time with those Valerie and Kev loved the most and of course travel.


To find ourselves here therefore is nothing short of an abuse of our senses. A beautiful life cut short. We simply shouldn’t be here.

Rest in peace sweetie.


Rusty, Tracey, Jamie and Charlie

My beautiful friend Valerie

Shared by Teri Whelan on March 22, 2021
I met you in Saudi at a party and remember thinking ‘she is me girl’ and asking for your number (sounds like a love story). We went on to become serious partners in crime! I can remember many party’s where we were told to try and ‘mingle’ as we were constantly chatting away to each other - we always had a lot of talking and laughing to do :-)
I then followed you to Dubai :-) - although I did not embark on the 10 hour journey that you did with Kevin as you did not want to traumatise the cats……. (Kev was already traumatised ;-)! We then spent many a day in the green community whilst your beautiful home was being constructed with copious amounts of chocolate and coke - putting the world to rights and mastering technology!!! 
We went to every shopping mall in probably all of the 7 emirates, walked serious mileage, negotiated with Arabs, and got seriously lost (I truly believe we spent more time on highways and byways than actually shopping). You always got an amazing welcome in the malls everyone knew you not because no isle was left untouched, but because you were so incredibly kind generous and listened to tales of woe.
You were with me for the whole of my pregnancy (I actually think you came to some of the ante natal classes) however, the birth was the only time you couldn’t help :-).On Onelia’s arrival I truly believe you were as mesmerised as me by this little human (who we had both named Damion up until she was born)! I can still remember you coming into the room ladened gifts for Onelia - but you also had royal jelly toiletries for me (needed them) I was soo touched and still to this day the smell always reminds me of you (even though I know you hated perfume - preferred the natural aroma’s :-). You advised my mother when wondering how she would be addressed after her first grandchild to be called ‘nana’ as you utterly loved your own nana - fur coats and all.
As Onelia started to grow you and I went to many parks, plays and children’s activities - it also gave us a great excuse to really indulge in all the play and sugar. I remember there was a Haunted House where you paid a ridiculous amount of money for entry to be scarred sh*7less…. I think we went in there over 10 times on the pretext that Onelia loved it - she was 5 years old - it was you who loved it :-)

We spent many times trying to avoid the authorities when Ramadan was in flow - it was crazy as you always said because we were told you can’t eat in public - you became more ravenous, who was I to disagree :-)
I remember smuggling pizza and subway into an empty cinema to watch Mama Mia while being caught redhanded by the the steward - that did not deter us - and we ending up troffing in the toilet.

We have a few toilet story’s another that comes to mind is at a party where you and I ended up in a toilet for a considerable amount of time (after to many sherbets) and I can only recall you salvaging my cigarette packet from the toilet bowl - you hated smoking and were fastidious about cleanliness (you had sanitiser way before covid) I know we were laughing.
Another memory which makes me laugh even as I am writing this - you, me, my ma and Onelia drove up to Mall of the Emirates (I was driving) and you were in the passenger seat, my mum and Onelia in the back, Onelia knowing there was the prospect of sweets fired out of the car and my mum naturally went to stop her, however as she did she fell over Onelia - they quickly got to their feet but you fired out to help and brought Onelia down for the second time…….. by now there was a crowd forming (thankfully no-one was hurt) but straight in front of us was a big poster for ‘Cirque de la’ I honestly believe they thought you were part of the circus and yer antics were the warm up!!!!
Ice skating - we loved going with you…. on one occasion you and Onelia were skating around making it look so easy and I can still see your little hand holding onto Onelia, looking at me trying to stay upright!!!!! Then you had a wobble and next thing I know is that you are horizontal and your posterior is connected to Onelia’s forehead, you looking up at me in horror and I honestly did not know who was more traumatised :-)
It was you x
There are soooo many memories and I could keep writing forever
My beautiful beautiful friend
Already so incredibly missed but never ever forgotten xxxxx