Valerie Jeanne Tunbridge
Valerie passed away peacefully, surrounded by loving family, on December 31, 2016. Her last month was filled with joyous gatherings for her 87th birthday, 62nd anniversary, and Christmas. She was born December 16, 1929, to Jane and Bob Tingley of Summerland, B.C. She became a teacher, and while working in Mission, met and married B.C. Land Surveyor W.A. “Bill” Tunbridge. The couple moved to Chilliwack in 1956, and when their three sons were born, she interrupted her teaching career to raise them at home. The family had wonderful road trips and also visited Disneyland, Grand Cayman and Hawaii. When her boys were all in school, Valerie went back to teaching French and counselling, at A.D. Rundle Secondary. She worked there for about twenty years, always caring greatly for her students. In 1978, Valerie and Bill moved to their home on Elk View Road where they enjoyed the space and views ever since, and where she kept her ever-growing collection of turtle figurines. Valerie joined the Chilliwack Kiwanis Club, where Bill was a charter member, becoming one of the first female members. She was a past president, and still attended meetings when able. She was honoured as Kiwanian of the Year in 2016 to recognize her contributions. The pair also helped the Salvation Army every year. Valerie’s struggles with dementia forced a move to Heritage Village in her last three months. She enjoyed her time there and made many new friends with residents and staff. Valerie is survived by her husband Bill, three sons Bob (Laura) of Agassiz, Ken (Sybil) and Allan (Juanita) of Chilliwack, eight grandchildren and fourteen great grandchildren, all of whom she adored and cherished. She was predeceased by her parents and grandson Darren. Over the years, Valerie met many doctors, nurses, ambulance attendants, and volunteers who made her journey easier. The family wishes to thank all of them, and especially Dr. Sean Larsen, who was her primary doctor. There will be no service by request. Flowers are gratefully declined. Donations in Valerie’s memory may be made to a charity of your choice. Valerie and Bill were a perfect example of a marriage filled with love and devotion. Shortly before she passed away, she looked up at Bill and gave him one last smile.