Yvonne B. Valenzuela
Yvonne B. Valenzuela, 78, passed away on April 24, 2018. Yvonne Marie was born February 18, 1940 in Independence, Missouri to Glen and Virginia Benham, joining her older brother, Glen Jr. After a few years in California, she grew up in Havertown, PA, working in her family hardware store. She enjoyed piano, radio club, and reading books high up in the apple tree. After finishing high school, she studied fashion design and completed secretarial training.
In the 1960s, the Florida Keys was “last frontier” kind of place. When Glen and Virginia decided to purchase a piece of swamp and move down, Yvonne joined the adventure and came with them. She joined the Civil Service and worked for the US Navy. She met Joseph Valenzuela and in 1966 they were married. As time passed, Yvonne traded in secret clearance for mother-hood , having Joseph Michael (Mike), Jordana (Jody), and Juliana (Julie). In 1983 the family moved to Salisbury, NC where she lived until moving to Virginia in 2011.
Yvonne gave her life to the Lord Jesus in the early 1970s and after that was very involved in her church. In Key West she was known for planning VBS crafts on less than a shoe string budget. In Salisbury, she was an active member of Salisbury Bible Methodist Church and taught Sunday School for many years, as well as being active in Women's Ministry, writing and directing a number of Christmas plays, and being a sound booth technician. Yvonne graduated from Keystone Secretarial School, Swarthmore, PA in 1960, Rowan Technical College in 1986, and Appalachian State University in 1989.
Yvonne was best known for her humor and wit, her memory for any sort of trivia, and for her ability to make beautiful things; sewing, knitting, flower arranging, drawing, any artistic endeavor she tried came to fruition in her hands. She loved to garden, she loved adventures, and she loved her people.
She weathered the losses of life (husband, father, son, and mother) and allowed this pain to give her compassion for hurting people. As a result, Yvonne was a dear friend to many, and over the years, many broken hearts have shed their tears to her. She may have birthed only 3 children, but many call her “Mom.”
Today she is strong and pain-free, but her absence is mourned by her family and friends.
She is survived by her daughter Julie; her daughter Jody, son- in -law Jeff, and her precious grandchildren, Joey, Jessi, Joy, Jonny, and Josie; her brother Glenn (Hildy), nephews Walter and Ralph, and their families; Also her life-long friends Lois and Clete Massingill, “nieces and nephew” Debbie, Phoebe, and Bryan, and their families; and dear friends Tammy and Kevin Newcome and her “bonus grandchildren, Tara, Blair, Anna, and Jarrette.
A celebration of Yvonne’s life will be held in Baker-Foster Funeral Home, 5685 Lee Farm Lane Suffolk, VA 23435 at 5:00pm on Monday, April 30, 2018. In lieu of flowers, please make memorial contributions to her friend and missionary, Rebekah Stence, at Amazon River Ministry EWC, C/O Stephen Stence, 2780 Luxemburg Rd., Lykens, PA 17048. Donations can also be made through Water of Life Fellowship and designated in honor of Yvonne Valenzuela (www.easytithe.com/wlf & select “in lieu of flowers”).Online condolences can be registered at www.RWBakerFH.com
Baker-Foster Funeral Home
5685 Lee Farm Lane
Suffolk, VA 23435