It is with heavy hearts we share the news of the passing of Valerie MacEachern.
Valerie Anne Stevens was born on May 30, 1941, in Crawley, West Sussex, England, firstborn to her mother Violet Winchester and Canadian soldier Walter Stevens. Valerie’s early years were marked by adventure and change, as her family set sail from Liverpool in 1946 to embrace a new chapter in Montreal.
In 1957, with her thumb out hitchhiking, Valerie met the love of her life, Stephen MacEachern. Their love story blossomed into a lifelong partnership. On March 21, 1961, they married and subsequently had four children in east end Montreal, Pointe Aux Trembles. In 1972, the family embarked on a memorable journey of their own, moving to Kincardine with the chaos of their four children packed into the back of their trusty Brown Ford Mercury.
Valerie’s unwavering dedication to her family was a cornerstone of her life, as was her incredible speed-walking ability – a skill that could have earned her a place on the Olympic podium.
A woman of many talents and passions, Valerie found solace and creativity in her lifelong love affair with knitting, believing that the tension was the magic. She wove countless sweaters, baby blankets and toques – each stitch with care and intention. Her hands brought warmth and comfort to so many.
Valerie’s green thumb was another facet of her nurturing soul. Her plants flourished under her loving attention. She spoke to them as she watered their roots, never getting their leaves wet. Her affection for birds was evident in the collection of birdfeeders on the back deck of the home she lived in for the last 52 years. Her wit was as sharp as her memory, and her presence will leave a smile on all who had the privilege of knowing her.
Val’s kitchen was a haven of aromas and delights. As soon as she knew someone was coming to visit, she would whip up a delicious blueberry, apple or lemon meringue pie, a tray of date squares, oatmeal chocolate chip cookies and cinnamon rolls crafted from leftover pie pastry.
She loved to travel the globe and travel they did. Valerie and Stephen had a well-deserved retirement, with trips all over the world, spending a number of winters in the Algarve in Portugal and then Florida, exploring new horizons hand in hand.
Valerie suffered the loss of her first son Stevie, her granddaughter Analiese and her sister Pam. She will be greatly missed by her husband, Stephen MacEachern, her children Kathy and partner Ed, Kenny and his wife Terri, Brendalee and partner Adriana, her grandchildren Tash, Noah, Sam and Luke, her great-granddaughter Lexi, her siblings Barbara, Veronica, Debbie, Maureen, Kathy, Barry, Norman and Warren, her many, many nieces and nephews, and by all of her much-loved friends.
Valerie fought right up until she knew her body couldn’t hold her up any longer. She passed away peacefully, surrounded by her husband and children and all the love she cultivated throughout her life. In her final moments, Valerie was embraced by a stunning sunset and a bright streak of red in the sky, like a scarf. A sight that mirrored the beauty she brought to our lives.
A special thank you to those who cared for Valerie. The nurses and everyone who was in to help her in Owen Sound were incredibly kind and compassionate.
There will be a celebration of her life and a burial in Kincardine on Oct. 16, 2023. More details will follow.
In honour of her spirit, instead of sending flowers, she would hope for each of us to perform an unexpected act of kindness for someone in need, carrying forth her legacy of compassion and empathy.
Portrait and memorial available online at www.daveylinklaterfuneralhome.com.