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Obituaries » Valerie J. Abbott

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September 12, 1953 - May 18, 2022

In accordance with her wish cremation will take place and the family will host a Celebration of Life Service and visitation for Val on Friday, June 17, 2022, from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM, at the Stewart Manor Building in the Celery Flats Historical Area, 7335 Garden Ln. Portage, MI, 49002 (parking may be found across the street and a barrier free access is available on the side of the building).  A short service will begin at 11:30 AM with visitation and refreshments to follow.   Memorial contributions may be made to the West Michigan Cancer Center, Animal Aid of Branch County or Elara Caring Hospice of Kalamazoo.

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Abbott, Valerie J.
Age 68, passed away quietly at her home on May 18, 2022, surrounded by loved ones. She was born in Kalamazoo on September 12, 1953, the daughter of the late Lyman and Margaret (Youngen) Abbott. She attended Indiana University for two years before returning to Kalamazoo to earn her bachelor and masters degrees in education at Western Michigan University. Valerie was spirited, compassionate and giving, and her love for learning lead to a forty-three year career as a teacher with the Portage Public School System at both the elementary and middle school levels. Her passion for teaching and her engaging personality would change the lives of many young students throughout her career. Valerie believed in the value of hard work and held second jobs for years at Redwood and Ross, then later at Chicos in Portage. Her flair for style and fashion were evident in the classroom with her use of imaginative bulletin boards, decorations and costumes during holiday seasons. Valerie was absolutely passionate about dogs! She loved dogs of any breed, size, gender or temperament, and enjoyed speaking with other dog owners when walking her own in area parks. She was extremely close to her rescue dogs “Bella,” “Zo” and “Oz” and was a supporter of local animal shelters throughout the community. Valerie was also a music lover, especially country music, and attended concerts whenever possible with friends and family. Above all Valerie loved her family and those around her. She made a positive impact in the world, and her quick wit, laughter and smile will be missed by all who loved her. She is survived by two siblings, Duane (Robin) Abbott and Diane Abbott; nephew, Kyle (Dan Markos) Farr; niece, Kathryn (Ryan Guimont) Farr; great-niece and nephew, M.J. and Skyler Markos-Farr; close friend, Beth Ziegler and family; and cousin Karen (David) Wilkerson.