Fun Cheerful 11

Valerie Jean Starchuk

September 11, 1960 ~ May 3, 2023 (age 62) 62 Years Old


It was with great sadness that we lost Valerie Jean Starchuk after a very short but fierce and valiant fight with gastrointestinal cancer on May 3, 2023, with her son and daughter lovingly and comfortingly at her side.

Valerie was born on September 11, 1960 and was the youngest of 3 daughters. She learnt well the lessons of kindness, compassion, and devotion, as well as strength and independence from her parents. Her father’s occupation of logger took her on great remote wilderness living adventures, instilling in her the love of nature. Her mother’s great resilience and adaptability (the ultimate “MacGyver”) was passed on to her and enabled her to live up to her own personal motto of “never say can’t”. Val had a deep-seated sense of “right” and “fair” and sometimes took great risks to ensure that things were just that.

Val approached life with enthusiasm and energy. Her smile (and her beauty) could light up a room and she was very popular throughout her life. When she decided to do something, it was impossible for her to do it in any manner other than her best. And her best was nearly always in the realm of excellence.  In her youth she took up baton twirling and thoroughly enjoyed and excelled at competing and entertaining crowds. In school, Val achieved nearly straight A’s without the appearance of any effort.

Val also had a love of speed and travel. That translated into a Mercury Cougar with Hollywood mufflers (the deep rumbling vroom, vroom types) in the ‘70’s and in later years - cycling. She would cycle great distances and love every second of it. She seemed to have a hobby of buying and collecting bicycles. There wasn’t a bike ever made that didn’t light up her face.

She was an amazing parent - forgoing many things for herself to provide her children with the activities and tools they required to develop themselves to the fullest. But she never uttered a word of complaint because she didn’t see it as a sacrifice, but instead as “love”. Her motherly love expanded beyond her own children to her nieces and nephew whom she cared for frequently. Even though she was the “baby” of the family, she could have been mistaken as the eldest sister by the way she supported and counselled her sisters. She always had solid advice.

Val had a great work ethic and tried out many vocations - from travel/cruise agent to owning her own health food store to farmer to office assistant, but she truly came into her own when she discovered her true calling - taking care of people. Her heart and soul were built for it. To her own financial detriment, she took time off work and tirelessly cared for each of her parents when they were in their later years and was at their sides as they each slipped off this worldly plain, consoling and surrounding them with love. Val graduated from training as a licensed care aide in 2014 and was immediately discovered to be exceedingly gifted at taking care of dementia and Alzheimer’s patients. She had the knack of knowing how to approach her residents so that they were relaxed and, on many occasions, entertained by her. She was known to sing to them and to bake up delicious treats to elicit otherwise rare smiles from them. In a career where there simply are not enough workers, more often than not she pulled double shifts. She just couldn’t see her residents being neglected. She pulled a double shift just a few days before she, herself, went into hospital, when she was already very ill. And she performed that last shift as well as anyone ever did.

Val was predeceased by her sister Lila [Starchuk] Code, her second child who sadly didn’t make it to full term, her father John Starchuk, her step-dad Peter MacPherson, and her mom Riva (Ethel) MacPherson.

Val is survived and forever remembered by her children - son Mitchel Delmer, and daughter Amanda Delmer (fiancé Chris Miller), grandchildren Lane and Emma, sister Heather Starchuk (partner David Goar), nieces Lisette Paquin, Brianna Code, Kristina Thornton and nephew Zachary Sharp, as well as her grand pets - Mitchel’s dogs Sadie and Benny and Chris’s dog Cali. Val is also survived and will be forever fondly remembered by a multitude of friends.  

Val inspired everyone to believe that anything and everything is absolutely possible. She will live forever through her children, to whom she passed on all of her special qualities, and lovingly within our hearts.

“Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal."

- From an Irish headstone.

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