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Valerie Simmonds



Valerie Mae Simmonds (nee Pirot) passed away suddenly at home on March 21 at the age of 74.

Born in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Valerie was predeceased by her loving husband of ten years, Captain Vern Simmonds; and is survived by her close companion, Chris Saunders; brother, Ronald Pirot (Lynn); nieces, Nicole Porterfield (Jason), Roni Pirot (Rui); great-nieces, Nora and Julia Porterfield; and nephew, Michael Pirot (Kirsten). She will be deeply missed by her son-in law, Pat Simmonds; granddaughter, Taylor Scott; and nieces, Debbie Eloschuk (Dale) and Kim Forsythe (Warren) and their families.

Valerie is lovingly remembered by her many cousins, nieces and nephews and a host of friends, many of whom she has known since her convent days and some even from Elementary School.

Her zest for life, her love of cooking and so many stories from her abundant experience in world travel will be greatly missed.

A Funeral Service will be held on Friday, April 5th at 10:00 a.m. at Good Shepherd Catholic Church, 18407 60th Avenue NW, Edmonton, Alberta.

In lieu of flowers, monetary donations may be made to the Pilgrims Hospice Society, 9808 - 148 St NW, Edmonton, Alberta, T5N 3E8.

Eulogy for Valerie Mae Simmonds

My dear companion, Valerie Simmonds was an incredible lady. She knew what she wanted in life and throughout her journey, her outgoing personality, determination, and incredible kindness rewarded her with a most wonderful group of life-long friends from all walks of life. Valerie was born to Clement and Dorothy Pirot of Cando, Saskatchewan on August 23rd, 1944. In addition to the farm, the Pirots ran the village grocery store where Valerie grew up as the big sister to younger brother, Ron. A family cabin at the village of Cochin on Jackfish Lake made for lots of summer fun and regular summertime visits by her many cousins including Bruce Brenier from California, At age 15, Valerie left Cando and began her Grade 10 to 12 education as a boarder at the Convent of the Child Jesus in nearby North Battleford. Following this, she remained in the city and worked at the bank for a few years while boarding with the Sonoski family of nine children.

Seeking more adventure at 22 years old, Valerie took flight to live in London, England for several years. It was there she began working in the travel business before moving to Spain to further her experience in Europe.

On her return to Canada, Valerie continued her career as a travel agent for Internation Travel and Marlin Travel and then went into management with Marlin. There she organized her own tours, taking groups to many exotic lands to experience the local culture and food. It was through her career in travel that Valerie met Captain Vern Simmonds in the late 1970’s. With Vern being a pilot for Pacific Western Airlines, their relationship proved to be an exciting one, taking them on many adventures around the world.

In the summer of 1983, Valerie and Vern were married and settled in Edmonton. By the next spring they had already started building their dream log home in the Rocky Mountain foothills at Robb, Alberta, where Vern had been raised. Their world travel experiences continued and on one flight in 1985, Vern and Val met a four-year-old boy named Julio who stole their hearts and instantly became a part of their family.

Besides Vern, and travel, Valerie’s next biggest love in life was cooking. Nothing would please Valerie more than to make a fabulous gourmet meal for several guests. She truly became the ultimate entertainer, her expertise in fine dining and remarkable attention to details became one of her best-known traits.

Valerie fully retired from the travel business with Vern’s passing in 1993. It was then she focused more on her own travel adventures, cooking and entertaining with her many friends and neighbors. Valerie’s love of travel continued for twenty years before it was suddenly interrupted by her need for open heart surgery. Having her wings clipped for four years, was difficult for Valerie. She would often express her gratitude to her friends and family for helping her through this trying time.

Valerie’s determination to travel again was realized when she recently got the green light to travel outside of Canada. I was fortunate enough to accompany Valerie on her last trip. We visited Julio and his family in Burnaby BC and then went on to attend the wedding of cousin Bruce and Cathy’s grand-daughter, Jaime. We also visited beautiful vineyards and the west coast missions of San Clemente and San Juan Capistrano.

My dear companion, Valerie was a very special lady who touched the lives of many and will be greatly missed.

In Loving Memory of
Valerie Simmonds
(Maiden: Pirot)
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 Print Funeral Details
Funeral Service:
Funeral Mass
Friday, April 5, 2019
10:00 AM
Good Shepherd
18407 - 60 Avenue
Edmonton, AB
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