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1955 Valerie 2023

Valerie Brown

March 22, 1955 — April 9, 2023

Valerie Brown 68, died peacefully on April 9, 2023 after a long period of illness.  She was born on March 22, 1955 in Byrn Mawr, PA to the loving Christian family of Delores (née Payne) and Seth Monroe Brown.  She was the first of four children born to this union. Valerie spent her childhood in Wayne, PA and went to Ithan Elementary, Radnor Middle School and Radnor High School, graduating in 1973. 

Valerie felt very fortunate to live closely to her grandmother whom she called “Nana”. She was the first grandchild and they developed a very close and lasting bond.  Valerie enjoyed attending church and taking small local trips with her Nana.  Valerie loved to help her bake cookies and was very proud of her artistic talents especially her handmade crafts. Valerie had one of Nana’s paintings framed and displayed it proudly. Valerie was influenced by Nana’s love of animals, especially cats. It was this love for cats that opened her heart to taking in 2 cats over time first, “Kiri” and then, “Tero” whom she dearly loved. She also enjoyed getting photographs of her grandkitties that her son and daughter-in-law adopted.  

From an early age, Valerie enjoyed literature, poetry, theater, music and movies. Her love of all of these things continued to grow throughout her life. Valerie had a great record collection and retained and built that collection throughout her life. She particularly liked to buy special edition records and then, Compact Discs from her favorite artists, especially Prince.  She loved to attend plays, musicals and cabaret shows.  Her love of music was very deep and she absolutely loved live concerts. She always knew when her favorite artists were coming around and made detailed plans to make sure she could see them! She also enjoyed comedians and would often go to clubs and concerts to see her favorite performers. Valerie was an editor of the Radnor High School literary magazine. She loved to read and especially liked the Fantasy, Vampire, and Humor genres. Valerie’s favorite hobby was going to the movies. When possible, she would go every week, sometimes twice a week or more.  When asked why, she would say that she liked everything about the movies; the stories, the writing, the acting, the costumes, the scenarios, the scenery, the special effects, and especially the feeling of being placed into another world or another person’s experiences or point-of-view. She once remarked that the Academy Awards was her, “Super Bowl”! The red carpet portion of the show was her favorite because she loved to admire and criticize the fashions and outfits of the attendees. Later in life after retirement, she found a new hobby in event planning and would organize meetups in the Philadelphia area to attend movies and restaurants in the area. Valerie’s passion for travelling was intense. She would make an effort to travel at least once or twice a year to such places as Las Vegas, Orlando, Denver, Los Angeles, Mexico, Turks and Caicos, St. Kitts, The Bahamas, Jamaica, and other Caribbean countries, Malta, Greece, England, Italy, Spain, and other European countries. She particularly loved cruises and enjoyed the friends she travelled with and the friends she made as she traveled.

Following in the footsteps of her beloved Aunt Barbara, Valerie began working with Bell Telephone and remained with the company throughout its various name changes until its current incarnation as Verizon, retiring after 37 years of service. Her long tenure with Verizon was a point of great pride to her parents and siblings.

Valerie is survived by her son Matthew Wright (Jessica), sisters Patricia Hunt (Donald) and Pamela Riddick (Melvin), and brother Seth Brown (Carole). In addition, she leaves to rejoice in her memory, nieces Dedra and Arielle, nephews Donald, Seth, and Samuel, great-niece, Saniya and many cousins. She is preceded in death by her father Seth, mother Delores, Uncles Leonard (Phyllis) Payne, Morris Payne, Reverend Edward (Florene) Payne, and Reverend Melvin (Judy) Payne and Aunt Barbara McKnight (née Payne).

The family wishes to thank Valerie’s friends and neighbors who were critical in lifting her spirits, visiting, caring for her, providing food, prayers, comfort, a loving and receptive ear, and for their abundance of concern during her illness.

In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate that donations be made in Valerie’s name to organizations she supported:

  • Humanity Gifts Registry sent to: P.O. Box 835, Philadelphia, PA 19105-0835 Information at hgrpa.org
  • Pennsylvania SPCA sent to: 350 East Erie Avenue Philadelphia, PA 19134 or online at pspca.org/donate
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