Valerie Sue Walz (nee Espejo) formerly of Menomonie passed away peacefully at the age of 33 at St. Mary’s Hospital in Rochester, MN in the loving arms of her family after a year-long struggle with Angiosarcoma. Valerie was born June 14, 1980 in Baldwin, WI to Rita Yoder-Kehren and Humberto Espejo and grew up in Glenwood City, WI with her mother, step-father Gary, brother Jack, and sister Shiloh. She graduated from Boyceville High School and later from UW-Stout, where she was a proud member of the Kappa Lambda Beta fraternity. After graduation, Valerie managed SuperAmerica East and South and the University Bookstore at UW-Stout, all in Menomonie.
Valerie was known for her beautiful smile, infectious laugh, and the unwavering love she showed for her family; especially her nieces and nephews Isabella, Freya, Gretta, Aidan, Garrett, and Axeton. She loved traveling and looked forward to one day moving to San Diego, CA, which she deemed “perfect.” While receiving treatment in Texas, she was able to meet her brothers and sisters from her father’s side of the family, and cherished them as much as she did the brother and sister she grew up with. During her illness, she took up crocheting and spent hours making hats for other chemo patients and stuffed turtles that she mailed to people all over the country who are struggling with Angiosarcoma. She was very proud of her little creations and loved that she could use her new-found talent to bring a little happiness to others.
Heartbroken by her loss are the love of her life and true “Knight in Shining Armour”, Brian, formerly of Ellsworth, WI; her furry son, Scott; her mother, Rita Yoder-Kehren and step-father, Gary, of Boyceville, WI; her brother, Jack (Toni) Sadtler of Almena, WI; her sister, Shiloh (Andrew) Herrem of Menomonie, WI; her father Humberto Espejo, her brothers, Humberto (Aracely) and Hector (Yacsely) Espejo and sisters Juany (Mario)Hernandez and Cynthia (Fabian) Lopez all of Texas. Her many nieces and nephews, in-laws, extended family, KLB brothers and sisters, and countless friends will all deeply mourn her loss. Valerie was predeceased by her maternal grandparents James and Doris Yoder and baby sister, Abigail Marie.
The family would like to thank “Dr.T” of Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN and Dr. Ravi of MD Anderson in Houston, TX for all their efforts in not only treating Valerie, but also finding a cure for Angiosarcoma. Any memorial gifts received will be donated to Angiosarcoma Awareness, Inc. at CureASC.org.
Memorial Services for Valerie Walz will be held at 11:00a.m. on Saturday, January 4, 2014 at Downing United Methodist Church, 219 Tainter Street in Downing WI. Visitation will begin at 9:00a.m. Services have been entrusted to the O’Connell Family Funeral Home and Countryside Crematory of Baldwin, WI. 715-684-3434