On Tuesday, March 10, 2020, with her family at her bedside, Valerie Bob passed away in Spokane, Washington, due to complications of heart surgery. In October 2008 she had a series of heart attacks that severely damaged her heart, resulting in her receiving a left ventricular assist device (LVAD) in 2009. She gracefully adapted to the complications of living with the device over the past ten years. Valerie was born, February 9, 1951 on a Navy base in Honolulu, Hawaii. As a Navy kid she lived all over the country before graduating from high school in Redmond, Washington. She made Whatcom County her chosen home as an adult. A proud graduate of Western Washington University in a Bachelor of Arts in chemistry and later with a Master of Business Administration, Valerie loved to learn new things. Working as a chemist at the Cherry Point Refinery in the 1970s, she met her husband of 44 years, Jeffrey Bob, a Lummi tribal member. Together they had four daughters, Stacey (deceased), Diana, Melissa, and Jennifer. She never missed an opportunity to cheer loud and proud for her daughters at various sporting events and encourage their intellectual curiosity. She instilled in her daughters to remain authentic to themselves and to live life pragmatically. Valerie spent most of her working life in education as a professor of business and economics at local community colleges. Before she retired, she held the position of human resources training coordinator at the Lummi Indian Business Council. Valerie is survived by her husband Jeffrey; children, Diana (John Abano), Melissa (Matthew Johnson), and Jennifer (Bryston Nitta); grandchildren, Connor, Dylan, June, and Jeffrey; brother Robert; sister Suzanne. She is also survived by a large and supportive extended family at the Lummi Nation. She was preceded in death by daughter Stacey; parents Robert Sluys and Irene Ryder. A graveside service celebrating Valerie’s life will take place on Wednesday, March 18 at 1pm at Enterprise Cemetery, 7041 Vista Drive, Ferndale, WA 98248. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the American Heart Association and donate blood to your local blood bank.
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