OBITUARY

Valerie Joann Ross

June 20, 1953March 11, 2019

Valerie Joann Ross was born on June 20, 1953 and passed away on March 11, 2019.

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REMEMBERING

Valerie Joann Ross

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Lisa Gulino

March 23, 2019

Valerie,
We came into this life as perfect spiritual beings with endless potential. I believe we exit this life, leaving our physical bodies behind, but with our original perfect spirits intact.
We met when we were four years old and you became my first real friend. Play was creative, magical and passionate. Fearless and adventurous. You were full of imagination. You were a leader and I happily joined you in our quest for fun and our awe of life. You were also gentle, loving, and wise beyond your years. My fondest memories are of Avon-by-the-Sea, where we were outdoors all day with so much independence. We rode the waves. We explored an abandoned house, which we thought was haunted. I vividly remember the cobwebs and the antiques. We enjoyed the boardwalk and I remember how excited I was to buy my mother a souvenir. Parents were in the background somewhere. It was a children’s world.
When we were apart, you wrote me the most wonderful letters. Pages and pages. I delighted in them, captivated by your storytelling. I thought you were a born writer and would be famous one day.
Playing in Stuyvesant Town, in the playgrounds, on the benches, and in the hedges, we were in our element. So many children. So many games to play. So many crushes to share. A neighbor, Rex, would tell us stories about being a body guard for the Beatles, and he always had a pocket full of candy for the neighborhood kids.
When we were eleven, your family moved to the burbs. First New York, then Connecticut. We saw much less of each other, but continued to write. My only telephone was on the kitchen wall, which didn’t allow for long, private conversations. Over the years, we lost touch and, for decades, I did not know your whereabouts, but I have always held a place for you in my heart.
We came into this life as perfect spiritual beings with endless potential. I believe we exit this life with our perfect spirits intact. I’m so grateful that you were in my life. Wishing you peace.

joe clark

March 23, 2019

I sat down to write a tribute to beautiful Val Ross and was carried back to 1970. Hanging out at Val's pool, taking Val to the senior prom at Staples, Putnam Park, Devil’s Den and Hell’s Hole, having cocktails with Val (and her mother and father), driving around Westport and choosing our favorite houses, driving back to look at her old house in Westchester County, NY, Saturday nights at Compo beach, going to the the drive-in theater in Norwalk, pizza at John’s Best, mayonnaise jars filled with an assortment of stolen liquors mixed together with Tang--lots of good times!

But probably my best memory of Val was driving around and singing Elton John’s “Your Song” with Val. Neither one of us had a very good voice, but that didn't matter. It sounded really nice. These words remind me of Val.

It's a little bit funny, this feeling inside
I'm not one of those who can easily hide
I don't have much money, but boy if I did
I'd buy a big house where we both could live

If I was a sculptor, but then again, no
Or a man who makes potions in a traveling show
I know it's not much, but it's the best I can do
My gift is my song, and this one's for you

I sat on the roof and kicked off the moss
Well, a few of the verses, well, they've got me quite cross
But the sun's been quite kind while I wrote this song
It's for people like you that keep it turned on

So excuse me forgetting, but these things I do
You see I've forgotten if they're green or they're blue
Anyway the thing is what I really mean
Yours are the sweetest eyes I've ever seen

And you can tell everybody this is your song
It may be quite simple, but now that it's done
I hope you don't mind, I hope you don't mind that I put down in words
How wonderful life is while you're in the world

Val you are beautiful and I will miss you. JOE

Susan O'Neill Nedd

March 22, 2019

The other poem (Light The Candle) was written when realizing that Valerie's bright light was diminishing, yet her very being was still illuminated!

Susan O'Neill Nedd

March 22, 2019

Here are two poems written while trying to process that Val was fading. One poem (Deep Within) was written for and about Val;

Susan O'Neill Nedd

March 21, 2019

Valerie Ross was my best friend in high school. I’m not even sure just how we met. I just remember that there were many times when we and our good friends all hung out, went to Devil’s Den, drove into New York, dated and had fun! The music at that time was the best (as reminded by our dear friend John). Hair was long, pants were bell-bottomed and our voices against the Vietnam War and other injustices were meaningful and intense.

Then, I went away to college, my family moved to PA, I relocated to Hartford, CT, got married (and remarried). Somewhere, somehow over the course of all that, Val and I lost touch. And over the years, I truly missed my old friend(s). Upon returning to Westport for a Staples High School reunion, I contacted Val by phone. It was so good to hear her voice and reconnect! In these more recent years, I tried to locate her and finally found her in FL and Darielle (Words-With-Friends). Darielle updated me on Valerie’s honorable struggle with cancer. I had found my old friend only to be losing her again. I would write to Val and send cards or a poem to let her know she was thought of and loved by all of us who knew her. I am grateful that, though brief, I was able to connect again. Now, it is through this shared loss that we are reunited in our friendship with Val. Our lives are once again intertwined. And Val seems even closer.

Valerie, your good cheer, love and laughter will forever echo in our hearts! You have left your mark. A legacy of love and grace that endures.

Mary Palmieri Gai

March 20, 2019

Our fondest memory of Val was at Gemma and Toby’s house and how much fun we all had listening to our favorite music and laughing at each other’s silliness ....with or without ....a couple of beers. Simple, fun days. Rest In Peace sweet Val ~~~Andy and Mary

Toby and Alison Insinna

March 18, 2019

Valerie was a truly gentil soul whose beauty and light will stay with us forever.
Rest In Peace
Toby and Alison

Gemma Insinna

March 18, 2019

My dearest Valerie! How I already miss you! I can still remember the day we met, you were seated at the desk in front of mine in Algebra class at Staples, 1968, and we both agreed that this was going to be next to impossible to pass...I remember your mustard colored wool cape and bell bottom jeans, your long gorgeous chestnut hair, and your devilish smile!
We were friends from that day forward through many happy years, and you left us all way too soon!!
You were with me through some of the hardest times and also the most joyous, my maid of honor at my wedding, and we shared 34 more years of friendship even though we were an ocean apart.
Your feisty spirit never diminished, your laughter and your wonderful and sometimes surprising way of looking at situations and life were one of your greatest gifts and perhaps your greatest undoing... You had many difficulties and obstacles in later years, and I regret that you succumbed to them in the end, but only after a long and valiant struggle against all the odds.
I'm sorry Val, sorry for all you went through, and I will miss you and love you until we meet again!

John McCarthy

March 18, 2019

To have known Val during our teenage years has been much more than a pleasure, it's been an absolute privilege. Someone like Val comes along once in a lifetime, and if you're very, very fortunate, you bond together closely, and your life, and that of your friends, changes greatly for the better because of it. I had the great fortune of having dated Val for a period of time, and to have taken her to the Junior Prom. I have wonderful memories of our time together. She was a doll! Val was a warm, kind, caring person, funny as hell, bright and vivacious and always special to be around. Words fail me to express my sorrow and pain at the untimely loss of our dear friend Val, but I'll try to express the sense of our mutual loss in the words of someone a bit more eloquent than I:

"I've been looking out for answers
I think frankly there are none
There is honor love and family
And work left to be done
And when I listen to the whiners
Who say this world has gone to hell,
I can smile and disagree
Because I've known you well."
-Livingston Taylor

God bless and keep you Val. Know that you are loved and missed severely by us all. Your life has served as both a role model and an inspiration to all of us that have been fortunate enough to have known you well. I offer my sincere condolences to your family and friends and I consider myself very fortunate to be counted among them. The world is indeed a much poorer place with the event of your passing. We will meet again!
Much love and affection,
John

Darielle Ross

March 16, 2019

My beloved sister and best friend💞gone too soon. Valerie I will miss you for the rest of my life.
You were my confidant when I was young and the kindest, sweetest person I’ve ever known. I was so blessed to be your sister. Even in your last days here on earth you were so concerned for others—all those that loved you dearly...RIP my sweet sister🙏🏼
I love you 💕