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Geo. H. Lewis & Sons Funeral Directors

1010 Bering Drive, Houston, TX

OBITUARY

Vale Asche Russell

October 12, 1933January 31, 2020
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Vale Asche Russell passed away peacefully on Friday, the 31st of January 2020. She was 86 years of age.

Born on the 12th October 1933, in Houston to Frederic Bermingham Asche and Grace Vale Asche, the first few years of her life were spent in Paris, France. As a toddler, she moved with her family to Houston. She attended The Kinkaid School when it was located on Richmond Avenue. For high school, Vale attended Miss Porter’s School in Connecticut. Her summers were spent at Camp Cimarroncito where she fell in love with horses. Vale attended Smith College, spending two years in Spain and majoring in Spanish. She graduated Summa Cum Laude. After graduation she taught Spanish at The Kinkaid School and worked on two political campaigns.

Vale married Mike Ackerman in 1956 and raised two children. As a young mother, Vale volunteered at Bayou Bend after graduating from Miss Ima Hogg’s first docent class. Later, Vale devoted her time to the Junior League of Houston and was elected president for the 1969-1970 term. Summers were spent in Nantucket with her family.

Vale served on the Harris County Grand Jury, The Texas Medical Center Board and the Executive Committee of the Hermann Eye Fund.

In her later years, Vale loved working on the Vale-Asche Foundation, which was founded by both her father and grandfather. She preferred donating to “hands on” philanthropic organizations. Through the Vale-Asche Foundation she was able to support many charitable groups in the greater Houston and Harris County area.

Vale was a member of Christ Church Cathedral and Palmer Memorial Episcopal Church. She was a member of The Bayou Club, the River Oaks Country Club and the River Oaks Garden Club. Vale was a life-long Republican, a member of the Republican Party of Texas and the Republican Eagles.

Vale was preceded in death by her first husband, Marrion (Mike) Smith Ackerman, and by her second husband, John Leo Russell; her parents, Frederic and Grace Asche; her sister, Betty Ann Asche Murray and her brother, Frederic B. Asche, Jr. She is survived by her two children, Asche Ackerman and his wife Susan, and Sarah Ackerman Howell and her husband JC; her stepchildren, John L. Russell, Jr. and his wife Dianne, and William W. Russell and his wife Suzanne. She is also survived by her three grandchildren, Ashley, Calin and Ross Asche Ackerman; and her step-grandchildren, Fendley, John Nelson, Vivian, and Cooper Russell. Vale is also survived by several nieces and nephews. Her family wishes to thank all of the kind caregivers who helped her through the years and Griswold Home Care and its wonderful staff. We also wish to convey our sincere gratitude to Elia Acuna for her 35 years of devotion to our mother.

Friends are cordially invited to gather with the family and share remembrances of Vale during a reception to be held from two o’clock until five o’clock in the afternoon on Monday, the 10th of February, in the grand foyer of Geo. H. Lewis & Sons, 1010 Bering Drive in Houston.

At a later date, the family will gather for a private interment at Forest Park Lawndale Cemetery in Houston

In lieu of customary remembrances, memorial contributions may be directed to the Texas Children’s Hospital, 6621 Fannin St., Houston, TX, 77030; The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, 1515 Holcombe Blvd., Houston, TX, 77030; The Junior League of Houston, 1811 Briar Oaks Ln., Houston, TX, 77027; or to the charity of one’s choice.

Services

  • Memorial Reception Monday, February 10, 2020

Memories

Vale Asche Russell

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Carolyn Farb

February 11, 2020

Dear Vale,
You will be forever missed. I always felt confident and happy knowing you were near. Asche, your wonderful son and steward, knows me so well that I hadn't learned of your passing and he called mutual friends to let me know so I could say goodbye and express how much I admired you. Your many quiet gifts and choices of philanthropy represented your values and what you cared about in your heart. You were always a graceful, gentle, spirit who touched many wanting not for yourself, but for others. Your indelible legacy will always be carried forward by those you leave behind and at your gathering I felt the way you were embraced by so many.
You will remain in my heart forever,
Carolyn Farb

Judy Thompson

February 10, 2020

My husband Sherry was in Vale and Mike Ackermans wedding. When we married Sherry didn’t tell his Texan friends and when Vale found out she was furious. She was so kind to me and helpful, including us in her many home parties. My treat for her was taking her to the Dime store for the first time. she was an amazing lady with so many strengths and did so much for others. You can be very grateful for all the good she left . And do follow her example.

Christian Schley

February 5, 2020

What an amazing woman! I first met Vale when moving to Houston in the early 1980s, and attending a Smith College alumnae event, hoping to meet local Smith alumnae. Vale was an outstanding Smith Alumna whose hands-on philanthropy and commitment to the Houston community were an inspiration to all her friends and colleagues in all the spheres of her life. Thank you to her family for sharing her with us!

Kathy Lord

February 5, 2020

I have several memories to share; my mother Charlotte Cushwa Clark went to Smith College with Vale Asche’s mother. When we moved to Oak Forest in Houston in the late 50’s , my mother remembers driving to Smith alumnae meetings at Grace Vale Asche’s home in River Oaks & seeing her closet with lots of tiny shoes.
I shared this fun story with Betty Ann Asche Murray when Tom & I moved to Houston in 1967. We were Jr League volunteers together & worked out at Body Rock also before cancer took her life.
I got to know Vale Asche when she was President of the Jr. league and later when I became Executive Director of Trees For Houston! The Vale Asche Foundation donated grants to Trees For Houston for education & tree planting. I had some communication with
Asche Ackerman about some tree issues.
Vale Asche called me one summer to be sure I was invited to the dedication of the Vale Asche playground for all in Memorial Park.
She led a full life and plan to attend the reception with family to share memories!
Kathy Clark Lord

Peter MacDonald

February 5, 2020

Asche,
I am so sorry to hear about your mom’s passing. She was a wonderful person.

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