OBITUARY

Valerie H. Caffrey

July 9, 1951November 13, 2020
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Valerie Nan (Howard) Caffrey born July 9, 1951, passed away November 13, 2020, in the Covid unit of Research Medical Center. A loving wife and mother, Valerie was a fierce advocate for thousands of people during her 45 year career as a social worker with AbilityKC (formerly The Rehabilitation Institute of Kansas City), often helping patients and their families navigate some of the greatest challenges of their lives. She briefly stepped away twice over the course of her career, once to care for her small children, and again to care for her ailing mother. As a lifelong resident of Kansas City, Valerie had the ability to develop and maintain lasting friendships in every stage of her life. She greatly cherished the time she spent with her fellow 1969 Southwest High School graduates, her Delta Delta Delta sorority sisters, her coworkers, and the friends she made as a parishioner of Visitation Catholic Church, among many others. When she graduated from the University of Missouri in 1973 with her Bachelors of Arts in Social Work, she also had a minor in music. She was a skilled pianist, and her love of music came full circle for her when she joined the Visitation Choir almost two decades ago. The union and comradery of this group was a source of great joy and light in her life. Caring for others was a reflex for Valerie, as she kept those near her well fed and well loved. The community she built was of tremendous support to her during her almost five year battle with urothelial cancer, support for which she was humbled by and overwhelmingly grateful.

Valerie is preceded in death by her parents Richard and Marjorie (Sutherland) Howard. She is survived by her husband of 44 years Mark, daughters Leslie Burke (Dan) and Jeanne Earhart (Daniel), son Charles Caffrey MD (Genevieve), and seven grandchildren whom she adored. She is also survived by her brother Rich Howard (Janet), her sister Claire Bottero, cousin Lynn (Bishop) Wilson, brothers and sisters in-laws who were like siblings to her, and many cousins, nieces and nephews.

Donations to AbilityKC in Valerie’s memory are suggested in lieu of flowers. Link to donate: https://abilitykc.org/give/

A Mass of Christian Burial is planned for 10 am on December 12, 2020. In order to minimize the risk of gathering at this time, the family wishes to limit physical attendance to immediate family. The link to the live-streaming of the ceremony can be accessed here: https://www.youtube.com/user/visitationtv.

Services

  • Private Family Mass

    Saturday, December 12, 2020

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Memories

Valerie H. Caffrey

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Lisa Clincy

December 13, 2020

I’m so sad the world lost such a beautiful soul-gone too soon. Valerie will be missed by many!!!

Jess Speropulos

December 13, 2020

So deeply sorry for your loss friends. What a beautiful service honoring the life of an amazing wife, mother, and friend. Her life will continue to touch the lives of all who knew her.

Jess

barbara bruetsch-cockrell

December 12, 2020

There are no more meaningful words for me to say about Valerie, than the Priest said so eloquently at the service. He understood the true nature of her spirit and how she chose to live her life. Of all the people I've known, Valerie stands out with all her color, gentility, intelligence and empathy. As she did for so many, she came to my aid when I was my weakest, and she did it with a quiet dignity and an open heart.. You're always loved by all who knew you, Valerie, and missed by us all. Above all, I will remember you, dear friend, for the rest of my life.

Linda Barta

December 12, 2020

I worked with Valerie at TRIKC and saw her every day for the 10 years I was there. She was someone I looked up to as a co-worker and as a loving and compassionate person. She had nothing but love and concern in her heart for everyone she met whether client, co-worker, or simply a visitor. Her inner beauty shined every day. She is a shining example of this world.

Janice Yoder

December 12, 2020

Roger and I watched the Mass today and marveled at all of you as you shared memories and beautiful stories of your sweet mother. The world is a better place thanks to her love and gifts still alive in each of you. May God bless you and your families. We loved her dearly and will miss her. Much love, Janice and Roger Yoder and Aunt Betty Wilson

Mary Hecker

December 12, 2020

What a beautiful ceremony and tribute to Val. Although no words can take away the sorrow you bear, may her wise words, memories and laughter always be in your hearts. Take comfort in knowing how much she, and your whole family, is loved in these difficult times.

Bette Beard

December 12, 2020

Valerie has been a wonderful friend for the last 57 years. I’ve been blessed to have known her and enjoyed many wonderful times with her. I will miss her greatly!

Mary Civiello

December 12, 2020

Valerie was so sweet and soft but also strong. I met her as a tri Delt at Mizzou and have kept touch ever since. I will always remember the kind ,understanding smile on her flawless face...a face like her mother’s China paintings! And that didn’t change even in recent times when you’d expect cracks. Rest In Peace Valerie.

June Schiff

December 12, 2020

Valerie was an amazing woman and will be missed by many...I loved her for many years and am blessed she was in my life for 50+ years...

Frank swyden

December 12, 2020

Mark and I met as fraternity brothers in the same pledge class at MU. Valerie and I were friends in high school at KC Southwest. As a result, my connection with each has been one of a kindred nature even as the friendship between the three of us has grown and remained intact over the last 50 years. Valerie, you will always remain young in our hearts and minds and live forever, there. And may your memory be eternal.

Love, Frank and Letticia Swyden


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