Valerie G. Griffiths
July 31, 1955 – June 8, 2016
Former colleagues and friends will be sad to learn of the passing of Valerie Griffiths at her home in Superior, Colorado, USA.
The following obituary appeared in the Boulder Daily Camera Newspaper:
Valerie Gillon Griffiths of Superior, Colorado died on June 8th 2016. She is survived by her husband Vaughan, her two sons Will and James, and Will’s fiancée Siobhan. She also leaves a sister Louise of Hebden Bridge, England and numerous cousins in England, Scotland, Canada and the US. Born near Edinburgh, Scotland, Valerie was the younger of two daughters of James and Maureen Gillon (née Vallely). Valerie was raised initially in Bathgate, Scotland but spent most of her childhood in Coventry, England, where her family moved in 1959.
In 1973, Valerie went to Maria Grey College where she got her University of London Bachelor’s degree in Education with a specialty in learning disabilities. She met her future husband Vaughan in 1974 while working for the sanitation department in Richmond, sweeping streets, which was a popular summer job for students in those days. She forged a highly successful career as a teacher in the London and Manchester areas of England before getting two Master’s degrees, at the University of Manchester in Psychology, and at the University of Sheffield in Educational Psychology. Her career then changed to Educational Psychology which she pursued with great success in the Manchester area.
Sons Will (1990) and James (1993) came along and the family moved to Colorado in 1994 where Vaughan took a job at the Colorado School of Mines. She continued work as a School Psychologist working in Denver and Adams County, before finishing her career in the BVSD. She was particularly proud that her first BVSD job was at the historic Mapleton School. Her last school was Fireside in Louisville, from which she retired due to ill health in 2008. She was greatly respected by colleagues for her teamwork, compassion and professionalism.
Valerie made and kept friends very easily. The outpouring of sadness at her passing has been overwhelming. So many friends have talked of the wonderful memories they have of her intelligence, sense of humor, and a smile that could light up a room. She bore her ill-health of the last few years with amazing optimism.
Valerie enjoyed returning to the UK to see friends and family, extensive world travel with her husband, socializing with her friends, walking her devoted dog Teddy, and going to classical music concerts and art galleries. She was known for her chic sense of style and had a particular talent for interior design, having spent the last three years painstakingly decorating and furnishing her Denver condo. But above all, she had a remarkably close partnership with her husband and best friend for over 40 years.