On June 4, 2021, Valerie Makela passed away at home in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan at the age of 67, following a sudden and swift battle with cancer. Valerie was predeceased by her parents, Wilfred and Jean Parry. She will be lovingly remembered by her husband and best friend of 42 years Greg Makela, her daughter Kimberley and son-in-law Craig Thompson, her sister and brother-in-law Ellen and Bill Antonenko, brother and sister-in-law Don and Janet Parry, as well as her niece and nephews with whom she shared close relationships.
Valerie grew up on the family farm in Saskatchewan. After graduating from Reeves Business College in North Battleford, she moved to Calgary to find work. There she met her husband, Greg. Years later they returned to her prairie roots to be closer to family, and made a life together in Saskatoon. Valerie and Greg married on June 30, 1979 and welcomed their daughter in 1985.
Valerie was a well-regarded and accomplished member of the legal community in Saskatoon, serving as legal assistant and office manager for Silas Halyk 30+ years before moving on to become the director of Human Resources at McKercher LLP. After retiring from McKercher, Valerie joined the Sasktel board of directors. Valerie touched many lives in a personal and impactful way; anyone who had the fortune of knowing Valerie will recall her unique ability to connect with others, her poise, intelligence and leadership skill, some of the many personal strengths she brought to bear in tough or complex situations.
Valerie was devoted to her family and friends, always giving generously of herself and her time to help those around her, to make their lives better in whatever way she could. She and Greg enjoyed spending time together at their cabin on Candle Lake. Valerie loved social gatherings and was known for her ability to host a party. Valerie will be remembered for her gregarious nature and infectious laugh, penchant for “bling” and a nice glass of red wine enjoyed over conversation, her work ethic, creativity, and the passion with which she tackled things that mattered to her, her ability to listen and offer compassion, the confidence she instilled in others and ways she supported those who crossed her path. She was one-of-a-kind, always warm, sparkling and full of life. Valerie will be deeply missed, eternally loved, and never forgotten.
It was Valerie’s wish not to have a funeral or memorial service. The family is planning to hold a small and private celebration of life once pandemic restrictions permit.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Martens Warman Funeral Home.