Valerie Walker

July 28, 1943 – October 28, 2019
It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of our amazing and unique Mom, Valerie Walker.
Known as Val to her family and friends, she lost her battle with cancer on October 28th at home in Creston, B.C.; with her daughter Lori, good friend and companion Jack Balzer and her cat Sam.
Born to Gladys Bernice Bradley and Robert Charles Walker on July 28, 1943 and raised by Gabrielle and Herbert Bickerton, she grew up in the Bluesky – Peace River Alberta area.
Mom enjoyed a carefree life on the farm, having many animals she loved to care for and raise including her prized possessions, her first horse Snowball, her dog Sugar, and her pig, Princess. Mom was a tomboy at heart, never liking to wear dresses or makeup, but loved flowers of every kind and colour. As a young woman, Mom worked as a waitress at the Grande Café in Fairview, Alberta. Mom was very creative, a trait that would serve her well in life. She had an artistic side and a love for music and singing. At the age of 16 she saved and bought her first guitar and music books, then taught herself how to play. From her Cree friend, Granny Wyles, she learned how to tan hides, how to make sinew and design beading patterns. Her leather and bead work was a craft that she would continue for most of her life, creating beautiful handmade leather jackets and moccasins. She was very proud of her skill.
Mom was also a wonderful cook, making everything from scratch. She enjoyed a good joke, and playing pranks on her brother George. Her door was always open, not only to family and friends, but to anyone
who needed a helping hand whether it be a hot meal or a place to sleep. After leaving home mom met and married her first husband, Micheal Riczu, a widowed father of five. Together they had three daughters, Jody, Sheri and Lori and with them joined Gary and Patricia his two youngest children. At the age of 25 she was widowed. As life would go on, Mom then connected with Gerald Charles, kindred
spirits, they enjoyed singing, playing guitars and horses. Gerry was a fine horseman and “jack-of-all-trades” kind of guy, two resourceful people they would marry and have a son, Jason Lee Charles.
Later in life, Mom met the most incredible man, Jack. They travelled together throughout the years to Montana, Idaho, Saskatchewan, Alberta and BC, to play music, listen to poetry and meet up with friends. Mom enjoyed playing the guitar with Jack and their friends at the Wyndell Café, Crestview and Swan Valley Lodge. The two of them could also be spotted at Tim Hortons having afternoon tea.
Pre-deceased by all her parents and brother George Bickerton, husbands Micheal Riczu and Gerry Charles. She leaves behind her four children, Jody Riczu, Sheri Hulan, nee Riczu (Vance), Lori Riczu (Kurt), and Jason Charles, four grandchildren, Eric and Cole Hulan, Carey and Tyson Hollingum. Survived by her three sisters, Janet Grinton, Connie Hildebrandt (Eric), and Carol Tyler (Warne), her aunt and uncle, Esther and Bob Bradley, many cousins, a niece, two nephews, and her loving partner, Jack Balzer.
A celebration of Mom’s life will take place on Wednesday, November 6, 2019, at 2 pm, at the Creston Valley Seniors Association located at 810 Canyon Street, Creston, B.C. Please join us to share your memories of our Mom and have one last jam session in her honour. Friends and family wishing to make a memorial contribution may do so to P.A.W.S. or Canadian Cancer Society.


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