Photo Gallery

Betty & George Valentine Memorials


Betty Eleanor Birkner Valentine

March 30, 1926 - October 28, 2008

George Marian Valentine

November 13, 1926 - November 24, 2009




Memorial Notes

Memorial Notes



Everything, I have done, everything I am, and everything, I will ever be was because of my dad. Although I was adopted, he gave me the greatest gift, he gave me my life.

He was my ski buddy, he was my motorcycle buddy, and he was my sailing buddy – Ok, I was really HIS sailing buddy. For 49 years, he was my best friend.

He employed tough love – at 12 I said I wanted a new bicycle and he replied “Well then, you’d better start earning money so you can buy one!”

I started delivering newspapers to earn money, bought that bike and still ride it today – as a matter of fact, he borrowed that bike years later when he entered a 200 mile bike race from Seattle to Portland. He taught me valuable life lessons.

The greatest feeling I ever had in life was when he said he was proud of me. Every goal, every accomplishment, and every time I followed in his footsteps, I would call and tell him so I could hear him say those magical words “I’m proud of you!”

Well, dad, I’m proud of YOU! We all are.

I love you dad.

Scott Valentine


My first memory of my father is the smell of sawdust and fiberglass.  I couldn’t have been more than three years old but I sat in the garage, sometimes even in the boat as my dad meticulously and lovingly formed the Frappe.  My father picked hobbies that grew to passions and he never did them half way, sailing, skiing, trekking the world, bike riding, motorcycle riding with Scott and finally immersing himself in an extended family that grew exponentially to include children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.  All of us have different but wonderful memories of a man who was nothing less than generous, loving, funny, and brilliant.

I don’t think my father ever protected me from the world; not because he was in any way negligent but because he believed in me.  Each time I stumbled though, Daddy was right there waiting with a hand out to help me back up, to wipe my tears, pull the rocks out of my scraped knees and then let me try to fly again.  I am sure that my unerring nose for the trouble caused him many a sleepless night.

My dad was my hero.  I don’t know that he always knew that, I only hope he did.  When no one else was there my dad was.  When there was no one else I could trust I knew my dad stood behind me, even when he wanted me to learn my multiplication tables and thought he must be the devil, I knew he loved me. 

My dad was always Daddy; never anything else but Daddy.

Sometimes I thought I would never live up to his expectations but because of them I am much more than I would have ever been otherwise.  He made me so much more because of his great faith in me. 

I am so grateful for the lessons learned from him about how to be more, how to love, how to work.  Even more importantly how to be a moral and ethical person in a world that doesn’t always expect it or accept it either.

I will always be a Daddy’s girl.  Sometimes I had a terrible time sharing him with my sisters but I am so gratified that so many people loved him and that he was able to love so many.  He was a wonderful father, a wonderful grandfather and he loved being both.  I will miss him for the remainder of my life.

Linda Valentine


I have been blessed with 2 wonderful fathers in my life.

First, there was my dad, whom everyone called Buddy, and whom I was blessed to have for the first twenty-seven years of my life.  He was a good father.  He loved his children and made many sacrifices so that we would have more opportunities than he, to live a rewarding life.  I saw his love expressed in many ways.  But I never knew him as a mature adult because he died young and unexpectedly.  That was a true loss to me.

I never expected that there would be another man in my life that I could call Dad with just as much love. 

Or a Dad who would finish the job of teaching me, as an adult, what a loving father should be. 

But that was before my Uncle George married my mother and joined our family and became part of my life.

My first impression of George as a young woman was when I was 14 and my family drove to Seattle to visit Uncle George and his family.

I was so impressed by my handsome, adventurous and outgoing uncle. 

He took us sailing in Puget Sound on the boat he built.  We had to go through a series of 3 locks at Ballard to get from Lake Washington to the Sound and we saw the salmon runs along the locks and talked about the awesome beauty that surrounded us and the strength of nature. 

We went to the world’s fair that was in Seattle at the time and we saw the big model of a DNA molecule that Watson and Crick developed and we discussed what it meant and how it could alter our understanding the human body and how it worked. 

We visited Pioneer square and the Seattle Museum of Fine Arts and talked about art.

We ate Japanese food and looked at pictures of his visit to Germany and he talked about the fun of exploring new countries and how exciting it was. 

And he talked to ME!!!   As an adult, someone who’s opinion he was interested in!!!  

I didn’t know how much of an impact that he had on me until I had the serious discussion with my Dad about college and how important it was for me to find out who I was and what I could do. 

And even though money was short, and I was just a woman, my Dad sent me to college because he realized how important it was to me. 

So my first Dad made college happen for me, but my uncle George opened my eyes to the possibilities in my life.

As a young adult I saw George and his family only on rare occasion because he lived so far away. 

But after my Dad died, and I was in my late 30s, married to my husband Jeff and we had our own family, we started seeing George at more of our family gatherings. 

I was thrilled of course because he was such an interesting and exciting fellow to be around.  Of course he had that twinkle in his eye that meant he knew how to have fun.

But after a few years, my sister Sarah and I started realizing that we weren’t the only ones thrilled to have George visiting the family. 

Mother was getting frequent calls from George that she would eagerly anticipate, and she would giggle and be so animated on these calls that it suddenly dawned on us that she was probably in love with George!! 

We were shocked and thrilled at the same time.  Mom and George didn’t seem to be aware of anyone else, so we had an exciting drama to watch up close. 

They started to see each other more and make plans to do things together. Of course, the road to love is always bumpy.  George, having been a bachelor for 10 years, started dragging his feet a little as their love reached a different more serious level.  So mother cooled it a little and George responded with anxiety and concern. It went back and forth for a while until Sarah and I wanted to say “just do it”.

It was a dramatic love story, like Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.  Finally there was the big scene where George proposed to Betty in the basement of a Ski Lodge in Utah; the basement—was the only place they could be private together--among stinky wet socks drying on overhead pipes with pools of water underneath.   

They didn’t know, like all new lovers, what kind of love they would have. 

But my mother, being an very well read English teacher, who could spot a plot or subplot very early, should have know that a love proposed and accepted in such a dark, dank place as that basement had to be a strong and hardy kind of love for the future that awaited them. 

They were 61 years old when they married in this church right here.  They hoped for 10 good years together and they were blessed with 18 very wonderful years together.

Well, back to the plot of a Strong and Hardy Love. 

I’m sure George didn’t know what he was getting into or he would have dragged his feet more!! 

In George’s newly joined family there were 7 adult sons and daughters and 8 grandkids and it was going to grow bigger.

As we watched George and mother build their life together, they built it around our new family.

And George jumped in like it was going to be his biggest and best adventure.

He was always the first person at the door when hordes of us kids, with spouses, and new loves and good friends descended for 3 or 4 holidays every year that lasted up to a week at a time.  He greeted us with a big smile and a twinkle in his eye—ready to welcome us with open arms and more—lots more. 

Talk about putting his degree in engineering to good use.

He had to know how to keep 2 toilets working when 20 to 30 people were using them during the day, how to fix pipes when they froze, how to keep kids active and happy, how to assist the great cook, Betty Valentine who could be demanding at times, how to deal with emergencies, how to tone down the sometimes raucous and raunchy male members of the family, how to suggest with diplomacy and tact that at 3 o’clock in the morning it was time to go to bed and to please pick up after yourself and finally, how to have fun in the process. 

He picked up babies, played silly games with the kids, wiped away tears, hunted Easter eggs, and sent the kids on to bigger adventures in their world.

He kissed his wife so frequently we sometimes had to say “Stop that!!”

All the activities that swirled around us during family gatherings could have distracted you from what George was doing. 

But if you looked through all that you would have seen a modest man quietly working, like a sailor juggling and adjusting all the sails and lines on a boat to keep us all afloat and sailing happily forward.

You would have seen a marvelous man dealing with each family member with honesty and kindness and compassion.  You would have seen a courageous man helping his family.  You would have seen a Hardy and Sturdy Love.   

Sometimes you don’t know you love someone until you say it. 

Sometimes you don’t realize you have another Dad, a real Dad until you call them Dad. 

I didn’t call George “Dad” for a long time because I had already had a great father who I loved very much. 

But when I saw how much George loved his family, saw it in the details of those hard days of hosting family gathering, his interactions with each family member, the care and concern and tenderness he showed my mother, his final partner in life—especially when they were getting elderly and needed a different kind of love to keep going and be happy each day.  

When I saw all that, I had to say something that I had already known in my heart for a long time. 

That George Marion Valentine was my Dad.

He was a good Dad to me. And he lived up to that name in too many ways to number.

And I loved him very, very much. 

And I will miss him.

Betsy Valentine




George Valentine was born in San Antonio, Texas on November 13, 1926.  He was the third of three children born to Jack V. Valentine and Maude Virginia Ryan Valentine.  He was preceded in birth by his sister, Mary Jane and brother, Jack V. Valentine, Jr.

George lived the first six years of his life in San Antonio.  When his father lost his job during the first economic depression he moved his family to Corpus Christi for four years and then to Sinton where George graduated from Sinton High School.  George and his older brother were in an auto accident in 1936 and were seriously injured.  While they recuperated their father encouraged them to make model airplanes and they competed in many model airplane contests and won at least one trophy in every meet.  Although George said he only tolerated this activity, something must have triggered an interest in aeronautical design because he spent most of his adult life in this field of endeavor.

After high school George attended Texas A&M University where he joined the V-12 Navy College Training Program.  He also attended Stanford University for a year in a student exchange program with Texas A&M.  He graduated from Texas A&M with a degree in aeronautical engineering in January 1949.   He started work soon thereafter at Muroc Army Airfield, later known as Edwards AFB, in California.  He met his first wife, Trudy Wilken, at Muroc where she also worked.  They eventually married in 1951 and moved to Sinton, Texas in 1952 where he worked briefly at his father’s Liquor store.  He soon decided to quit and said “I did not get my degree in engineering to work in a liquor store” and moved to Seattle to apply for work at Boeing.  While waiting for a position there he worked for a crop dusting company in Eastern Washington and a naval architect in Seattle, and eventually was hired by Boeing in 1956. During most of his career in Boeing he worked as an engineer on the design development team in the “Loads Division” where he worked on a series of commercial airplanes including the 727, 737, 747, 757 and lastly the 767.  He raised his family during this time, and was the proud father of a daughter, Linda Diane, born in 1957 and a son, Scott Randall, born in 1960.  The family spent two years in Germany from 1964 to 1966 on a joint project between Boeing and Germany and while there, he taught his young children how to ski. He was awarded a ‘certificate of outstanding performance as lead engineer of the 767 loads group’. He retired from Boeing in 1986 with 30 years of service.

During his adult life he pursued many interests and hobbies. Following in his father’s footsteps he was an amateur photographer. He also became an avid sailor.  He built a 26 foot long “Thunderbird” sailboat from 1960-1962 which he then raced, winning most of the races he entered for the next 10 years.  The highlight of his racing career was crewing on the 53 foot yacht ‘Odusa’ that finished the 2,300 mile Victoria, B.C. to Maui race in 1972 in a record winning time of 14 days, 1 hour and 25 minutes.  George also worked as a member of the National Ski Patrol in the Seattle area.  He initially joined to get free skiing passes for his family, but loved his work with the ski patrol so much that he worked with them for 17 years.  At twelve years old his son, Scott, made himself a motorcycle by installing a lawn mower motor on his bicycle so he could get around his neighborhood faster.  Two years later Scott bought a real motorcycle and shortly thereafter George decided Scott was having too much fun and bought himself a Honda motorcycle.  During Scott’s teenage years George enjoyed off-road motorcycling on weekends with Scott and his friends.  In his fifties George suffered three heart attacks.  After his first by-pass surgery his doctor told him to exercise more or die, so he began bicycling and then racing in the 200 mile Seattle to Portland bicycle race, which he did for about 15 years.  In his spare time he also started building an airplane in his basement.  Halfway through the project he learned he couldn’t get a pilot’s license because of his prior heart attacks so he reluctantly abandoned the project and sold the plane.  The last five years George lived in Seattle, he spent two weeks a year piloting fishing boats that had been refurbished in Seattle back to Alaska for the summer fishing season.  In the process he came to love the rugged and beautiful landscape of the upper North American coast.

In the early1980s George’s interests turned south towards Texas. His brother, Jack, had died in 1977 leaving his widow, Betty and their five adult children. George began to accept Betty’s invitations to family events and became reacquainted with the young widow who he knew well in high school because they had been best friends. Although Betty fell in love with and married George’s older brother, George and Betty remained good friends.  This friendship developed into a second love for both and they were married on June 24, 1990 at Highland Lakes United Methodist Church with their children and grandchildren in attendance. They hoped they would have ten good years together but were blessed with 18 years. George embraced his new expanded family as he and his wife, Betty, welcomed new members to the family, watched grand children and their children arrive and grow, played golf, traveled the western and eastern U.S. and many countries around the world, hosted summer camp for the grand kids, and opened their hearts and home every year for four or five holidays to a family that numbered at times from 20 to 30 people.  As his family grew, George’s love for them grew as did theirs for him.  He was an important person in each family member’s life and deeply loved for his kindness, the twinkle in his eye and keen sense of fun, his interest in life, the frequent use of the word marvelous, the seemingly unlimited time he willingly gave to his family and the way he treated and loved Betty.  He will be missed in so many ways by his family.

George was preceded in death by his second wife, Betty Eleanor Birkner Valentine and his brother, Jack V. Valentine, Jr.  He is survived by his sister, Mary Jane Arrington of Corpus Christi, seven children: Linda Diane Valentine-Dean, Scott Randall Valentine, Candace “Candy” Diane Valentine, Jack “Chip” V. Valentine III, Mary Elizabeth “Betsy” Valentine, William “Bill” Ryan Valentine, Sarah Margaret Valentine, ten grandchildren and three great grandchildren.