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UPDATED: Mission loses dedicated volunteer

Valerie Hundert received numerous awards for her work
Dedicated Mission volunteer Valerie Hundert passed away Sept. 21.
Valerie Hundert

Valerie Hundert was a dedicated volunteer, community leader, mentor and advocate for Mission.

She passed away Sunday, Sept. 21 at the age of 88.

Valerie was born in Saskatchewan and raised in Ontario. She moved to Mission with her husband, Mel, in 1991, and almost immediately began volunteering in the community. She was a part of the Mission Artists Association, the Mission Arts Council, Mission Health Care Auxiliary and the Mission Heritage Association.

One of her favourite places in Mission was Fraser River Heritage Park, which she helped develop with her vision and planning. She was named an ambassador-at-large for the park, and she volunteered and fundraised to improve it for many years. Most recently, she helped organize a fundraising tea for the Rose Garden in June.

Valerie received numerous awards, including the the B.C. Senior's Award in 1997, Mission's Citizen of the Year in 1998, and Woman of the Year Myrtle Evertt Award in 1999.

She received Mission's highest honour in 2002 when she was named a Freeman, and in 2012, she was given the Queen's Diamond Jubilee medal.

At the Muse Awards this year, Valerie earned a Lifetime Achievement award for her work with the arts community.

Valerie leaves behind her husband, her four children, and three grandchildren.

"She loved the community," said her daughter, Joan, who thanked Mission for falling in love with her mom as well.

"When people think of her, have a cup of tea, or do a good deed in her memory."

"So many of us will miss Valerie Hundert," said former Mission councillor Heather Stewart, who was a close friend. "She was a unique person and loyal friend. She was dedicated to this community and she has been recognized in so many ways."

At Valerie's request, there will not be a memorial service. Instead, her family will be collecting donations to place a memorial bench at Fraser River Heritage Park in her honour. Donations can be sent to Mission Heritage Association, PO Box 3341, Mission, BC, V2V 4J5.