RICHARDSON, Texas - Valerie J. Lake, 65, died in the early hours of Oct. 7, 2012.
She was born Aug. 11, 1947, in Warren, the daughter of Victor and Jeanette Lake.
Valerie was smart, caring, had a passion for life and was always inquisitive. Her toughness and tenaciousness amazed everyone.
In 1970, she moved to California, where she graduated with a degree in journalism from California State University Long Beach. She started her career as a technical writer for Computer Science Corp. and later Rockwell International.
She moved to Richardson, Texas, in 1982 and owned a house there until her death.
She was a member of the Rosicrucian Order and the Ozark Research Institute. She loved history, music, literature and practiced Native American religion as well as Christianity.
She loved to spend time on her ranch in Big Cedar, Okla., where she would often write cute and humorous animal stories for various publications.
Being part Cherokee decent, she had a deep respect for nature and all living creatures. This led her to start an animal rescue ranch where she cared for sick, abandoned and mistreated animals. She was also one of the original first responders for the Big Cedar Volunteer Fire Department.
Valerie had a big heart and loved to help people. She loved children and was a foster parent to many. She believed in education and helped many obtain an education. Her family will forever miss her stories, loving smile, laugh and generosity.
She is survived by her husband of 26 years, Russell Hansen; brother, Victor Lake; son, Sean Hopper; daughter in-law, Kimberly Hardi; grandchild, Nina Belle; numerous cousins; and more than 30 pet animals.
She was preceded in death by her parents.