Laurie S. Valerius, 67

Laurie S. Valerius (nee Schowalter) passed away at her home surrounded by her family on Monday, June 10, 2013, at the age of 67. She was born on Oct. 8, 1945, in West Bend to Henry and Jean (nee Thomas) Schowalter.

Laurie was a strong, vibrant and positive woman who enjoyed travel and believed we should continue learning and exploring throughout life. She was an experienced gardener, avid nature lover, and had a passion for art and design. Laurie was a social worker with Washington County for 25 years and was active with the American Association of University Women, including creation of the Youth Money Smart program in 2002 to offer personal financial education to middle school students. She was open-minded, a strong advocate for equal opportunity, and served as a mentor and support structure for others in her life, especially women.

Laurie married James “Jim” Valerius on June 26, 1971, at Immanuel United Church of Christ in West Bend. Laurie and Jim enjoyed 26 years together and instilled their mutual love of family and “life on the lake” in their children. She was an active member of the Red Hat Society and had many dear friends.

Laurie is survived by her children Jason (Amy Payne) and Jamie Valerius; and grandson Rhys Valerius. She is further survived by her siblings Henry (Penny) Schowalter, Thomas Schowalter, Kenney Hecht and Linda Schowalter, and many nieces, nephews, relatives and friends.

Laurie is preceded in death by her husband Jim; parents Henry and Jean Schowalter; and sister-inlaw Bobbie Schowalter.

The family is welcoming family and friends at Laurie’s home on Saturday, June 15, 2013, from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. A celebration of Laurie’s life will be held at Lac Lawrann Conservancy on Saturday, Aug. 24, 2013, at 10:30 a.m.

Memorials in Laurie’s honor are appreciated to the American Cancer Society (Wisconsin Region: P.O. Box 902, Pewaukee, WI 53072-0902), Lac Lawrann Conservancy (300 Schmidt Road, P.O. Box 755, West Bend, WI 53095) or River Edge Nature Center (Attn: Renee Buchholz, P.O. Box 26, Newburg, WI 53060-0026).

The family would like to extend a special thank you to all of Laurie’s friends for their love, help and support throughout her illness.

The Phillip Funeral Home of West Bend is assisting the family; (262) 338-2050 /