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Valerie joined her parents on Sept. 13, 2013, after a lifetime of service. Born in Pittsburgh, Pa., Oct.31, 1952, to Perry Orville Stupy and Dorothy Mae Skibo, She moved to California after high school and decided that was her new home. Two years later she met her future husband and thus began a 42-year friendship and love affair that continued for the rest of her life. Always a team, always laughing, always together in business, in Rotary, in life, they traveled the world building relationships and befriending all they met.
Valerie leaves behind her husband of 39 years, Denny Scanlan, Tucson, Ariz.; brother Bruce Stupy (Joanne), Rio Rico, Ariz.; sister Virginia "Ginny" Cooper, Poplar Bluff, Mo.; sister Dorothy "Dodie" Brady (Mike), Valdosta, Ga,; brother Michael Stupy (Karen), Pittsburgh, Pa.; stepmother Wanita Stupy, Amado, Ariz.; and numerous nieces and nephews from her parents' side of the family.
Three step-children were the pride of Valerie's life "" Michael Kevin Scanlan (Grace), Susanville, Calif.; Brian Patrick Scanlan (Mindy), Rio Rico, Ariz.; and Erin Kelly Barela (Greg), Lakewood, Calif. Blended and extended family's made Val a grandmother to 15 and great-grandmother to eight, all of whom she loved to hold and enjoyed to the fullest.
Rotary became a part of their lives in 1989. While earning her bachelor's degree in 1992, in addition to operating their Security Business, she served as president of the Rio Rico Rotary Club. Making a difference became her mantra. In 2001-2002, Valerie served as District Governor for Southern Arizona (District 5500) and on behalf of the District received the Global Quest Award for Membership Development in Barcelona, Spain. The District placed second that year for contributions to the Rotary Foundation, exceeding the $200,000 goal for the first time in District history.
Past District Governor (PDG) Valerie was selected to represent the President of Rotary International on 15 occasions. At District Conferences around the country, at International Conventions around the world, and the International Assembly in San Diego, she was the commensurate greeter. From New Orleans to Nashville, Birmingham to Bangkok, the world was her stage. Everyone she ever met was greeted with a warm smile and firm handshake and she would remember their name from then on.
Valerie was the keynote speaker last March in Jefferson City, Mo., motivating new club presidents and hopefully instilling the spirit of service in new and veteran Rotarians alike. In April she traveled to Chicago, representing District 5500 at Rotary's Council on Legislation, doing what she loved with hundreds of her fellow Rotarians. One week later her cancer was diagnosed. Valerie left the hospital only one time, then to see her friend of 20-plus years installed as the new District Governor for the coming year.
Val's smile, laughter and winning spirit remained to the very end. The brain cancer may have won the battle, but she will remain alive in our minds and hearts forever. Valerie won the war.
A Celebration of Valerie's life will be held Oct. 19, 2013, at St Michael's Episcopal Church, 602 N. Wilmot, Tucson, Ariz., 2 to 5 p.m. In lieu of flowers, donations are welcome to either The Rotary Foundation or to Val's scholarship fund at www.valscanlan.com. Cards and letters can be sent to Denny at P.O. Box 12813, Tucson, AZ 85732-2813.
Published in Green Valley News & Sun on Sept. 22, 2013