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Valera Ardis Gutknecht

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Valera Ardis Gutknecht Obituary
Valera Ardis Gutknecht, 94, passed from death unto eternal life Saturday morning, April 30, 2011.
She was born in Truesdale, Iowa, in June 1916.
She attended Iowa State College in Cedar Falls, Iowa.
Preceding her in death were her second generation Norwegian parents Guilford Fremont Thompson and Ada Romstad Thompson. Valera's first husband, Del M. Thayer, was killed when a bomb struck the cruiser Savannah in Salerno, Italy, in World War II. They had been married five years.
She was married to Pastor Richard J. Gutknecht in 1944. Valera and Pastor Gutknecht and their four children moved to Alamogordo in 1959. Pastor Gutknecht passed unto eternal life in 1994.
Valera was a member of Trinity Lutheran Church in Alamogordo for 43 years and a member of Messiah Lutheran Church in Independence, Mo., for eight years.
Valera was a life member of the Gerald Champion Memorial Hospital Auxiliary. Valera was a devoted Pink Lady.
Valera is survived by her 97-year-old brother George E. Thompson, of Tucson, Ariz., and her four children: Sandra Siegel and husband, Sam, of Holly, Mich., and their two daughters Jennifer and Kristen; Dr. Richard K. Gutknecht, of Independence, Mo., and his partner David Waltemath; Dr. Michael G. Gutknecht and wife, Paula, of Punta Gorda, Fla., and their three children Chase, Olivia and Cole; and Steven R. Gutknecht and wife, Sara, of Parker, Colo., and their four children Stephanie, Daniel, David and Amy.
Valera comes from Latin for "strength." Valera was a strong survivor. She lost her parents when she was 20 and 22, and lost her first husband when she was 27. She survived two different cancers and then took care of her beloved husband who suffered from Alzheimer's in his later years.
Valera devoted her life to her husband and to raising their four children. The most important things in her life were her faith and her family. She lived her faith every day of her life and adored her children and grandchildren.
Valera will be greatly missed for her kindness and caring; her joy in life; her gentle laugh and abundant patience; the smile on her face and the twinkle in her eye; the pleasure she took in good food and good company; surrounding herself with purple of all shades; and for being the "special" person she was.
A funeral service will be held at Trinity Lutheran Church in Alamogordo on Saturday, May 7, 2011, at 10 a.m. Valera loved flowers, especially purple and pink flowers. A donation to the would be equally appreciated.
"There are many rooms in my Father's house.
I would not tell you this if it were not true."
- John 14:2
The Gutknecht family has entrusted their loved one to the care of Alamogordo Funeral Home to direct the funeral services.
To sign the online register book, please visit
Published in Alamogordo Daily News from May 4 to June 4, 2011
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