Valerie Anne Vance-Goff

Obituary
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Valerie Anne Vance-Goff 66, of Tucson, died of lymphoma February 22, 2011 at her home, surrounded by loved ones. Valerie was born May 13, 1944 in Peoria, Illinois, the first child of Robert and Anne (Strehlow) Vance. The family moved to Tucson in 1951. She attended Cragin, Mansfeld, Tucson High and the University of Arizona where she was affiliated with Kappa Alpha Theta sorority. She also sailed on the maiden voyage of Semester at Sea, which launched her love of travel. After college, Valerie moved to Los Angeles where she became Assistant Manager at Lawry's The Prime Rib in Beverly Hills. In 1972, she was hired as the food and beverage manager at Fort Ikoma Lodge in Tanzania. She later moved to Kenya to work for Abercrombie & Kent Tour Co. Valerie returned to Tucson in 1980, re-enrolled at the UA and earned a BA in Cultural Anthropology. She worked at Flandrau Planetarium where she met her future husband, Robert Fulton Goff, a master optician and site manager at Kitt Peak. Valerie and Bob married in 1985 and later started their own business, AXE, to fabricate optical mirrors. Valerie also worked at Tucson Water as Public Information Coordinator. After Bob died in 2001, she took on administrative duties for professional organizations, among which were NAWBO, Tiempo Tucson, and The Breakfast Club of Tucson. She was also involved in the creation and sat on the board of the Arizona Optics Industry Association as well as dedicating her time to her THS class of 1961 reunions. Valerie is survived by her mother, Anne Vance; brother, Robert Vance, Jr.; sister, Vicki (Allen) Stanton; nephews, Robert (fiancée Jennifer Davidson and son, Jack), Gregory and Charles (Chelsea) Stanton; stepchildren, Peter Weber, Jason and Gigi Goff and many loving relatives. She was predeceased by her father, The Rev. Robert Vance, Sr.; husband, Robert Goff and stepdaughter, Julie Goff Carpenter. Valerie's travels and business enriched her life with friendships around the world, including the Kiyohara family of Japan. One of her greatest joys was becoming the American mom to their daughter, Junko while she earned a BFA at the UA. Valerie attended Junko's wedding to Singkorn Dhepyasuvan in Bangkok, Thailand a year ago and Junko flew here to be with Valerie in her final days. Valerie's vivacious smile, exemplifying her adventurous and caring spirit, is already missed on every continent. Her family wishes to express its gratitude to all the wonderful people at the Arizona Cancer Center, UMC, TMC Hospice, and the home caregivers who helped her during her illness. A Memorial Service will be held at 1:00 p.m., Thursday, March 3, 2011 at St Philip's in the Hills (River Road at Campbell), with a reception to follow. Donations may be made to the University of Arizona Cancer Center or Sarver Heart Center. Arrangements by IIAM.

Published in the Arizona Daily Star on Feb. 27, 2011