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SASSO, Valerie Grace

July 2, 1950 – Canmore, Alberta
June 20, 2018 – Calgary, Alberta

Valerie, beloved wife of Gordon Thorgeirson, passed away at The Foothills Hospital on June 20, 2018 at the age of 67 years.

Valerie was born on July 2, 1950 in Canmore, AB. She completed her basic nursing training at the Foothills Hospital and later attended McGill University where she completed her BSc in Nursing in 1974.

Valerie met her husband Gordon in Toronto. They married in Ottawa on June 23, 1979 and later moved to Calgary, AB in July 1987.

Thoughtful and caring in everything she did, it was not uncommon for Valerie to put others before herself, whether it was helping a friend in need, offering support to her family, or even leaving baked goods on the front doorstep for the paper lady as a ‘thank-you’. Her volunteering services included Feed the Hungry, Alberta Children’s Hospital and The Foothills Hospital.

Valerie exuded hard work and determination which lead her to complete her RN designation, Certified Management Accounting designation and eventually her MSc in Nursing in 2012 at the age of 62 from the University of Ottawa. She was an inspiration to many and a friend to all.

Valerie was a beloved member of the community; she was a devout Catholic and member of St. Peter’s Roman Catholic Church, a member of the Chinook Hiking Club and attended Zumba classes around the city leading her to have a large circle of friends. Valerie’s mother taught her to play golf and her love of the game continued throughout her life. In later years, she enjoyed playing with her daughter, Jess, and her ‘golf buddies’ – she never kept score and instead focused on improving her swing and having fun.

Valerie loved to travel with her family and took many memorable trips over the past years to Cuba, Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Mexico, Hawaii and Las Vegas.

Besides her loving husband, Gordon, Valerie is survived by her two daughters, Jennifer and Jess, her sister, Cathy (Bill), her nephew Scott (Odessa), niece Nykol (Brenden) and cousin Marguerite Head (née Manshreck).

Valerie was predeceased by her father, Valentino Sasso, mother, Marguerite Manshreck, and uncle, Angelo Sasso.

Funeral Mass will be celebrated at St. Peter’s Catholic Church (541 Silvergrove Drive N.W., Calgary, AB) on Thursday, June 28, 2018 at 11:00 a.m. Reception to follow at the Church. Condolences may be forwarded through www.mcinnisandholloway.com. If friends so desire, memorial tributes may be made directly to the Foothills Medical Centre 1403 29 St NW, Calgary, AB T2N 2T9, Telephone: 403-944-1110, https://secure.calgaryhealthtrust.ca/sslpage.aspx?pid=224

In living memory of Valerie Sasso, a tree will be planted at Fish Creek Provincial Park by McINNIS & HOLLOWAY FUNERAL HOMES, Crowfoot, 82 CROWFOOT CIRCLE N.W. CALGARY, AB, T3G 2T3, Telephone: 403-241-0044.

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Condolence Messages

  1. Katelynn Martin-Bates :

    Sending all the love and comfort I can muster to Gordan and family, and particularly Jess. I always heard such lovely things about Valerie and cannot begin to express my condolences for this huge loss. I hope your family can find comfort and peace in remembering all the good memories during this time of grief.
    All my love,
    Katelynn

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  2. Valerie was an outstanding volunteer to work with, always helpful and reliable. I send my deepest condolences.
    Kimberley

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  3. Val was a great person to work with. She joked around and brighten my days. She would stand for what’s right and not backing down. She surely is missed. My condolence to Val’s family and friends.

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  4. Darlene Bell :

    My sincere condolences to Gord and the family. I am still in disbelief regarding Vals’ death. She and I spent many hours walking and talking together discussing many issues. She was very helpful regarding the care of a senior in our family. We worked together professionally at the Northwest Health Centre. I shall miss her friendship immensely. She was a loyal kind friend.

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  5. My heartfelt condolences go out to you and your family. I will surely miss the presence of a truly lovable and kind person as Valerie.

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  6. Yolande Warner :

    Our deepest sympathy to all of you, let her memory be your strength as you face this difficult journey. Thoughts and prayers are with you . The residents and staff of the Edgemont Retirement Home.RIP our buddy. We will miss you.

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  7. I would like to extend sincere sympathy to Valerie’s family on her sudden passing.
    I was priveleged to know Valerie for a short time, meeting on the golf course at Lakeview when she joined the Wednesday 5th dimension group. She was always happy and enjoyed her golfing.
    We will miss her presence.

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  8. Shirley Winter :

    I was truly upset when I heard of Valerie’s death. I am still trying to get my head around the news. I knew Valerie for about 3 years – she was a valued volunteer at our Gift Shop at the Children’s Hospital. I trained her for that position and had many delightful conversations with her since she started as a cashier. Valerie was so interesting to talk with. I will miss our encounters and chats.
    Rest in Peace, dear Lady.

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  9. Karen Fraser :

    I am so sorry to hear of Valerie’s passing! I grew up in Exshaw and knew her family well; although Valerie was slightly older she has always been someone who was kind and lovely, someone to look up to…
    My sincere condolences.
    Karen Fraser, Canmore

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  10. Jill and Jim :

    We have known Val since she first set eyes on Gord. It is a while ago – back in the day when we are all youngsters in Toronto and Ottawa. We loved Val for her enthusiasm for life, boundless energy, and her honest, no-nonsense approach to tackling all things. She could get things done while having fun at the same time. We are pretty sure Gord was smitten from their first meeting – we all were. We will miss you, Val.

    “I just turned a corner and the sweet, swift years were gone” – William Saroyan

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  11. Laurie & Ron Court :

    Our most sincere condolences to the family and friends of Valerie. Mrs. Sasso, her mom, was lng time secretary of the Exshaw School and I remember she always was so proud of her two daughters and had photos on her desk of their nursing school graduations. In those days, Exshaw was like a family, and the Sasso family one of those branches. Thinking of you all at this most difficult time.
    Laurie (Lohmann) & Ron Court

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  12. Pat (Kelly) Fyrk :

    Deepest sympathy to your family I went to school with Val in Exshaw and graduated together out of Banff I remember her beautiful smile and infectious laughter.

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  13. Lorna (Kelly) Wright :

    So sorry for your loss.

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  14. Linda Saad (Ness) :

    My deepest sympathy for your loss of such a wonderful person. Valerie and I were friends during high school when we lived in Exshaw. She was truly beautiful inside and out and her easy going nature and caring attitude were evident at an early age. Although we lost contact after she moved down east, I have many fond memories of her. May your happy memories of her bring you peace and comfort .
    Linda Saad (Ness)

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  15. Louise Parsons :

    I am so sorry to hear of Valerie’s passing! Be assured of my prayers!

    Louise (Lohmann) Parsons

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  16. Clancy & Denise Bernauer :

    Our condolences to the family

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  17. Jayne Lynn (Worrell) :

    My condolences to the family.

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  18. Faye Wallace :

    Condolences and sympathy to Gord, Jennifer and Jessica, Kathy and Bill. My heart is breaking at the loss of Valerie. Far too young. She leaves a legacy of love, laughter and wonderful memories from the Foothills Class of 72. I always loved her direct, head on approach to life and her philosophy of “no regrets”. Will miss you Sass, but I can already hear you laughing with Packy. Love you Faye

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  19. Patricia Suess :

    I was one of Val’s classmates at Foothills Nurses School. Her energy and enthusiasm were infectious. I’m so sorry for your loss but know she will live on forever in many persons memories. She was loved.

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  20. Lerina Koornhof :

    My condolences and sympathies are with you all at this difficult time. I remember Val very well from the few times we met. Her vivacious personality will always stay in my memory. Much love.

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  21. Louise and Wayne Forgues :

    We enjoyed visiting with Valerie on our walks with the Chinook Outdoor Club. She was always pleasant and positive and enjoyed the outdoors and activity.
    We offer our sincere sympathy to her family.

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  22. Viola Lazzarotto (Ellithorpe) :

    My condolences to the family of Valerie Sasso. I babysat Valerie and Cathy until I moved to Calgary in 1957. My parents were good friends with Valentino and Marguerite. (Pat and Tom Lazzarotto).
    My thoughts and prayers are with all of you.

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  23. Kobie and Ethlee Koornhof :

    Ah Val, my dear friend, we will miss you. From the McGill days and the year spent working in South Africa, meeting Gordon and the girls, summer visits in Calgary and Vancouver, you have been a solid foundation for almost 50 years.

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  24. Marguerite Manshreck-Head :

    What a shock it was to hear of Val’s passing. I am a first cousin of Val and Cathy’s. When we grew up, their family would visit the farm in Manitoba for two weeks every summer, and Cathy and Valerie became the sisters I never had. And what fun we had! Time and distance never changed that. While we all went off and did our separate things, whenever we got together, we always managed to pick up where we had left off. When Val moved to Montreal to do her nursing degree at McGill, we spent a lot of time together. By that time, she was beginning to be known for her colourful personality. To kick off her time in Montreal, she flew in late. By the time she got to the student residence, the door was locked and nobody was around. She somehow managed to open a window, climb through it and spend the night sleeping on a couch in the foyer. The caretaker was more than surprised when he arrived the next morning and found her there! Val had a knack of getting away with things. In fact, she got away with more mischief that anyone I know.

    Val had a natural managerial personality. She came to the farm when Dad was dying and as we struggled to accommodate his wishes to die at home, she was brilliant in getting us organized.

    As the years passed we saw each other less frequently … family weddings, funerals, some organized visits. Over a glass of wine or scotch (or sometimes both for her), Val was more often than not the life of the party as she would regale us with one story after another, often about herself, as we rolled with laughter and often amazement. So how uncharacteristic it is that you, Val, are the first one to leave the party!

    I will miss you.

    My condolences to Gord, Jess, Jen, Mom, my brothers and all my cousins. Sorry I wasn’t able to join you at the funeral.

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