Valerie Ann Rathbun, 62, passed away on Saturday, Dec. 1, 2018, at home surrounded by her loved ones. Valerie was born in Fairbanks, Alaska, to Roger J. DeGrasses and Jacqueline Gaubert on Nov. 17, 1956.
As a child, she moved frequently as part of an Air Force family and graduated high school in Goose Bay, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. In 1975, she enlisted in the Navy where she met her future husband, LCDR Malcolm William Rathbun. Mac and Valerie were married in April 1978 while stationed in Australia. When she became pregnant with her first child, she transitioned from her role as an active duty radio operator to a Navy wife and mother. The following years were busy with multiple moves and the births of their five daughters. In 2008, she earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Sociology from Old Dominion University. The last several years of her life she spent as a dedicated grandmother, which brought her endless joy. She was affectionately known as “Grammy” and the warmth and love she showed her grandchildren remains her lasting legacy.
We are eternally grateful to her for a lifetime of dedication to her family.
Valerie is survived by her five children, Amber (Terry) Hakes, Kathleen (Marcus) Sharp, Melody (Jerry) Barnes, Ruby (John) Granlund and Lydia Rathbun. She is also survived by her 11 grandchildren, Sophia, Davis, Sunny, Scottie, Sheldon, Liam, Tristan, Ada, Lily, Lucy and Mackie.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Malcolm William Rathbun.
A celebration of her life was held on Sunday, Dec. 30, 2018, at Sandy Bottom Nature park in Hampton, Va. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Virginia Living Museum.
Arrangements were provided by W.J. Smith & Son Funeral Home in Newport News, Va.