Valerie Kay (Salathe) O’Connor

Valerie Kay (Salathe) O’Connor was born to Harold and Marie (Sorenson) Salathe on February 14, 1951, in Rapid City, SD. Being the youngest of three she enjoyed the attention she got from both parents. She grew up in the mobile home park her parents owned and loved to tell the story about how she lived across the fence from her elementary school. Valerie went on to graduate from Central High School in 1969. After school she worked at the local supermarket, Sooper Dooper, where she was both a cashier and later worked in the meat department. It was while working in the meat department she met her husband, Mike. It was not love at first sight for them as his mischievous ways annoyed her. Apparently, the annoyance led to love as they were later married on April 20, 1985. Together they had two children, Shauna and Tara. Following the birth of her youngest, she became a stay-at-home mom which was a job that kept her busy until her girls graduated.

Throughout her life, Val had a passion for crafting. During her younger years, she was involved in ceramics which included making ceramic dolls. She would eventually go on to teach ceramic classes. She also enjoyed sewing, yet she claimed she would never be as good as her mother at this. In her later years, her favorite craft would become crocheting. Luckily, many people would benefit from her expertise because she loved to make and give her crochet projects for all occasions. She even made sure to complete several crocheted Christmas gifts prior to her passing.

Val passed away on January 25, 2021, exactly seven years to the day of the passing of her husband, Mike.

She will be missed by her surviving children, Shauna (Darren) Leeds, Tara (Cory) VanWye; granddaughter, Leeds; sister-in-law, Peggy (Joe Svara) O’Connor, and their children Allen and Aislin; niece, Sis (Charlie) Davis; and friends and family.

She is preceded in death by her parents, Harold and Marie Salathe; husband, Mike O’Connor; brothers, Norman and Maynard Bloom; and in-laws, Wayne and Fern O’Connor.

Memorial services will be held graveside at 10:00 a.m. on April 17, 2021, at Bear Butte Cemetery in Sturgis, SD. Everyone is to meet at Kinkade Funeral Chapel 20 minutes prior to service.