The family wishes to extend deep gratitude to all, for the prayers, support, comforting messages, calls, flowers, cards and gifts during this time of bereavement.
We arrive at the point in our ceremony where we recall
details of Valerie’s life, a life full of so many wonderful
moments, shared with so many of you, she truly led a full and
interesting life which began on the 19 th January 1933 when
Valerie was born in West Wickham to parents Lily and Arthur
Valerie was their second child they had already welcomed
Brian her brother and they shared an amazing bond. She was
schooled at Hawesdown Primary, but she and Brian were
evacuated away from the constant barrage of bombing to
family in the North of England when the second world war
started in earnest in September 1939.
Valerie would have been only 6 years old. Such an
impressionable age, living through such a serious historical
event would be forever imprinted on Valerie’s soul, she was
very proud to have been part of the Great British keep calm
and carry on, and would often reminisce about those years to
her family, and her choice of reading material reflected her
love of the war years.
After the war ended, Valerie went to secretarial school, and
enjoyed playing tennis at her local Tennis Club in Beckenham,
and it was here she met her future husband Faruq.
They came from very different backgrounds, they were star
crossed lovers, and had to jump through hoops to be
They were married on the 11 th June 1955, they had a civil
ceremony and a blessing, ending with a reception at Selsdon
They then embarked on their honeymoon which found them
driving though Europe in a white jaguar. Arriving at the coast
to catch a boat to North Africa, they headed to Benghazi and
Tripoli, what a wonderful adventure such an amazing start to
But this was only the start, they moved to the Lebanon,
which back in the sixties was much like the French Riviera.
Together they lived the high life, frequenting dinners and
society parties, many prestigious events, including so many
influential people and lots of friends.
Valerie had a flare for fashion, wearing the most beautiful
dresses she would wear the latest look with ease, she would
style her hair looking incredible which earned her the place
on the front cover of a Lebanese magazine.
Whilst living in the Lebanon they began to welcome their
children, Ramsey was their first and he gave Valerie two
grandsons, James and Gavin. Valerie was such a wonderful
caring and giving mother and grandmother she loved her
family beyond anything else in the world.
Meanwhile Faruq changed his role as managing director of
The Arab Bank to The Lombard Bank, which saw the family
return to London, where they moved into Kenward Drive in
But Valerie’s travels were not over, they moved again to Abu
Dhabi, her two oldest children remained in school whilst a
young Omar travelled with them, the family again returned
to London to live in the mid-seventies.
In 1976 Valerie sadly lost Faruq, and Valerie’s respect for his
religion was evident as she went with the children to live in
Jordan with Faruq’s parents who, according to the Muslim
faith, were now their legal guardians.
They all remained in Jordan for a year, then Valerie returned
to make a life in London, she became an independent
woman, getting a job and making a home and putting the
children through school, Rania commented that she had
never known anyone as stoic as her mother and this period in
their life really reflected that.
When Valerie tired of the London life and her eldest children
flew the nest, she moved to Beckenham to be closer to her
beloved brother Brian and his family. As an aunt she had a
special relationship with her niece’s Denise and Marilyn,
those relationships were a constant throughout Valerie’s life.
Again, she built a life in the suburbs, securing a position as a
receptionist at a doctor’s surgery, where she remained for 13
years, making good friends along the way, enjoying lunches
and coffee morning whilst reacquainting herself with her
Rania had now started a family of her own and although she
lived in Mexico and then eventually New York, she was lucky
to receive regular visits from Valerie who helped guide and
support Rania whilst she was bringing up her children,
Gabriella and Javier.
It is obvious that Valerie enjoyed travel, and in addition she
also enjoyed reading novels particularly those set in the
second world war, as I have already mentioned. She loved
watching Tennis, or any sports and Wimbledon was always a
highlight of her year.
Valerie was a tremendous cook and even as her body was
giving up, she would supervise Omar in the kitchen, guiding
him through recipes from a kind of supervisor position. Omar
had never really strayed far from his mum, and always
wanted her to feel useful, included and cared for, and
therefore was happy to be her sous chef.
I suppose you could also say that Valerie is a royalist and
adored our Royal Family, although some would say that she
gave off a Royal vibe herself, most certainly the queen of her
family, she was the quintessential English rose.
Although her body failed her in the end, she was always of
sound mind, as sharp as a tack, articulate and of course
always immaculately attired.
She was incredibly thoughtful, kind, generous and always
putting others before herself, she was positive and remained
calm even in a crisis.
Valerie will be greatly missed by all that knew and loved her,
but we can take comfort that she has now been reunited
with her husband Faruq and her brother Brian.
We have mourned the loss of an incredible woman, she was
devoted to her friends and cherished her family, and Valerie
certainly gave a lot more than she took.
In the words of Winston Churchill “ We make a living by what
we get, we make a life by what we give!” . I think we can all
agree that Valerie made our lives better and she will be
A selection of floral posies. Approximate sizes are:
A beautiful range of sympathy baskets. Approximate sizes include: