Valerie Maitland Endsley, age 98, of Charleston, formerly of Casey, was grateful for living such a full and productive life. She passed from this life on January 11, 2021. She is now an angel reunited with her family and friends she has not seen in a long time.
She is preceded in death by her husband, Don, who passed away in 1979, her parents Andrew and Helen Maitland and 10 brother and sisters.
Surviving are her three children: Dan (Sheila) of Buckeye, AZ, Becky (Bob) Olmsted of Wood Dale, IL and Rhonda (Bill) Smith of Glendale, AZ; her four grandchildren: Amy (Troy) Merrifield of Glendale, AZ; Andrew Endsley of Eureka, CA, Jodi Smith of Ballwin, MO and Kira (Der) Baca of Chatsworth, CA; six great-grandchildren; her brother Fred (Mary) Maitland of Milford, MI; her dear nephew and niece Jack and Carol Logue of Charleston, many nieces and nephews from IL and MI and her church family from the Casey First Christian Church.
Her Casey friends Sara and PK Johnson, Peggy Collins and Karen Nebergall were a blessing to her and added so much joy to her life in her later years.
Valerie was born in Center Line (Detroit) MI in 1922 to Andrew and Helen Smith Maitland. The second oldest of 12 children, she was very independent from an early age. When she was only six years old she decided to visit her grandparents in Detroit without telling anyone in the family. Two trolley rides and several walking-blocks later she arrived at her destination. “Where’s your Mother” asked her grandmother. To which she replied, “home, I think”.
She worked for the War Department at the beginning of WWII as switchboard operator to Colonel Crane who was in charge of equipment production in the car factories of Detroit. She once answered a call from President Roosevelt who was personally calling to talk with the Colonel about production status.
Valerie later joined the Army and became a medical technician. She was stationed at Percy Jones Army hospital at Fort Custer in Battle Creek, MI. The hospital was used for severely wounded American and British soldiers. While at Fort Custer she met the love of her life, Don M. Endsley, a staff sergeant who served tours in Europe and was a MP at the fort. They were married in uniform on base and moved to Charleston, IL after the war.
Valerie cherished the time she spent with family and friends and loved to tell stories of her childhood living through the depression, growing up in Detroit with 11 brothers and sisters and of her experiences in the Army.
Her children, grandchildren and great—grandchildren were the pride and joy of her life. The legacy of her kind spirit, the bright smile always on her face and her zest for life will live on through them. She was always there to brighten the lives of others and inspired everyone who knew her.
Valerie was a person of faith and lived life serving others. Her family and friends were blessed to learn many valuable lessons from her; one of which was “giving”. Valerie was proud to live in a community where she could be counted on to help whenever and wherever someone needed her. She was always ready and happy to help families when asked. She had that gift, you know, to give.
She had such courage and spirit in her later years as she navigated her medical issues with a smile on her face. Whenever she came upon a bump in the road she simply hopped over it and kept on enjoying life. Her motto was “keep moving forward”. However, she always said “Growing old sure ain’t for sissies”, again, with a smile on her face.
Valerie will be forever loved and missed by her family and her abundance of friends.
“The world changes from year to year, our lives from day to day, but the love and memory of a loved one, shall never pass away.”
Private services will be held for the immediate family with Mr. Roger Anderson and Pastor Joe Richard officiating. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation in her honor to Heritage Woods of Charleston, 480 W Polk St., Charleston, IL 61920.
To view the full obituary , send condolence message, light a candle or post photos, visit www.markwellfuneralhome.com. Markwell Funeral Home of Casey, IL is in charge of the arrangements.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Valerie (Maitland) Endsley, please visit our floral store.