It is with the heaviest of hearts we inform you that Kathleen Vallely left this world peacefully in the early morning hours on April 20, 2022 after a battle with lung cancer. She was 74 years old and a resident of North Brunswick, NJ.
Born on May 19, 1947, she grew up in Edison, NJ and was a graduate of the Edison High School class of 1965. She was an incredibly beautiful, creative, caring and multi-talented individual. She enjoyed gymnastics in her younger years and held many types of jobs throughout her life with the common theme of helping others. She worked with handicapped children, in medical offices, leasing agencies, as a first responder on an ambulance, a police dispatcher, spent a short time in the Navy and of course her greatest roles - Loving Mother and Grandmother.
Her love for her family was immense and evident in everything she did. She always put the needs of her children above hers and would give anything for their happiness. She was incredibly proud of her family’s accomplishments and was always there when she was needed, with full support. Her loving smile, voice, laughter, stories, advice and the good times spent together will never be forgotten.
In her spare time she enjoyed hanging out with her family and pets, reading, playing games, shopping, chatting over coffee, the music of Queen and watching an assortment of TV shows including classic TV, reality shows, animal shows and cooking shows. She was always on the lookout for cool new recipes and was a marvelous cook and baker. Her food will be missed but remembered and recreated with much love.
She lived many happy years in East Brunswick and North Brunswick. She loved nature and animals and felt lucky to have a large wooded, creek side property. She enjoyed interacting with the local wildlife including the many different birds that frequented her bird feeders and an injured deer named Limpy and her deer family. One of her favorite memories is when a mama opossum stood up to show her the babies in her pouch. She however was not too fond of snakes. She tended a garden on the deck with her youngest daughter, safe from any lurking snakes and eagerly anticipated the first ripe tomato each Spring. In the Summer months she loved soaking up the sun all along the Jersey Shore, frequenting Spring Lake, NJ with her husband who is an avid fisherman. She also loved vacationing with her family in Wildwood, NJ, Panama City, FL, Gulf Shores, AL, Ortley Beach, NJ, various locations in Georgia and Gilford Park, NJ where her parents had a beach house when she was a child. Every June she was excited to attend her husband and youngest daughter’s Amateur Radio Field Day event, not becuase she was into radios but to see the joy it brought them. In the fall she enjoyed going to the apple orchard with her grandsons and the evolving colors in the leaves that remind us that change can be beautiful. In the winter she looked forward to the holidays when everyone could be together. When cold snow covered the ground she would still make sure her bird feeders were full, reminding us of her resilience, strength and love for others.
She did not want us to be sad - she kept smiling and joking with her family until the end. She would want us to keep her memory alive by appreciating life and being as loving, happy, resilient and strong as she was - and to keep things fun by maybe telling a few jokes now and then.
She is survived by her husband Fred Fiorino, youngest daughter Natalie Fiorino and her boyfriend Matthew Shamy, all of North Brunswick, NJ - who love and miss her dearly. She is loved and missed by her son Ken Wallace and his wife Tabitha of Kennesaw, GA; her daughter Karyn Gove and her husband David of High Bridge, NJ; and her brother Arthur Vallely and his wife Becky of Pennsylvania. Her two grandsons Cashel and Declan Gove of High Bridge, NJ, the lights of her life, love and miss her greatly and will always remember how much “Apple Picking Grandma” loves them. She is also loved and missed by longtime neighbors Diane Pollard and George Pfeiffer, many nieces and nephews, cousins, friends and her beloved pets. Her parents Eleanor and Arthur Vallely and her sister and best friend Carol Lynn Vallely passed away many years ago and were lovingly awaiting her arrival in Heaven with a fresh pot of coffee.
“What a wonderful family I have. I am reminded everyday, especially when we can all be together.” - Kathy
Until we can all be together again she will be remembered in every ray of sunshine, every bird chirp, every ripe garden tomato and everything else that makes this world as wonderful as she was.
A Celebration of Life will take place the weekend of her birthday. Details to come.
Oh, you're the best friend that I ever had
I've been with you such a long time
You're my sunshine and I want you to know
That my feelings are true
I really love you
Oh, you're my best friend
- “You’re My Best Friend” - one of Kathy’s favorite Queen songs.
I come to the garden alone,
While the dew is still on the roses;
And the voice I hear, falling on my ear,
The Son of God discloses.
And He walks with me, and He talks with me,
And He tells me I am His own,
And the joy we share as we tarry there,
None other has ever known.
He speaks, and the sound of His voice
Is so sweet the birds hush their singing;
And the melody that He gave to me
Within my heart is ringing.
I'd stay in the garden with Him
Tho' the night around me be falling;
But He bids me go; thro' the voice of woe,
His voice to me is calling.
- “In the Garden” - a hymn that resonated in Kathy’s heart.