Valerie L.'s Story

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Valerie L. (Burbank) Symonds, 74, wife of Charles Symonds of Essex, passed away after a long and courageous battle with cancer on Wednesday morning, July 19, 2017, with her family at her side.
Valerie was born in Ipswich, Mass. on October 26, 1942, the daughter of the late Raymond Eugene and Beatrice Lillian (Henley) Burbank, and attended Story High School in Manchester, Mass. She is survived by Charles, her husband of 58 years, her four children, Christine Corrao of Gloucester, Kenneth Symonds and his wife, Christine of Princeton, Michael Symonds and his wife, Wei of Gloucester, and Jennifer Holloran and her husband, John of North Andover; six grandchildren, Kyle and Nicole Corrao of Gloucester, Mathew and Hannah Symonds of Princeton, and Marissa and Julia Holloran of North Andover; a sister, Evelyn “Pete” Marshall of Manchester-by-the-Sea, and many nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by her brother, Raymond “Turk” Burbank.
Valerie's biggest joy was spending time with her family. She often hosted family gatherings with delicious food, and fun such as card & board games, badminton and croquet. She initiated outings to Centennial Grove, the beaches of Cape Ann, Water Country and Amesbury Sport Park with her grandchildren. She loved growing cherry tomatoes, providing yummy treats for all to enjoy. She was an avid card player and a member of the Manchester Cribbage Club, so many more special memories. She was the co-founder and office manager of Essex Service Company, a family owned refrigeration and HVAC company, where she continued to work until the spring of 2017. Also together, she and Charles founded and operated the Chaval Skating Rink in Essex. She was a board member of the Chaval Figure Skating Club, and managed all schedules for the rink, including youth hockey leagues, tournaments, and Canadian exchanges. They enjoyed trips to Vegas, Foxwoods and their favorite spot, Aruba. She was a strong, resourceful, and independent woman who accomplished anything she put her mind to.
She touched the lives of many, and will be dearly missed.
Visiting hours are private. Family and friends are cordially invited to attend a service in her honor at the Greely Funeral Home, 212 Washington St., Gloucester, on Friday, July 21, 2017 at 11 a.m. Her burial to follow at Spring Street Cemetery, Essex.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in her memory to: Care Dimensions, 75 Sylvan St. Suite B-102, Danvers, MA 01923. Online condolences may be given at: www.greelyfuneralhome.com.
Published on  July 20, 2017
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