A Good Home, Beauty, Canadian Families, Canadian Homes, Canadian Women, Couples, Flowers, Grace, Valerie Rowley

Valerie Rowley – Beauty Inside and Out

In 2014, I ran a series about Valerie Rowley, her husband Chris and their lovely home, garden and pets.

Blog Photo - Val and Chickens

I was impressed by Valerie and Chris’ relationship – their obvious love and respect for each other.

I also liked this fact about them and their home: despite being an interior designer herself, Valerie didn’t renovate her home all at once. It took 20 years of patience and work. And though she created a beautiful home, it was above all, designed for comfort.

When Val’s illness worsened recently, my heart hurt for her and Chris and their family.

I remembered how she and Chris generously shared their home with my blogging community, and your warm responses to the series. So, knowing that Valerie loved flowers, I asked some of you to send a photo of your favourite flower for her. Many of you replied by Facebook or directly to my blog.

Valerie was very thankful for those flowers. 

Valerie died yesterday. She was surrounded by Chris, her daughter and son and grandchildren, and other loved ones. We wish and pray for comfort and strength for them at this tough time.

Some people have a special touch for creating beauty — in one’s surroundings, and in one’s heart. Valerie touched people in this way. In addition to being a gifted and well-known designer, she was a very positive person who had a way of lighting up a room with her sense of humour, frank talk, unpretentious ways and that beautiful smile. 

“Have I ever told you how much I love your spirit?” I wrote in what would be my last email exchange with her. “You draw people to you because there is a kind unpretentiousness about you, and an interest in others. I took to your presence like a duck to water … the warm look of welcome on your face, and the delight when you laugh, are  lovely.”

I am thankful to have known you, dear Valerie.

Prayers for Chris, Tamsyn, Jon and all who love you.





75 thoughts on “Valerie Rowley – Beauty Inside and Out”

  1. My heart goes out to Valerie’s family, friends and community. Wishing peace to all at this difficult time. Valerie will have a perennial planted for her here on our farm.

  2. Thank you so much for sharing this story, Cynthia.These are the moments that take my breath away – the precious stories of beautiful people and the way they love so fiercely.

  3. A beautiful, profound tribute to a person who made a difference. While I have only connected with you in recent weeks and did not meet Valerie through your posts, I celebrate a life that is well lived. In the end what is remembered is the love we give and receive in turn. My thoughts are with Valerie’s family and friends.

  4. I’m so sorry to hear that. A second blogger who I’ve heard about that has died recently. I thought your flower idea was inspirational, and you garnered a beautiful selection from your blog readers. I do hope it gave Val and her family some pleasure.

      1. Some years ago, a blogging friend had lung cancer, and CPOD. Another blogging friend suggested making a thousand cranes for her, so I contributed my 100 (OK, so I liked origami) and sent them. Don’t know if they helped or not, but Claudette lived two or three years after her initial diagnosis.

        Little things can help.

  5. Cynthia, this is a beautiful tribute, like Valerie, like you. I’m sorry her time was cut short on earth, and I’m glad you were able to share your heart and the flowers with her. I love the picture of her with her chickens–cozy and kind. Hugs. Thank you for letting us in on the bouquets. You’re a good friend.
    Blessings ~ Wendy

  6. I am sorry for you loss Cynthia, Valerie sounds like a wonderful person. This is a little extract from a poem I found once called “Farewell my Friends” – Farewell, farewell, my friends
    I smile and bid you goodbye.
    No, shed no tears for I need them not
    All I need is your smile.

  7. I am so sorry you have lost a dear friend. My prayers are with you and all Valerie’s family and friends at this most difficult of times. What a wonderful memorial to her you have written!

  8. My condolences to Val’s family. It sounds like she was a loving soul who touched many people as you do. Thanks for sharing and supporting them in your own way. blessings, Brad

  9. Oh too sad, too sad. But what beauty and loveliness we have to remember her by. And I so love the way Lavinia plants a memorial plant for those we lose from our blogging community. Blessings and Hugs.

  10. i wish those who loved her comfort; may their and your sadness be lit by good memories. She left the gift of a life well-lived.

  11. Valerie and I shared two Belgian Tervuren, and I was blessed to have known her love for these beautiful dogs. I too enjoy chickens and I photograph flowers daily, so we were kindred spirits. I too will plant a memorial flower in memory of this inspirational lady.
    My condolences to her family and all who mourn her passing.

    1. She had great relationships with her friends, Helen. At her memorial yesterday, in the family’s garden, there were many remembrances and hugs and smiles shared.

      1. Sounds like she was a wonderful woman. And, as I once heard, to be mourned is to be loved.

  12. She sounded like a great friend, Cynthia. I know she will live on in your heart. Condolences and blessings to all who need them.

  13. I’m sorry to hear you’ve lost a friend and I’m sending healing thoughts to you and all who loved her. Looking at that photo, I have no doubt Valerie’s smile continues to throw light both here and beyond.

    1. Ah, Cathleen. How lovely of you. Thank you. Valerie and I met through our mutual friend Jean who loved her very much and I’ve been very aware this week of how much friendship matters.

  14. i was sad to read this news, however what a lovely tribute to your friend. it is always heartening to rub shoulders with people who enrich life’s journey by their presence, and who just by being there, make our own loads feel lighter. thank you for sharing.
    my heart goes out to her family and loved ones in these tough moments and in the days ahead.

  15. I’m sorry to hear about your friend’s passing Cynthia. You’ve written a beautiful tribute to her here. And I hope many flowers will be planted and flourish in the spirit of Valerie. 🙂

  16. So very sorry for your loss, Cynthia. Such a beautiful soul, and inspiration for everyone who knew or even heard of her. Hope she is in the place where all the beautiful things are born, all the flowers of the Universe, and all the eternal love.

  17. Cynthia, I wish you many lovely memories of your friend. I would send her a bouquet of daly lilies if I could, but I have just found your blog and am too late to send a flower to make her smile. I’m so sorry for your loss. Clare

  18. I chanced up your blog and saw Valerie’s flowers and sighed.
    Then I saw that Valerie has gone to share her spirit and beauty elsewhere.
    How blessed you all were to be touched by this soul!

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