Valerie was born in Weitchpec (1955) to Katherine Pearson and Dale Sanderson and later adopted by Henry Beck. She grew up in Humboldt County for the majority of her life and was currently living in Hoopa. She has two children, Henry Frank and Thomas Frank; two grandchildren, Sophia Luster and Charlee Frank. She loved her children and grandchildren, and when she was around them she would spoil them as much as possible. Her smile was so big when she was with her granddaughters.

She was married to Ronald Dean Tuey for over 30 years. She loved her Uncle Billy Pearson, Auntie Barbara Pearson, and Auntie Donna. Valerie loved cooking and worked for a private school as the lead cook. Later in life, she was the one-hour photo clerk for Walgreens in Arizona. She was an animal lover to the core, she must have had every stray in the neighborhood in her house at one time or another. When she did not let them in the house, she would set up an enclosed space with a blanket for her furry friends.

Valerie had a kind and loving spirit. She enjoyed people, which made her a natural in the one-hour photo lab. She used to talk about her time with Walgreens quite often. Valerie was a strong, independent, and empathetic woman. If she could help you, she would without hesitation.

One Christmas, my wife and I had brought up presents the first week of December. The week of Christmas we came back up to open presents with her and her husband. I was the one passing out the presents. As I handed mom her first gift, I kind of noticed that one of the edges was torn, but taped. As I handed my 64 year old mother her second present, I happened to notice another taped up corner. I stopped and looked at all of mom’s presents had all been torn in the corners and taped backed up. I said, “Mom, did you try to peek at your presents?” She said, “No” with a huge childlike smile and finished “If I had done that son, it would have been a waste of my time, because you and my daughter had put everything in brown boxes. I will say that when I was sweeping one morning, I wasn’t wearing shoes and one of my toes caught the edge of that present and that is how it got ripped, so I taped it up.” I replied, “Mom did your toe get caught on all your presents?” We laughed so hard that our stomachs started to hurt. When you got mom around presents or sweets, the 10-year-old girl would come out of her. All the way to the end, Mom would come out of her fog when we brought chocolate cake.

One of my favorite memories is the time when my wife and I visited her the first time after our wedding and mom gave Di Anna a great big hug and told her that she always wanted a daughter and now she has one.

Valerie really did her best to not judge anyone, she forgave people easily and accepted them for where they were at, right now. She did not have the easiest life, but she made the best out of it. She was her harshest critic and as I sat with her on her last day, I let her know that she had nothing to fear, that our ancestors are waiting for her to make her journey home and I listed off everyone I could think of and let her know that they will be okay. She was fighting, but her body could not fight anymore, so I told her, “Mom I love you. I see that you are fighting, Today is a good day to fight but mom, today is also a good day not to fight.” Her face softened and she crossed over. She looked so peaceful laying there, I kissed her forehead and sang her song to help her with her journey home and my wife and I left the hospital and sat with my brother and Aimee who were waiting for us outside.

Valerie’s family would like to thank the PHU staff at the Providence Hospital in Eureka and to the Eureka Rehabilitation and Wellness Center staff for the care they gave my mom and for the care that they gave to her family and friends.

Mom is home now and she is no longer suffering. She taught me how to trust people, how to enjoy people, how to forgive, how to cook, how to enjoy the little things in life and be grateful for them. Rest in peace and I will see you when I cross over. I love you.


The obituary above was submitted by Valerie Tuey’s loved ones. The Lost Coast Outpost runs obituaries of Humboldt County residents at no charge. See guidelines here. Email