Valerie was born in Ogden, UT on April 3rd, 1946 to Peggy Rae Allred and Donald Lee Vaughn. After their divorce, Valerie was raised by Peggy and wonderful step dad, Neil Griffiths. She grew up in Salt Lake City where she passed away on July 2nd, 2022 due to the ravages of lung cancer. It took her too soon, as she had so many more plans for her future.
As a young girl Valerie worked in her Dad’s local food market, the Main Market on 3300 S. Main St. and always remembered those chores... She graduated from Murray High School in 1964 and attended a year of classes at the University of Utah. She married and divorced and had one cherished daughter, Jodi, whom she loved and admired dearly.
Valerie spent her working career in a variety of fields including retail sales at Grand Central, exercise salons, driving a UTA bus, and working in cabinet shops. She finished her work life as a well-log scanning tech for the Utah Geological Survey.
In retirement is where Valerie truly made her mark in this world. She had a great love for the community she lived in, and joined the SLC Liberty Wells Community Council and served as board member, vice chair, and chair. She devoted over 10 years to this organization and had numerous enduring accomplishments including: helping to complete and dedicate the Ron Heaps Memorial Park, helping the start-up of the Wasatch Community Garden plots at 1700 S. 700 E., and securing funds to have an inset drop-off zone constructed on 300 East to keep Liberty Elementary students safe. But her most cherished work was in founding and establishing the highly successful Liberty Park Farmers Market, a dream she’d had for several years before she finally “made it happen” in 2017. For five more years she dedicated her heart and soul and innumerable hours throughout the year to make the LP Market a success, and make it bigger and better each year. Valerie made many friends throughout her life but especially while working for her beloved community endeavors.
Valerie was a “Doer.” Rarely did she take a break from anything she set her mind on accomplishing. For years she proudly organized and hosted the family pumpkin carving festivities at Halloween. Valerie and Kimm, her wife of nearly 36 years, spent 20 years renovating their 120 year-old house, doing most of the work themselves. When warm weather in winter was a desire, they bought a home on a river canal in Edgewater, Florida, where they spent the past six winters and made more great friends and visited family. Time in Florida was not spent idly at the beach; there was a pool to be put in, a boat house to modify, a covered patio to be added, and golf, kayaks, and a boat acquired for fun and adventuring.
Valerie is survived by her wife, Kimm Harty, who loved Valerie with all her heart; her daughter Jodi Austin (Sean); her siblings Terrie Farley (Kit), Jacqueline Vaughn, Ray Griffiths (Teri), and Russell Griffiths (Heather); her much-loved and fantastic grandchildren Riley Kate and Liam (who as a tot referred to Valerie as “Grandma Wow”); her cousins Jon and Jim; and many beloved cousins, nieces, nephews, and their children.
What we will miss greatly is Valerie’s big heart, cheerful laughter, her devotion to her causes, her action-minded spirit, her sincere care for others including her many animal pets, and especially her wonderful smile and the mischievous twinkle in those blue eyes.
Many thanks to our Hospice Teams at Halifax Health and Intermountain Healthcare. We will have a Celebration of Life event for Valerie at the Starks Funeral Parlor on Tuesday, July 26th from 6-8 p.m., where we will eat, drink, mingle, and remember our great friend Valerie Vaughn. Guests are encouraged to park on the North side.