Cover photo for Valerie Gudger's Obituary

Valerie Gudger

Valerie Marie Gudger age 37, devoted mother of Daniel, Mya and Jada Ortiz; cherished daughter of Octavious Gudger and Diane Malek (husband Michael); dearest sister of Michael Gudger (wife Leslie); loving aunt of Paige, Gabriella, and Elijah Gudger; dear niece, cousin, great aunt, and friend to many.

Valerie was born on August 31, 1984 in Long Beach, California, before moving with her family to North Carolina, and then eventually Ohio.

She was always surprising people with her abilities and opened mindedness. After earning an Associates Degree in Criminal Justice from Bryant and Stratton College, Val began an internship at the Cuyahoga County Salvation Army, and it did not take long for her to climb the ladder. She stepped up to the plate and was successful through her leadership and organization. It was not the position that was most important to her, but the positive impact on other’s lives as they were given a second chance in life that gave her the most joy and satisfaction.

She continued to serve her county the last 5 years as a Corrections Officer at the Cuyahoga County Jail.

Before her time served as a Corrections Officer she worked as a Security Guard for the Cleveland Museum of Art. Working the late shift meant she had time to roll down the halls in her chair and take time to truly appreciate the art. This newfound appreciation for art inspired her to begin painting. It also inspired her to begin refurbishing old furniture, which became more than a new hobby. She created her very own small business, Bit of Bristol.

Val was strong and determined. She prided herself in raising her children as a single mom. She worked two jobs and, no matter what the circumstances were, would never ask for help. She loved her children more than anything and was focused on making sure they were taken care of.

Val’s heart was God like. She had so much faith and believed in everyone, whether they were family or not. She cared so deeply for others that she did not believe you had to talk to someone every day to show you cared and loved them.

On September 16, 2021, Valerie passed away and left the world a little darker. Although she is no longer physically with us, let us keep her memory alive through her love and faith for others.

Celebration of Life Service Wednesday, September 22, 2021 at 11 AM at THE FUNERAL HOME.

Burial following at All Saints Cemetery.

Family will receive friends to pay tribute to and celebrate the life of Val at THE DeJOHN FUNERAL HOME & CELEBRATIONS CENTER OF CHESTERLAND 12811 CHILLICOTHE ROAD (Rt. 306, just south of Mayfield Rd.)  TUESDAY 1-3 & 5-8 PM.

The family has established a fund in Valerie’s memory. You can contribute by following this link: Funds – Treasured Memories Community Funding (

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Valerie Gudger, please visit our flower store.


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