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 (tmcfunding.com)
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Mike, Leslie and family. So sorry for the loss of your sister, will keep all of you in my thoughts and prayers. Love Aunt Pat ❤
Sending my deepest sympathy to Valerie’s family. She was such a sweet and kind person. Rest in heavenly peace you will be greatly missed
Maria Pepera pfahl
Valerie we love you, you will always be in our heart. deepest love to Daniel, Mya, and Jada. rest in peace you beautiful angel prayers to your mom and dad we love you.
I and my family are so touched with your generosity and love for my daughter. This is a difficult time for me, family and friends of Valerie. Everyone is hurting so deeply, witds can not describe.
Thank you and your family & Matthew, you all been so very kind.
Your sweet voice will live in my mind forever and I’ll never forget everything you did for me. This is a wound that will never heal . You deserved so much more . I Love you Valley xoxo
hey mamma i miss you how’s heaven ? i love you miss you lots
Poor Valerie, you were a true sweetheart and great coworker, you did not deserve to die.
valerie I love you and miss you dearly and want and need you to know I will take care of our kids till the day I take my last breath
and if I can trade places with you I would
till we meet again RiP.
I’m sorry about your wife. She was my work buddy. And I will miss her as well.
God be with you.
Valerie, you deserved better. Be at peace.
P.O. Ortiz #273
To Valerie’s family:
My deepest and most sincere condolences for your loss. I knew Valerie in a professional capacity and never met a more genuine person. Each time we had an encounter, she always made me laugh; usually it was because she would give my partner the side eye and then greet me with a smile. We always had small talk, as our interactions needed to be brief, but they were my favorite part of being down there.
I want you to know that Valerie was loved by so many officers and she will be truly missed by many. I will continue to keep you all in my prayers.
I remember when she first came to the county! Very professional and about her business! She was always sweet and had a smile upon greeting! My Deepest Condolences goes out to her entire family! RIH Ofc Gudger….sweet lady!
Sherri A Wilcox
Gudger,was one of the most caring & loving people that i had the pleasure of knowing ,I got to know her well and trained her at the Sheriff dept , in (IMIS) We talked often and shared alot, we laughed all the time at many
Little things.we shared.
she was like my little sister friend, My deepest and Dearest Condolences to her children who she talked and loved dearly her family. Im going to miss my little friend Gudger) .I’ve sent a prayer up to my Mother, who is in heaven also to watch over you Gudger, May you rest in peace my friend. Sherri Wilcox
I worked with Val at Parma. She was always fun to work with and always made you laugh. She definitely made the world a better place. Rest in Peace
Hard to find the words. Valerie was my first love. Over e years I thought of her often and hoped she was doing well. But the I realized it was Valerie, a strong, independent and courageous woman so I always knew she was ok. I hate that this happened to such a kind and caring soul. My condolences to the Gudger family, as well as her other family and friends.
One love Val. Until we meet again…
It’s very hard to look over my shoulder and know you want be there. You will be miss partner. My thoughts and prayers is with your family.
I worked with Val at Harbor Light for a few years. She was unique, funny and truly a hard worker. She would make you laugh at her corny jokes. She called me her work mom. I’ll miss her! To her family, you have my prayers and sincerest condolences. May God keep you and Bless you!
I had the pleasure of working at the county with your daughter and I never knew her personally but her locker was next to mine! I will never forget her saying “Hi neighbor!” She was quiet from what I could see but always sweet and respectful! I’m very hurt by what happened and I’m hurting for the family and everyone she impacted! I know my hurt could never compare to those who truly knew her! My heart goes out to her parents and her children! May God continue to comfort you all through this difficult time. God Bless you all. Psalms 34:19
Diane and Family, I was so saddened to hear of the loss of your daughter. Please know my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. With deepest sympathy, Donna DiDonato
I had the pleasure to work with her at the county. She was always had such a vibrant and bright presence about her. I was always amazed how creativity she was whether it was turning a piece of used furniture into a masterful piece of art. The way she let her spirit guide her art brush would leave me breatheless. My prayers goes out to her family especially her children. The world does seem a little darker without her presence, but with each stroke she place a beautiful reminder on everyone that she encountered. RIH OFC Valerie Gudger
My deepest condolences to the Gudger and extended family. Although we were not as active in each others lives, she was such an amazing person and I know anyone who had the pleasure of knowing her is suffering a tremendous loss. So many small things consistently remind me of you and I am grateful for those memories. RIP Val.
It saddens me to know that you are gone but you will never be forgotten
I had to pleasure of working with you and having many conversations about life and our kids. So full of life and always kept a smile
My condolences to the family
May you continue to Rest Peacefully in Heaven beautiful
I am so sorry this happened to your family and Valerie. May God keep you all in his loving arms.
Jim and Michelle Murad
Our deepest sympathy and condolences.
To Diane and Family
My deepest sympathy… I cannot even imagine how everyone feels.
My prayers are with you at this time. Linda Kaluzny Zolnowski
My prayers are with the family.
Ricky Price and family
Our prayers and condolences is with you and your family with the loss of an awesome coworker she will be missed.
She was a hard worker and very respectful.
May your beautiful soul rest ❤️
R. I.H Val you will be truly missed praying for Daniel, Jada and Mya and the rest of your family ❤️ I will never forget the fun memories with your kids in the Regency ❤️❤️❤️
Wow gone too soon rest in heaven you will be missed
My condolences to her family, she was a beautiful person whom I had the pleasure of knowing and working with she will be missed R I H and love always Jackie and lil Chauncey Billups
To Octavious and the entire extended family of Valerie Gudger. I didn’t have the pleasure of meeting your children but did know how important and proud you were of them by the way you smiled ear to ear when speaking of them and your grandchildren. Words can’t describe the loss of a child or how to live with their absence from your lives. Just look to the heavens for strength, look around you at her offspring for precious memories and remember a part of her will always remain in your hearts forever. I’m praying that you all find peace. Be encouraged.
My deepest condolences and prayers to the family. Such a beautiful soul and loving personality
To Valerie family, she was a hard worker who prospered in everything she set her mind to. She was a smart young lady who was so funny, but when it was times to work she did just that. I will miss her dearly, but will think about her all the time. I am praying for her children & parents, you have my deepest condolences. “I know for certain that we never lose the people we love, even to death. They continue to participate in every act, thought and decision we make. Their love leaves an indelible imprint in our memories.”
My deepest condolences my heart goes out to your family R.I.H
My love and Condolence
Ms Gudger was beautiful inside out. And had the most beautiful smile ever. We will miss you so much but you will be in our hearts always and forever at the CCJ. Praying for your beautiful kids and family. Praying God give them the strength to deal with your loss. Rest peaceful sweetie. Ms Evans.
Valerie was my supervisor when I first started my career at Harbor Light. She taught me the importance of listening to our clients with respect! She will be greatly missed by her family & the corrections community! RIP
RIP Val. You will be missed, and never forgotten.
John J Marcu
Octavius and Family,
Keith and I just learned about this. Our deepest sympathy and prayers to you and your family. May the Lord grant you Peace during this time.
Your friends from the Boston Mills Visitor Center,
John J Marcu and Keith Snock
KRISTE J SIMMONS
I love you Val and will miss you until my last breath. I will keep our memories close. You always deserved so much more. Until we meet again, rest peacefully ❤