Valerie Lee Molder Cleaver died peacefully on March 10, 2023 at home with her husband of 40 years, Tom, by her side. Valerie was born in Baltimore, Maryland on January 13, 1945, the only daughter of Edmund Lee and Frances Irene Dietor Molder. She graduated from Notre Dame Preparatory School and attended the University of Maryland. Valerie lived in Maryland and Delaware until 2001, where she had a successful career working for Eutaw Savings Bank, First National Bank of Maryland, and as a Vice President for Equitable Bank. After retiring from corporate life, Valerie was able to realize a lifelong dream of working with animals at a veterinary hospital. Later, she felt called to work with people preparing for end of life and their families at Hospice of Queen Anne’s. Her leisure time was usually spent with Tom, other family members, and friends. Valerie enjoyed being near the water (fishing, boating, crabbing, beach time), attending and volunteering at church, and her dogs. Valerie was also a fabulous cook, which she learned from her mother, Fran, and loved entertaining family and friends – the more the merrier she would say.
Valerie and Tom moved to Southwest Florida in 2001 where family, friends, water, church, and her dogs remained Valerie’s biggest sources of enjoyment. She began coping with dementia in 2016, and moved with Tom to Shell Point Retirement Community in 2017. Valerie continued to lead an active life. She began taking art lessons, painting with watercolor, and raising butterflies. She served as a hospice patient volunteer, participated in church activities, attended musical performances, and spent time with friends.
Val was an amazing daughter, mother, wife, and friend. She had a special way about her that those who crossed paths with Val experienced. Her ability to relate to others endeared her to so many. She has been described as easy to love, always happy, vibrant, funny, and having a passion for life. It was always so clear how much Val cared about everyone in her life. This was her special gift to everyone she loved.
Valerie is survived by her husband, Thomas W. Cleaver; and three children, Whitney Wilson (Andy), Clay Coard (Leah), and Amy Holden (Gary). She loved being a grandmother to Brady Wilson, Spencer Wilson, Ali Wilson, Laurel Coard, Blake Coard, Lila Coard, and Chad Holden.
Valerie’s family is deeply grateful for the kindness and help of friends, Hope Hospice, and Shell Point Home Care in recent months.
Friends are invited to gather at Valerie’s memorial service at 1 p.m. on Saturday, April 22 at Peace Lutheran Church, 15840 McGregor Blvd., Fort Myers, FL 33908.
Arrangements under the care and direction of Baldwin Brothers Funeral and Cremation Society; baldwincremation.com.
Those who wish to honor Valerie can consider a donation to Shell Point’s Butterfly Habitat, or simply think of Val the next time you see a butterfly. (Checks can be payable to The Legacy At Shell Point, mailed to 15010 Shell Point Blvd., Fort Myers, FL 33908, and have a notation that they are for the Butterfly Habitat in memory of Valerie Cleaver).
Valerie Cleaver and Sharon Kubik raising funds for From our Hearts at the Holiday Hope House in 2012.
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Valerie was such a beautiful person! Having you guys as our neighbors in Matlacha was the best! Valerie certainly knew how to throw the most elegant dinner parties. She was an exceptional cook and hostess. Some of my favorite times would be hanging out back eating crabs, drinking some wine and ending the night with homemade ice cream. Val loved her ice cream! Perhaps Val & Bill will have a bowl of ice cream in Heaven.
Love you and miss you my friend.
Hopefully. grateful, wonderful memories will soon prevail. God bless him and the family!
I am so saddened for your loss. Valerie was such a positive force for life, love, beauty and fun. Without doubt, thinking of her always put a smile on my face as it always will. I hope that happy memories will carry you as well through the next few months.
Sending love to all.
How fortunate she was to have Tom meeting her needs, to have faithful friends. We do not know her children but grieve with all her family and friends for our loss and rejoice in her peace.
Renee & I don’t have to tell you how special Valerie will always be to us! She has touched so many lives and her zest for life and love for others will go on for generations through you all and many many more! Cherish those Val memories as you mourn and celebrate a life well led, while this phase ending selfishly too soon! Love to all! Rob & Renee