Obituary of Valerie Jane Mallas
Valerie Jane Mallas
(December 23, 1960 - January 18, 2024)
Valerie Jane Mallas was born on December 23, 1960 to Erwin and Alice Lachman. She grew up on the family farm near Hay Lakes and had a lot of fun with her older sister, Sandy. Being around animals all day solidified her love for them early in life. She was essentially attached at the hip of her dad as they would do daily chores outside together. She also developed an interest in music and took piano lessons, which led to her playing for church services.
Valerie attended the Camrose Lutheran College (now U of A Augustana Campus). She made many friends and many good memories, including a choir trip across Europe. She graduated with a degree in education and music, with her first teaching job being at an elementary school in Edson.
Valerie married Bruce Mallas, and went on to have two daughters, Angelique and Taryn. Her children were the center of her world. She devoted her life to giving them the best childhood possible; an idyllic acreage to live on, many animals to love, and toys galore! The family even went on trips to Mesa, Arizona with Valerie’s parents, a trip to Disney World, and, later, Kentucky.
Linsford Park School in Leduc was not only Valerie’s longest place of work, but was also like a second home to her. The staff were a tight-knit family, and Valerie became a big part of it. She initially taught music there, but went on to teach nearly everything else, including Special-Ed. Some of her most impressive feats were the annual Christmas Concerts that she would produce. Described as “legendary”, these productions are still talked about to this day.
Teaching even took Valerie to Belize as part of a teacher development program organized by Rotary Club. This opportunity of a lifetime gave her many amazing new experiences and allowed her to make connections with people all the way across the world.
Valerie was always trying to find ways to engage her students, whether it was by bringing her love of animals into the classroom and having chinchillas as the class pets, or using money out of her own pocket to buy books and other things for the classroom. She’s touched countless lives through her teaching, having an impact on many, many students’ lives over the years.
In her downtime, Valerie loved to read. She was a very curious person and enjoyed learning. Church was also a very important part of Valerie’s life. She continued to play piano and organ for church services throughout her life, but also would sing, conduct handbells and choir, and be involved with the church in many other ways. People would compliment her playing, as she was very talented.
After her divorce, Valerie followed her ambitions to own her own farm out by Thorsby, where she had all the space in the world for animals. There were fields for cattle, a riding arena for horses, barns for chickens, and loads of room for cats and dogs to frolic.
Valerie retired in Millet after health issues made the farm unmanageable. Later, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She remained incredibly strong throughout her battle with the illness. She is survived by her daughters Angelique and Taryn Mallas; her sister Sandy Graves; and her mother Alice Lachman. She was predeceased by her father, Erwin Lachman.
A Funeral Service was held at 11:00 a.m., Saturday, January 27, 2024, from the St. Paul's Lutheran Church, 30-49402 Range Road 234 Rolly View officiated by Rev. Dennis Aicken and Rev. Randy Fiege.
Memorial donations are gratefully accepted to St. Paul’s Lutheran Church (Rolly View), the Cross Cancer Institute, or to a charity of one’s choice.