Valerie Sue McCullam, aged 74, passed on to be with Jesus on January 20, 2018 in her home in Las Cruces, New Mexico “The Land of Enchantment.” Until her final moments, she lived life to the fullest, and filled any room she was in with laughter, warmth, and love. The daughter of Kenneth McCullam and Frances Sneed, Valerie was born December 3, 1943 in Clarskville, Tennessee and grew up on Long Island, New York with her two sisters, Carol and Barbara. She attended East Meadow High School, where as the star of her high school play she filled the auditorium with laughter. Though she spent some time at Austin Peay University studying art, her wanderlust and adventurous spirit drew her to see the world as a flight attendant for Pan Am. In her 25-year career, she saw most of the world and had numerous experiences that became the basis of hilarious and often naughty stories she loved to tell her friends and family.
Having achieved the honorable position of Union Representative for the east coast, she then moved on to start a new career as a real estate agent in Montgomery County, Maryland, where within her first year she became one of the top performing agents in one of the most competitive markets in the country. She retired to Las Cruces, New Mexico, where she fell in love with the beauty of the mountains, big skies, sunshine, culture, community, and way of life. She felt at home in the kitchen and was an accomplished chef who loved to show others love through her cooking.
In her final five years, she discovered the most meaningful spiritual experience of her life through the journey of recovery with the help of her local support group “Las Mujeres”—she found her home there and was so grateful to her dear friend, Lucia Herrin.
She had two sons, Michael and Jeremy, with whom she shared the deepest bond of love and affection that any family can know. In addition to her sons, she is survived by her “daughters in love,” Kristin (Collins) and Shannan (Collins), grandsons, sister, Barbara, and the father of her sons, Jack Collins. She loved her grandsons, Carter and Colt, with an unmatched intensity of infectious joy visible in the sparks that glowed from her smiling eyes whenever she talked about them.
She regularly volunteered at the Mesilla Valley Hospital providing support to young women who had suffered abuse. A passionate lover of animals, she rescued several dogs, including her surviving best friend, Victor.
If you’ve ever wondered why God made the universe, it’s so that we might know someone as beautiful as Valerie and see a reflection of His infinite love.