Valentina (Val) Florez Zacharias, loving mother, devoted wife, and compassionate nurse passed away on July 18, 2023. The daughter of proud, hard-working, Mexican immigrants, Val was born in Fredonia, Kansas on September 6, 1934. Her father worked for the railroad and declared that getting his U.S. citizenship was one of his proudest moments. She grew up as part of a caring family of six brothers and sisters. As a child and young adult, she and her family lived in what was called "railroad row," in a boxcar with no running water or electricity.
Despite her modest beginnings, Val was determined to get ahead in life. After high school, she attended and graduated from the Mercy School of Nursing in Ft. Scott, which opened doors to a diverse and fulfilling career in the healthcare industry. Her dedication and hard work earned her the respect and admiration of her colleagues and patients alike.
A loving and attentive mother to her four sons, Val instilled in them a sense of family pride and the power of perseverance to always be the best they could.
In 1981, she married her husband David, and together they enjoyed entertaining friends and family, camping, white water canoeing, and traveling across the U.S. and Europe. Val's culinary skills were well-regarded, and an invitation to any meal she prepared, especially Mexican food, was always a welcome treat.
An active member of Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church, Val was a woman of strong faith. She served in multiple ministries, including the funeral dinner ministry, which she chaired for over 12 years. She was dedicated to serving her community and making a difference in the lives of others.
Val was predeceased by her son Christopher; sisters Juanita Garcia, Daria Baker, and Eulalia Wilson; brothers Pantaleon (Joe), and Thomas (Tom) Florez.
She is survived by her husband David, brother Crescenciano (Chris) Florez; sons Carl (Mark), Michael, and Curtis Fairman; her wonderful grandchildren Mallory Mc Keel, Matthew Lamas, Zachary, Hannah, Cash, and Brixton Fairman; along with her six delightful great-grandchildren.
Valentina will be dearly missed by all who knew her. Her legacy of hard work, dedication, and service to others will live on in the memories of those whose lives she touched.
A rosary will be recited at 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday (July 25) at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church, followed by a Memorial Mass of Christian Burial at 10:00 a.m. with Fr. Chris Rumback as celebrant. Burial will follow at 12:30 p.m. in National Cemetery in Fort Scott, Kansas. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations be given to The Lord's Diner in Pittsburg, Kansas. These may be left at or mailed to the Brenner Mortuary, 114 E. 4th St., Pittsburg, KS 66762. Online condolences may be left at www.brennermortuary.com. Arrangements are under the direction of Brenner Mortuary.