No services are planned for Valerie Suzette Fittell, 66, Lawrence.
She passed away painlessly of natural causes, surrounded by her family on November 13, 2020.
Born in St. Petersburg, Florida, the fifth child of Arthur Henry Poidevin and Stacy Sylvia Gerlach Poidevin.
Growing up on Anna Maria Island, Val fell in love with the warm waters and beaches of the gulf coast. There, she met God at the Church of the Annunciation, made incredible lifelong friends, became a proud member of Tri Delta, and graduated from Florida State University with a degree in Communications. Val also loved to dance and once got in trouble for riding her pony to school.
The next stage of her life made for wonderful stories of her time with the Girls Club in Birmingham, Alabama before moving to Berkley, California with her then husband Kevin Brown. California sprinkled new spices into her life (and cooking) before finding herself in Lawrence, KS.
After years of missing the ocean, Val finally conceded herself a Kansan after finding life-long love in John Fittell with whom she grew their family in the landlocked state that used to be the bottom of a sea. Val’s 27-year career as a Massage Therapist blossomed as she touched people’s lives literally and figuratively. Val’s passion for sewing and creating educational activities led her to a perfect niche among the ladies of the Over the Rainbow Doll Club. She found incredible joy in being a (grand)mother and friend. She loved openly and deeply, and could always be counted on for a kind word of advice.
In her final years, ALS took Val’s physical autonomy, but never her strength of spirit. She passed away peacefully, in charge, and surrounded by love.
Valerie is survived by her husband John Fittell; daughters and sons-in-law Camille Fittell, Carol Fittell, Carlyle and Justin Salb, and Kathleen and Michael Hethcoat-Doyle; grandchildren Penelope Salb, Tallulah Salb, and Addison Hethcoat-Doyle; her brother and sister-in-law Ronald and Karen Poidevin; and sister Kathleen Hoffiz. She was preceded in death by her parents Arthur and Sylvia, and two of her brothers: Norman and William Poidevin