Ronald Terrence "Terry" Valnes, 61, went to be with his Lord on Friday, March 25, 2011, dying unexpectedly of natural causes at his home in Prosser.

He was born June 26, 1949 at Great Lakes Naval Training Station in Zion, Ill. to Albin Lloyd and Elaine Christine (Smith) Valnes. The son of a Pearl Harbor survivor, Terry spent his childhood wherever his father's naval career took him. He graduated from West High School in Bremerton, in 1967. He then attended Northwest College in Kirkland graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in biblical studies in 1971.

It was there he met the love of his life and future wife, Peggy Fouts. Terry and Peggy were married on July 27, 1974 in Prosser, where they continued to live and raise their three children, Tricia, Charlie and Katie.

After graduation, he enlisted in the U.S. Army, serving from 1971 to 1973 and continuing his military service in the Naval Reserve. He attended Eastern Washington University acquiring his teaching certificate and then went on to teach first grade at Harriet Thompson Elementary in Grandview.

Over his career he touched the lives of 700-plus students. He had a passion for teaching and would often say "Being a teacher is who I am, not what I do."

Terry enjoyed golf and visiting over a good cup of coffee. His insatiable hunger for knowledge led him to study different languages, especially Swedish, the language of his daughter-in-law, and Greek, which he used to study the Bible.

Terry loved his family. His greatest joy was spending time with his parents and siblings in Bremerton, and his children and grandchildren in Seattle. Nothing made him happier than being tackled by a wave of adoring, giggling grandkids.

Terry is survived by his wife, Peggy of Prosser; his children, Patricia (Mark) Marie Mason, Charles (Sara Maria) Lloyd Valnes and Katie (Jesse) Marie Bryan, all of Seattle; five and "one-half" grandchildren, Jack, Jane, Claire, Hank, Duke and baby girl Valnes; his parents, Lloyd and Elaine Valnes of Bremerton; three sisters, Linda (Ron) Goodnough and Susan (Phil) LeBas, all of Silverdale and Nancy Valnes of Bremerton; and numerous nieces and nephews.

After all those years of being late, he beat us all to the Pearly Gates.

A Life Celebration will be held Friday, April 1, 2011, at 3 p.m. at Church of the Nazarene in Grandview.

Prosser Funeral Home and Crematory is in charge of arrangements.


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