Valerie Maria Cyr, 79, of New Haven
NEW HAVEN — On Sunday, Aug. 16, 2020, Valerie Cyr, loving wife and mother of four children, passed away peacefully at the age of 79. She was lovingly cared for by Alice Barnum during the last 4 and a half years as she struggled with Alzheimer’s.
Valerie was born on June 22, 1941, in Bridgeport, Conn., to Paul and Jean (Szeman) Zapotocky. She attended Roger Ludlowe HS (Class of 1959) in Fairfield, Conn., earned a Business Certificate from the Butler Business School in Bridgeport and had early success at Remington-DuPont, also in Bridgeport. She had two sons, Robert and Christopher, and two daughters, Amy and Jeannie with her first husband, Robert Herlihy. On Oct. 28, 1978 she married Wayne Donald Cyr of New Haven, Vt. Her first born, Robert, married Leslee Harton of Essex Jct. that same day for a double wedding. In 2018, they celebrated their 40th Wedding Anniversary at Project Independence, where they spent quality time together. She worked at the Banknorth Group for 15 years.
Valerie had a passion for music. She’d sit with her children in front of the stereo, pointing out specifically what songs and lyrics were the ones to “listen” to. Her music taste was wide ranging and an education in itself. From Peter, Paul & Mary and Johnny Cash to Judy & Liza, Barbra Streisand and show tunes, music made her heart the happiest. Her fondest memories would always include the artists she got to see live, trips to NYC for Broadway musicals or cabaret at Don’t Tell Mama. Valerie was always asking, “What’s happening with music in New York? What’s new to listen to?”
She was also a joyful and avid reader. Maeve Binchy and Mary Higgins Clark were among her favorites. She took late-night escapes sitting on the edge of the couch for hours, feet up on the coffee table, engrossed in these “other worlds.” Valerie and her mother, Jean, shared their favorite books and she always looked forward to discussing them either on their many outings into town or over coffee as their houses in Underhill were next to each other.
Valerie and husband Wayne, a carpenter, met and fell in love when he was building an addition onto her mother’s house. Their first date was at The Olde Board Restaurant in Burlington and “She and I” by Alabama was one of their favorite songs. They always called each other sweetie and dear and later lived in Hinesburg and New Haven. They’ll forever be holding hands “in their own little world…ain’t it wonderful?”
Valerie was known for her amazing smile, generous heart and big green eyes. She had a sharp wit and could be sarcastic. Her commitment to create a beautiful home and fun family barbeques was without fail. We’ll remember her beef stew, tuna salad and all things Crock-Pot. She cherished the good times with her children and was proud to be ranked high among the “Cool Moms” by their friends. She was sweet as pie and one of the strongest women you’ll ever meet.
Valerie was preceded in death by her father, Paul, and mother, Jean and her two sons, Bobby and Chris. She is survived by her husband Wayne; her daughters, Amy and Jeannie (Carol-Lynne); her brother, Darren-Paul; her grandchildren Lisha, Jesse (Aimee), Barbie, Matthew, Erin and Noah; 16 great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild.
Visiting hours will be held on Thursday, Aug. 20, at Brown-McClay Funeral Home in Vergennes from 5 to 7 p.m. A mass of Christian burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m. on Friday, Aug. 21, at St. Peter’s Catholic Church in Vergennes. Interment will be in Evergreen Cemetery in New Haven. In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to Elderly Services Inc. (Project Independence) in Middlebury. To send online condolences to her family visit brownmcclayfuneralhomes.com.◊
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