Dedicated to the citizens of Mason County, Washington since 1886

John "Jack" Valley


John "Jack" Valley of Chicopee, MA passed peacefully in the company of his loving family on February 2, 2024.

Jack was born in Shelton, Washington on March 22, 1932 to William S. and Marjorie A. (Swan) Valley. He graduated from Washington State University with a degree in Business Administration. He subsequently served in the U.S. Air Force, which brought him to his permanent home in Chicopee.

Jack was known for his deep, caring nature and an innate curiosity that made everyone he came across feel like an instant friend. Jack was a preservationist. Nothing eluded his curiosity or his ever-present camera. "Look up at the sky," he would say, "but don't forget to look beneath your feet too." Everything was a marvel to his artist's eye...a flower, a piece of driftwood, a rock, and sunsets. Jack and his wife Janet were accomplished artists in both watercolor and oil painting mediums. Jack was fascinated by sunsets and, to the very end, he took joy in documenting the minute-by-minute changes in their color and depth. He was delighted because many of these photos were featured in Western Mass News on air weather reports. "What good is a picture if it's not shared," he would say. Friends and family have wonderful memories of him doing just that.

Jack was also known for his calligraphy. He was rarely without a Flair pen. A greeting card from the Valleys never needed a return label because the sender was announced by the Old English flourishes he gave to the recipient's address. Every card's text was illuminated and was itself a gift, as Jack enhanced the inside message with a skill good enough to make a medieval monk weep with envy. Jack shared his artistry with his favorite servers. At the beginning of each meal he would ask for a white paper napkin; out would come that Flair pen. By the time the check arrived that napkin was transformed, the server's name becoming art.

Jack loved planes and flying. While in the U.S. Air Force he was an aide to Major General Daniel C. Doubleday and it was in this capacity, servicing aeronautical communications sites that Jack traveled to the Mideast, the Far East, Greenland, Antarctica, and Germany. Jack was proud to have flown on the first 707-120 built by Boeing, which today is housed in the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum. In the course of his civilian work life in Chicopee he served the city as Ombudsman and then for 21 years in the Chicopee Office of Community Development. After his retirement he volunteered on the Patient and Family Advisory Committee for the Holyoke Medical Center. He and his wife were active members of Faith United Methodist Church in Chicopee.

Jack leaves his beloved wife of 63 years Janet (Hartranft) Valley; his son Steven and wife Mary (Kovalski) Valley; his nephews Scott Valley, Eric Valley, Sean Valley, and John Anderson. Jack was predeceased by his parents, his brother William Valley and his sister Marjorie Ann Valley Anderson.

Jack was laid to rest on February 20, 2024, at the Massachusetts Veteran's Memorial Cemetery in Agawam. If you wish to make a memorial gift in memory of Jack, please send it to the First United Methodist Church, 191 Montcalm Street, Chicopee, MA 01020, or to the Boys & Girls Club of Chicopee, 580 Meadow Street, Chicopee, MA 01013.


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