(nee Urbanowitz) On December 29, 2021; Age 79; of Haddonfield, NJ died peacefully with family around her. Valerie was the beloved wife of the late Thomas (Tom). She is survived by her daughter Victoria Spinanger (Andrew Holtsbery) of Syracuse, NY; her grandson Thomas Holtsbery; dear sister of Kathryn Keller and brother Theodore (Gladys) Urbanowitz; nieces Claire Keller (Eric Whitaker) and Julia Keller (Leora Zimmer); grand-nieces and nephews Helia, Heath, Shira, and Jonah; and her special feline companions Mr. Mephistopheles and Obadiah.
Valerie was born in Elizabeth, NJ to Theodore and Emma Urbanowitz. Valerie grew up in Union, NJ where she and her husband Tom became childhood sweethearts. They would later marry in 1965. Valerie graduated from Trenton State College in Science Education. She was the first in her family to graduate from college. Valerie then went on to Seton Hall University to become the second woman to earn a master’s degree in biology from that educational institution. Valerie and Tom moved to the greater Southern New Jersey. Valerie was a science teacher in Stratford School district. She and Tom bought their house in Haddonfield in 1969.
Valerie continued to do bed-side tutoring in science and mathematics when her daughter was young. She later went on to pursue a veterinary degree at the University of Pennsylvania. She overcame ageism by graduating in 1989 at the age of 46. She was employed at several veterinary practices in the area. Valerie continued to do tutoring for the Haddonfield School district. She also was an adjunct professor in Anatomy and Physiology and Introductory Biology at Camden County Community College.
Valerie enjoyed traveling with her husband and her sister. They particularly enjoyed going to the British Isles, Scandinavia, and the Wintertur Museum in Delaware. Valerie and her husband explored Vienna several times. Valerie enjoyed going to the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Opera, and traveling to the Skaneatlas Festival near where her daughter lives in Syracuse. Valerie enjoyed going to art museums. She enjoyed going with friends to the Neue Gallerie in New York City. Valerie also enjoyed spending time with friends at her house on the Delaware River in Upper Black Eddy. Valerie enjoyed sharing her love of biology with her grandson. She enjoyed taking him to the aquarium, the natural history museum, and the zoo. Valerie was an avid reader and was active in many book clubs in the area. Valerie always had cats in her life. They were spoiled rotten and destroyed most of the furniture. She was pre-deceased by many of them. Recently, Valerie was a social butterfly. She was a regular at the local coffee shop, was a fixture at many dinner parties, and a constant in many movie-watching events. Friends have commented that they will miss her very much.
Valerie’s family will receive friends on Saturday, April 30, 2022, 10-10:45 AM at Kain-Murphy Funeral Services, 15 West End Ave., Haddonfield, NJ; where the Family invites all to participate in her Reminiscence Service beginning at 11 AM. If you wish to attend the service via Zoom please email us at KainMurphy@comcast.net for the code. In lieu of flowers please donate in her memory to the Haddonfield Public Library or the Good Samaritan Fund at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine. The point of contact for the donations to the Haddonfield Public Library is the Library Director, Eric Zino, email@example.com. The Good Samaritan Fund assists families of companion animals who cannot afford to pay for veterinary services. Donations to the Good Samaritan Fund can be made at www.vet.upenn.edu/giving/how-to-support-penn-vet.