GUILDERLAND – Barbara Jean Valentino-Hawkins, of Guilderland, passed away on Tuesday, February 20, 2018, at St. Peters Hospice Inn surrounded by her family after a courageous 27 month battle with pancreatic cancer. Born in Dayton Ohio to the late David R. and Bessie M. (Brewster) Clements, shortly after her birth the family moved to South Bend In. where her dad worked for Studebaker Motor Company. Barbara attended South Bend public schools and graduated from Clay High School where she participated in track and played the oboe in the school orchestra and percussion in the marching band. After graduation Barbara worked in a bank and in several different accounting offices in South Bend.
Barbara moved to New York in the early 70’s with her children and started a career in the insurance industry, first with The Travelers and later with a private agency McClure-D’ Ambro as a commercial lines rater. In 1982 she started a part time job at Sears in Colonie Center to supplement her insurance job. It was at Sears she met her future husband Bill and started a 35 year relationship and a 24 year marriage. Barb eventually left the insurance field and started a job with the NY State Tax and Finance Department serving as an auditor for 17 years before her illness forced her retirement.
Barb had many interests but her family always came first. Holidays were always happy events with all her children their spouses and her grandchildren attending. Every holiday brought appropriate decorations galore. No one in the family will ever forget Barb’s famous Sunday night dinners of spaghetti and meatballs or her famous meatloaf.
Barb was a woman of many talents, she was one of the first people to take and pass the Motorcycle Safety Course in New York in the early 80’s, she was an avid rider and put many miles on her motorcycles. Barb was an original staff member of the Americade Motorcycle Rally and volunteered for 35 years working with the motorcycle judging. Barb was an excellent gardener and grew many of her own vegetables during the summer months.
Barb’s love of animals was unbelievable, we had many kittycats and dogs and all were rescues. She loved her kitties and her dogs and mourned the loss of all who had passed, they will surely be waiting for her at the Rainbow Bridge. She cherished her current dogs Winston, Carmella Bella and Sandy Sue who all brought comfort to her during her illness.
Barb is survived by her husband Bill, her children Jacqueline Howland (Mike Hachey) and her daughter Stephanie; Victoria Valentino and her children Heather Valentino, Niccole Valentino-Smith (Daniel), Brittany Valentino, and Alexandria and Cameron Smith. Her son Timothy Valentino and his sons Nicholas and Carter Valentino and her daughter Deborah Wetherington (Gene) and their son Shane. Barbara is also survived by her stepchildren William E. Hawkins (Michelle) and their daughter Madison, Christopher G. Hawkins (Angela) and their children Skylar and Bailey and Carolyn N. Hawkins-Young (Jeremy) and their children Tyler, Jared and Asher; her sister Patricia Metz and nieces and nephews. Barb was predeceased by her parents, her brother David Jr. and his son David III.
The family wishes to thank Dr. Kambam, the nurses and the entire staff of NYOH at Albany Medical Center for their care and kindness and also the staff and nurses at the Hospice Inn for their understanding and support given during Barbara’s stay there. In lieu of flowers and in honor of Barb’s devotion to rescue animals please make a contribution in her name to Peppertree Rescue, PO Box 2396, Albany NY 12220-0396 or Animal Protection Foundation, 53 Maple Avenue, Scotia, NY 12302.
Funeral services will be held in the Hans Funeral Home, 1088 Western Ave., Albany, Saturday morning at 10:00 a.m. Relatives and friends are invited, and may call at the funeral home Friday from 4-7 p.m. Interment will be in Our Lady of Angels Cemetery, Colonie. To leave a message of condolence for the family or obtain directions to the funeral home, please visit www.HansFuneralHome.com.