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Peaceful 09


Colette "Tanya" (Cooke) Valiza

September 28, 1932 ~ May 25, 2018 (age 85)

Death leaves a heartache that no one can heal. Love leaves memories that no one can steal.

Colette “Tanya” (Cooke) Valiza, our beloved mother, sister, auntie, and “grami” went home to be with the Lord on May 25, 2018. Her passing was sudden and unexpected. Yet even though our hearts ache with great sadness, we have comfort in knowing that mom is in God’s presence experiencing everlasting peace and joy. Just like she used to wait for her family at the home she kept in Palmdale, California for the past 61 years, mom now waits to welcome us in her heavenly home. Iron-willed and what we affectionally described as “stubborn to the core,” mom never wanted her family to worry about her. Determined to live independently, when mom broke her hip eight years ago, she committed herself to the discipline of physical rehab. Home, not a facility, was where she wanted to live. In the following year mom received a breast cancer diagnosis, a minor inconvenience she said. On the day of her release from the hospital after surgery, mom asked her eldest son Craig to take her to Costco, she had a list of errands to finish. She sailed through chemo and seven years later was declared cancer-free. Mom had developed other physical ailments and conditions which slowed her down, but she was determined to live at home and drive herself. She did though have to give up a task she enjoyed… mowing the lawn. On May 21st mom fell and broke her other hip. Although surgery was successful, and mom was in fine spirits afterwards, the stress on her body was too much for her precious heart to handle. Mom was born on September 28, 1932 in Los Angeles, California to Katie Lee (Franklin) and Earl Douglas Cooke. Another sister Linda was born just before Earl Douglas died in 1934. Katie Lee “Dodie” remarried Steven “Gumps” Rozich, adding two boys, Sonny and Ronny and a girl Sondra to the family. Except for her two sisters, mom’s family has preceded her in death. She married David Martin Valiza on May 21, 1952 in Huntington Park, California. They were married for 43 years. While living in the Los Angeles suburbs, they had two boys Craig and Dale, and then moved to the Antelope Valley settling in Palmdale in 1957. Mom kept the maternity ward busy at Antelope Valley Hospital over the next few years by adding three girls to the Valiza roster. Dad passed away on March 16, 1996 after battling a debilitating illness. Mom shared the story that the night before Dad died, she told him while he was sleeping that she and the kids would be okay, and it was okay for him to go. Dad must have been listening. He died in his sleep the following afternoon. Mom remained a widow until her passing. Mom is survived by her five children, six grandchildren, one very special great-grandchild, two sisters, and a multitude of cousins, nieces and nephews scattered throughout California and Nevada. Her five children are her eldest son Craig R. Valiza and daughter-in-law Susie in Rancho Palos Verdes, CA; her second son and the one she claimed gave her gray hairs Dale “Russell” Valiza in Palmdale, CA; her third child and first girl Tara (Valiza) and son-in-law Frank in Orange County, CA; her second girl Tisha (Valiza) Hamilton and son-in-law Gregory in Fallbrook, CA; and last but not least her third girl and final child Traci Valiza in Palmdale, CA. Her six grand-children (in order of birth) Nakisha Valiza in Palmdale, CA; Derek Valiza in Lancaster, CA; Stephan Valiza in Washington; Chelsea Hamilton in Colorado; Brittany Valiza in Toluca Lake; and Chad “Chaddy” Hamilton in Colorado. Her special great-grandchild Leilani “Lanni” Valiza in Lancaster, CA. She is also survived by her sister Sondra (Rozich) Baker and brother-in-law Larry in Glide, Oregon, her sister Linda French in Sun City, CA, cousins EJ Formolo in Whittier, CA, Sonya (and Gene) Tamplin in Beaumont, CA, Peggy (and Chuck) Williams in CA, and niece Loma (Rozich) Garland in Nevada. We regret that we could not include the full extensive list of mom’s extended family. Mom’s heart always made room for our significant others. Traci’s long-term love Michael McFarlane , Leilani’s mommy Alicia Gonzalez and step-brother Alex, Brittany’s boyfriend Mike Stillo, Chelsea’s boyfriend Julian Caler, and Chaddy’s fiancé Rebecca Long. Grami was really looking forward to meeting the girl who captured Chaddy’s heart at their upcoming August wedding. Mom held a variety of jobs through those early years; worked in sales, hospitality, sold Avon, and at the local newspaper The Valley Press. Always stressing the value of honest work and commitment. A woman with many talents, her primary focus was always her children. Mom made certain if there were an event to attend, she was there with her camera. She baked cookies, custom decorated cupcakes, and cakes; cooked up a storm, seamstress extraordinaire in making costumes, clothing, and prom dresses, helped with homework, Girl Scouts, Brownies, PTA, parent-teacher conferences, chauffer, school events, family barbeques, a constant presence at football, baseball and volleyball games, Cotillion, pool parties, graduations, you name it, done. Junior Women’s Club with five young children? No problem. Holiday celebrations for five children, she made it look effortless. Mom’s unflappable style and elegance was uniquely hers. Mom never left the house without looking like she stepped out of a fashion magazine. She was an avid reader, kept herself abreast of current events and entertainment. She loved to meet and interact with people and was quite the conversationalist. With the brood she had, how could she not have a story to share? Mom had a sharp wit and keen sense of humor about her that could make the most boring of events funny and interesting. Mom was quintessentially mom to anyone and everyone she met. Extremely generous, her door was always open to dogs, stray cats courtesy of Tisha and Traci, the occasional science project courtesy of Tara, friends, boyfriends to her daughters, girlfriends to her sons, children, teens, and adults. Yet through it all mom managed to keep the house looking perfect and always had food and sweets laid out for everyone. And no visitor could deny they knew mom’s favorite color was blue. Our hearts ache because mom is not physically here to share in our future memories. But the memories mom created for us can never be taken away. Her straightforwardness, strength, and most of all love has left for us a lasting legacy. Mom/Grami, you have given so much and asked for so little in return. Thank you for always being there for us, for teaching us, listening to us, helping and forgiving us, loving us, and always paving the way for us. We will continue to work hard to reach the standard you set. Farewell sweet Mom/Grami, We love you and will miss you. "You were simply magnificent." Mom had always said she did not want a memorial service. Instead the family is opting for a private informal celebration of mom’s life. In lieu of any flowers, please consider donating in memory of Tanya Valiza to a charity or organization which benefits women’s fight against breast cancer, veterans (mom was a true patriot), and troubled youth. Chapel of the Valley Mortuary has graciously posted this obituary online. We would love for you to share your thoughts and remembrances of our remarkable mom.

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