FLORENCE — Valerie Joan "Val" Sotomayor, 68, of Tucson, a longtime sports fan, antique hunter and devoted mother, died on Sept. 2, 2019, in Phoenix.
Mrs. Sotomayor was born to George and Betty Ann Feliz on Feb. 8, 1951, in Florence and was raised on a ranch outside of town, where she enjoyed climbing trees, playing sports and shooting her BB gun. She was a proud graduate of Florence High School. Shortly after graduation, she married and moved to Tucson, where she began a 44-year career at Tucson Medical Center, blossoming into a valued member of the technology team. She worked at TMC at the time of her death.
She was known as a dreamer and a storyteller who loved arranging trips to secondhand or antique stores with her daughters or sisters and had a knack for always finding what she was looking for. With her innate ability to make everyone around her feel comfortable, she could walk into a room full of strangers and instantly make friends. This ability, in conjunction with her quiet confidence and sense of humor, made her a treasured confidant, colleague and friend. In her early days, she was an Arizona State University sports fan, but she eventually came to love nothing more than cheering on her beloved University of Arizona Wildcats every chance she got. She was a cheerleader for her daughters over the course of many summers spent watching them play softball. She was known for her hilarious belly laugh, the way she always managed to mangle both song lyrics and movie titles, and above all else, her steadfast love for her family.
Survivors include her husband of 47 years, Robert; four daughters, Melissa and Kimberly of Tucson, Rachel Sotomayor and Kelly Wainhouse of Phoenix; two stepchildren, Robert J. and Andrea of Tucson; her father, of Florence; three siblings, Vicki Ramirez, Marsha Woodruff and George Feliz, all of Florence; seven grandchildren; and one great-grandchild. She was preceded in death by her mother.
Service on Saturday, Sept. 7, at Assumption Catholic Church in Florence, with eulogy at 10 a.m. and funeral Mass celebrated at 10:30 by the Rev. Jose Maria Corvera. Burial in Florence Cemetery.
Donations may be made to Children's Miracle Network of Tucson or Phoenix Children's Hospital.
Heritage Florence Funeral Chapel in charge of arrangements.