Elizabeth Ann Valek

Elizabeth Ann "Betty" Valek

Former Riverhead resident Elizabeth Ann Valek of Cocoa Beach, Fla., died Sept. 8 at Shands Hospital at the University of Florida in Gainesville. She was 58 and had been battling brain cancer.

Known as “Betty,” she was born in Riverhead on Feb. 24, 1953, to Stanley and Eleanor (Donahue) Cichanowicz, the first of their four children. She graduated from St. Isidore Catholic Elementary School and McGann-Mercy High School in Riverhead, where she was an honor student and member of the National Honor Society. She attended Mount Saint Mary College in Newburgh, N.Y., and graduated from Harriman (N.Y.) College in 1975.

She was employed by the Town of Riverhead Building Department. Proud of her Polish and Irish heritage, she was a member of the Polish Town Civic Association and a co-chairwoman of the Polish Town Fair, family members said.

She married Jerome Valek on May 30, 1987, in Cocoa Beach, and worked in bank administration and for the supervisor of elections in Brevard County. Ms. Valek joined Church of Our Saviour in Cocoa Beach in 1986, became a Eucharistic minister, and volunteered in church ministries and the parish school.

She was devoted to her family, relatives said, and enjoyed cooking, quilting, scrapbooking and gardening. She was also an active member of the Cocoa Beach Garden Club.

Ms. Valek is survived by her husband, Jerry; her daughter, Peggy; her father; and her sisters, Teresa Mickaliger and Joanne Zilnicki. She was predeceased by her mother and her brother, Stanley.

Visiting hours took place Sept. 12 at Beckman-Williamson Funeral Home in Cocoa Beach and a Mass of Christian burial was celebrated Sept. 13 at Church of Our Saviour. A memorial service will take place Saturday, Oct. 22, at McLaughlin Heppner Funeral Home in Riverhead.

Donations may be made to the St. Vincent de Paul Society at Church of Our Saviour, 5301 N. Atlantic Ave., Cocoa Beach, FL 32931.