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Valerie Doty Cummins, attendee with the Class of 1982

Remembrances of Valerie Dawn Doty Cummins

A huge loss has left a void for the family, friends, colleagues, and patients of Valerie Cummins. Born in Leon, Iowa, November 8, 1963, she left us suddenly on April 18, 2021. Valerie is survived by her husband, Chad, their son, Blake, her mother, Gail Hodge, her brother, Lance Doty, her niece and three nephews, and several cousins and aunts…and, as her last boss says, the “countless lives” she touched” in roles in emergency medicine, cardiac care, oncology, and research.” Before she left us, she lost her father, Roy Doty, and her grandparents, Dean and Mary Maroney, and Harold and Doris Doty.

Valerie was raised on a farm near Cainsville, Missouri, where the family raised cattle, horses, and pigs, and the crops to feed them. Her niece, Emily, says their farm was for many years the largest in Missouri. And her husband, Chad, remembers that the first time he saw it, all he could think of was the Ponderosa, the ranch that was the site of the television show Bonanza; all the land as far as he could see was theirs. Valerie was driving farm vehicles from the age of five. And you may remember the trick-riding performances which she and her younger brother performed at Cheyenne’s Frontier Days and other rodeos when they were pre-teens. Valerie was also a strong barrel racer, and she performed square dancing on horseback.

After graduating from South Harrison High School in Bethany, Missouri, in 1982, Valerie went on to education and work as an emergency medical technician (and then as a paramedic) eventually working full-time while she got her Bachelor of Science in Nursing at the University of Missouri. There she met her husband, Chad, who was working alongside her in security when she and her colleagues brought difficult patients into the emergency room. They were married in 1991.

Her profession and relatives in Colorado brought the couple to Fort Collins in 1993, where Valerie began work as a nurse at Poudre Valley Hospital. She was working in cardiac telemetry when son Blake joined the family in 2001. While dealing with Blake’s considerable health issues and then her own, Valerie touched many lives with her expertise in emergency medicine, cardiac care, oncology, and research. She was nominated for the Nightingale Award for Nursing Excellence, and she has presented her UC Health research at several national conferences.

She wasn’t very good at relaxing, but she got hooked on Stamping for relaxation and found a very artistic streak when making cards. And somewhere in the house is a collection of Beanie Babies that she collected before she had her own baby.

Valerie was the Program Manager of Research Administration for UC Health at the time of her death.      

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