Cover photo for Constance & Richard Valeri's Obituary
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Constance & Richard Valeri

d. March 30, 2024

Aiken, SC

Constance Ann (Connie) and Richard J. (Dick) Valeri, passed away three hours apart, Saturday, March 30, 2024 at their residence.

Connie was born in Syracuse, NY on May 4, 1937. The daughter of John “Jack” and Constance (Prusinowski) Harrigan. Connie received her Montessori Certification from the Montessori Teacher’s Institute in Syracuse, NY. Connie also earned a BS degree as a Child Life Specialist from Syracuse University and her MS Degree in Special Education from Mansfield University. Connie devoted her career to the teaching and service of children first as a Montessori teacher in her own Montessori School and later as Associate Executive Director of Untied Cerebral Palsy of Chemung County Early Intervention Program in Elmira, NY. Her last professional role was as a Special Education teacher in the Las Cruces, NM school system. Connie’s passions included her love of children as displayed by her long career in education and improving the wellness of children, her love for animals of all kinds, and spending time outdoors enjoying wildlife including bird and squirrel watching, gardening, and traveling to unique and interesting places. 

Richard (Dick) was born on November 10,1936, in Trenton, NJ, the son of Giocchino Joachim and Cecelia (Gervasio) Valeri. 

Dick attended Niagara University where he received his BA degree in History and was a member of the Army ROTC. He also received his MS in Education, CAS in Educational Administration and EdD Resident from Syracuse University. 

Dick was also a professor of Math in the United States Armed Forces Institute, and professor of political science and sociology at Mohawk Valley Community College in Utica, NY. He served in the Armed Forces as an Aero Medical Specialist in the United States Air Force. 

Dick devoted his career to education, serving Rome Free Academy in Rome, NY as a teacher of Social Sciences, Director of Student Activities, and Principal. He also held the position of Assistant Superintendent at Schuyler-Chemung-Tioga BOCES. 

When Connie and Dick relocated to Las Cruces, NM, Dick worked for New Mexico State University as a Student Teacher Supervisor for students participating in their student teaching assignments. This was a job well-suited for someone with his teaching and administrative background and integrity as a professional. 

Connie and Dick were married at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Syracuse, NY on December 28, 1957. They are preceded in death by a granddaughter, Margaret Amos. They are survived by their three children, Mark (Danielle) Valeri, Kim Valeri Hill (Thomas) and Lisa Valeri; two grandchildren, Aaron K. Valeri, and Kyle R. Valeri (Chelsey); two great grandchildren. Atticus Grey Valeri and Crew Wilder Valeri and two cousins, Louisa Spezzano and Frank (Marcia) Gervasio.  

Dick met Connie at the Buffalo Central Train Terminal in Buffalo, NY while they were both traveling. Dick reached for his suitcase over Connie’s seat and the rest is history. Their was a marriage that spanned 67 years and as Dick described “They said they were joined at the hip”. Dick’s interest mirrored those of his wife in their love of animals especially Golden Retrievers and spending time outdoors enjoying wildlife, gardening and traveling to unique and interesting places. They spent many hours in their gardens planting and nourishing their vegetables, flowers and shrubs. Dick also spent many hours hunting, fishing, golfing and enjoyed following all sports including Syracuse University. 

The family gratefully acknowledges the care and compassion provided to Connie and Dick by the dedicated staff of Gentiva Hospice (Kathy Culver, RN, Meghan Folk- Hospice Aide, Wendy (Lynn) Smits, On-call RN, Kayla Schultz MSW, Jerry Smith, On-call RN, Rev. Mark (Martin) Rise- Chaplin, and Right at Home in Home Care and Assistance Services (Sandra and Stephan Swafford, Sandra Bettis). 

A Prayer Service will be held Friday morning, April 5th at 11 o'clock at Shellhouse - Rivers Funeral Home with Fr. Emmanuel Amdinam officiating. The family will receive guest at 10:00 AM.  Farewell Prayers and Commendations will follow in Calvary Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be directed to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital ( or to The Seeing Eye (

SHELLHOUSE - RIVERS FUNERAL HOME, 715 EAST PINE LOG RD., AIKEN, SC To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Constance & Richard Valeri, please visit our flower store.

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Service Schedule

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Prayer Service

Friday, April 5, 2024

Starts at 11:00 am (Eastern time)

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Shellhouse-Rivers Funeral Home Inc

715 E Pine Log Rd
Aiken, SC 29803

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