Valerie Ann Ryken |

Valerie Ann Ryken

Valerie Ann Ryken died peacefully at home on Saturday, September 24, 2016. She was 59 years old.

Born August 13, 1957, to Juannie and Helen (Vellek) Ryken in Berkeley, CA., Valerie graduated early from Alameda High School in Alameda to marry Timothy Allen Montgomery and have 2 children, Tia and Max. While working at Haight Elementary School in Alameda, Valerie became very well-educated in after school program management, a skill she brought to Carbondale Elementary School when the family moved to Colorado by implementing the Latch Key Program, offering after-school care to working families through the school. Later, Valerie would transition into the severe needs program through Mountain BOCES and later the Transitions programs, jobs that brought her great joy and satisfaction until an accident in 1994, which left her disabled.

Many know Valerie through the valley as “Destructo-Mom” and her “always open door” policy, which let many a Glenwood teen stay with her and her family or simply be someone to listen to them.

Valerie had lived in the Bay Area of California, the Roaring Fork Valley, Alaska and Grand Junction. The last few years of her life were spent in Collbran, CO, where she spent time gardening and making friends as the “Lady with the Rottweiler.”

Valerie is survived by daughter Tia (Gary) Glassier, several members of the Willhite family and numerous cousins, nieces, nephews and grandchildren. She is preceded in death by her parents and son Max.

At this time, there are no services planned and there will be notifications and updates via Facebook through her daughter’s page.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Glenwood Springs and Garfield County make the Post Independent’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.


Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User