In Memory of

Valerie Kay Cortez

July 16, 1943–December 30, 2019

Photo of Valerie Kay Cortez

About Valerie Kay Cortez

Valerie Kay Cortez, age 76, entered rest December 30, 2019. She was born on July 16, 1943, in Minot, North Dakota, the daughter of Vern Ellis Schumacher and Aila Karalynn Schumacher.

Valerie’s parents were farmers in North Dakota and raised their children with modest values. Growing up on her father’s farm in North Dakota she acquired a deep love for animals, painting, and drawing. She enjoyed riding and caring for horses which she had most of her life.

Valerie set aside her dreams and married her lifelong partner David Arthur Cortez on April 30, 1960, to follow his sometimes-unplanned journeys finally settling in Salem, Oregon where they lived and raised their family. Although Valerie married early, she became a homemaker who enjoyed raising her children, cooking, sewing and many other skills she learned from her mother.

Valerie actively participated in her children’s sports by being a scorekeeper in little league while sewing their uniforms for all their sports. She aggressively fought for her youngest son’s education when he struggled with dyslexia. Valerie used her love of sewing to build an upholstery business which she used to help provide for her family and taught to her children.

Later Valerie used her understanding of animal genetics to breed and show Basenji’s under the name Tazamisha’s Basenji’s. As a breeder she produced; 2 grand champions, 30 champions, 6 dual champion’s in addition winning many other awards and titles. Valerie painted many pictures of her beloved dogs which she gave as gifts and sold online.

Valeria was preceded in death by her parents, her sister Yvonne and brother Terry. She is survived by her husband David to whom she was married for 59 years; her sons Arthur (Lupe) of Tijuana, Mex, Kirt (Marian) of Hillsboro, OR, James (Kay) of Hillsboro, OR, Nick of Salem, OR , Frank of Gresham OR and her daughter Martina Cortez of Salem, OR, fourteen Grandchildren and seven Great Grandchildren.