Val Dean Read (’89)


Val Dean Read passed away peacefully at home in Houston, Texas on August 18, 2020 at the age of 89, surrounded by family. She was born October 11, 1930 in Little Rock, Arkansas to Valentine Black Werner and Ann Slaughter Werner. The family moved to Houston when Val Dean was 12 years old, where she and her older sisters attended Lanier Jr. High and Lamar Sr. High. She spent her senior year at San Jacinto High School, graduating in 1948. She worked for American General Insurance until 1952 and later attended the University of Houston, where she obtained her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting. Val Dean met the love of her life, Jack W. Read, on a blind date while she was attending Lamar High School and he was at Texas A&M University . Following Jack’s graduation from A&M, they were married on September 24, 1949 at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church in Houston. They celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary in 2019, together with their children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.They loved living in Briargrove and the wonderful families that have made the neighborhood so special to them the past 62 years. Throughout her children’s years in school, Val Dean was active as a PTA officer, library volunteer and Girl Scout leader. She was an avid reader, enjoyed many family vacations traveling the U.S., England, France and Mexico and spent 22 winters snow skiing in Colorado, Utah and New Mexico. But by far she would rather be at the Lake House, where the family has made unforgettable memories since 1970. Val Dean and Jack joined St. Luke’s United Methodist church in 1954 and have been members of the Randy Smith Bible Class since 1978. They served in St. Luke’s Stephen Ministry and as prayer room volunteers, SEARCH volunteers and enjoyed church retreats at Laity Lodge. Together, they received St. Luke’s Distinguished Life Award in 2018.Val Dean is survived by her husband, Jack, and their four children, nine grandchildren and three great-grandchildren: daughter Debby Liesse (Rick) of Houston and their children Nick Liesse of Seattle, WA, Matt Liesse of Austin, TX and Liz Liesse Tabor (Johnny) of Seattle, WA; daughter Susan Doherty (Pat) and their children Jack Doherty (Jennifer) and their children Caroline, Jackson and Charlotte, and Clark Doherty (Katherine), all of Houston; son Doug Read (Teresa) of Richardson, TX and their children Taylor Read and Zachary Read of Dallas, TX; and son Steven Read (Mona) and their children Ashley Read and Emily Read, all of Houston.She is preceded in death by her parents and her sisters, Betty Lou Montague and Rose Mary Harpold, her brother-in-law Raymond Read, and their spouses. She is also survived by many much-loved nieces and nephews and their families. The family gathered for a private memorial at St. Luke’s United Methodist Church, officiated by Dr. Tom Pace. Those wishing may contribute to St. Luke’s United Methodist Church, 3471 Westheimer, Houston, TX 77027. Please visit to share memories of Mom online.Mom was the center of our family. She started most days by thinking of who she could help, and encouraged us to “Love the Lord. Be kind to everyone. Love your country and your neighbors and help those in need.”

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