Carol Sue Valenzuela passed away at the age of 74 in Castle Rock, Colorado, on June 26, 2022. She was born on July 29, 1947 in Montrose, Colorado. She graduated from Montrose High School in 1965 and went on to study Elementary Education at Colorado State College (now UNC), graduating in 1970. She later earned her master’s degree in Special Education in the early 1980’s from the University of Northern Colorado. Carol was a passionate teacher who loved finding new ways to engage with students and help them understand, learn, and grow. She worked at various elementary schools but spent most of her nearly 40-year career devoted to special education at Billie Martinez Elementary School in Greeley, Colorado.
Carol’s faith was an essential part of her life and Saint Peter’s Catholic Church of Greeley, Colorado was her home parish for fifty years. Carol had an indomitable spirit that pushed her through many health battles and personal challenges throughout her life. She was an inspiration of strength, perseverance, and undying faith and will be best remembered for her grace and infectious smile. In 2010 she earned the award “Mujer Con Poder” from the Hispanic Women of Weld County, further exemplifying how her inner strength and faith touched so many.
Carol was an avid gardener, and adored her grandchildren. She enjoyed reading, hiking, camping, museums, and theater performances. Some of her favorite things were the sound of early morning birds, popcorn with a good matinee, cut-throat board games, and laughing with friends and family.
Carol is preceded in death by her father Phil Cardenas, mother Susan Cardenas (Sanchez), and brother-in-law Bill Cooling. She lovingly leaves behind her daughters: Carrie Valenzuela, Stephanie Giaccio, Jodie Valenzuela, and Jamie Valenzuela. Her grandchildren: Domanik Lujan, Zaire Valenzuela, Lucah Giaccio, and Priya Giaccio. Her sister Pearl Cooling, and brothers Gene Cardenas (Beverly), and Robert Cardenas (Anne). As well as many loved nieces, nephews, and cherished friends.