Pedro “Pete” Valerio, 77, of Amarillo departed this life on Saturday, November 7, 2020 at Thomas E. Creek VA Medical Center in Amarillo, Texas.
Pete was born on August 12, 1943 in Maxwell, New Mexico to Fidel Valerio and Fidelia Chavez Valerio. He graduated from Maxwell High School in 1962 as Salutatorian. He entered the United States Air Force June, 1963. He was stationed at F.E. Warren Air Force Base in Cheyenne, Wyoming, enlisted during the Vietnam War. Pete was awarded the Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon, December, 1965 and the Air Force Good Conduct Medal for his service while enlisted. Pete was Honorably Discharged in 1963 as a Security Police Office and his last assignment was with the 809th Security Police Squadron (SAC) with Crypto Clearance.
Pete married Jo Ann Smart from Whitesboro, Texas in 1969 in Albuquerque, New Mexico where they welcomed their first daughter in 1971. In 1973, the small family of three moved to Whitesboro, Texas where they welcomed their second daughter later that year. Pete and Jo Ann loved both daughters unconditionally and always worked together to support them.
In 2005, Pete reconnected with his childhood friend, Peggy Mares from Maxwell, New Mexico. The two became close and traveled together. Peggy encouraged Pete to follow his passion for woodworking and they found a woodworking class and club in Amarillo for Pete to practice his new hobby. He was a member of the Goldenspread Wood Carvers Club and was awarded Artistry in Wood, Best of Show, Intermediate for his “Blue Jacket” carving from Amarillo Senior College. Pete has made hundreds of walking sticks, face carvings and statues. Last year, his club completed a nativity set that sold for auction with Pete being the artist for Joseph.
Pete was a passionate veteran supporter and was always thanking veterans for their service. He had a deep love for his country and in September of 2019, he was chosen for the last Panhandle Honor Flight to Washington, DC. Pete was honored to be chosen and met many new friends on this trip; many of whom he was still in contact with upon his death.
Pete was preceded in death by his parents; sister, Juanita and nephew Jonathan, brother, Gilbert and nephew James, and nephew Phillip, and brother, Charlie “Carlos”, brother-in-law, Bill and one great granddaughter, Zoe.
Survivors include his life companion, Peggy Solano; two daughters, Alysia Lindsay of McKinney, TX and Mendy Rozycki and her husband Doug of Gordonville, TX, Joyce Gustafson, Jim Solano, David Solano, Carl Solano and Teena Craghill of Denver, Colorado; two sisters, Alice Stewart of Albuquerque, New Mexico and Christine Hayoz of Mosquero, New Mexico; brother, Bobby Valerio and wife Julie of Raton New Mexico and brother Jimmy Valerio of Albuquerque, New Mexico, and sister-in-law, Valarie Valerio of Raton, New Mexico; six grandchildren, Jessica Lindsay, Jerred Rozycki, Jacob Lindsay, Kyle Rozycki, Taylor Branson, Tori Magers, Joseph and Matthew Gustafson, Sarah and JR Solano and Cassie Gunther; three great grandchildren, Jaxson, Parker and Rayleigh; and the mother of his children, Jo Ann Smart. Survivors also include many nieces, nephews, cousins and friends around the country.
Due to the recent conditions of the country, the family has made the decision to hold the Rosary, Mass and Interment services at a later date. Plans are being developed to honor Pete in a very special way at that time and the family asks that all donations be held until final preparations are completed.
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