Janet Hobbs Valdes, amiably known as Mrs. “V” by her former students and youth in church and Boy Scouts, passed on to be with our heavenly Father, on Friday, December 20, 2019 at the Focused Care Nursing Home at Allenbrook in Baytown, Texas. Janet is predeceased by her parents Wilbur Glen and Carlene Ash Hobbs, and her parents-in-law Guadalupe (Lupe) and Gerania (Gerry) Valdes. Janet is survived by her husband Eloy G. Valdes, her son Carlos (Charlie) Valdes, his wife Amanda Fifer Valdes, and their daughters Ava, Helena, and Stella; her daughter Jacqueline (Jackie) Valdes West and her husband Nathan West; her daughter Jennifer Valdes Mesa and her husband Hilario (Larry) Mesa, their son Isaac Mesa, and their daughter Liliana; her sister Pamela Hobbs Brown, her husband Michael Brown, their son David Brown, their daughter Catherine Trumbo, her husband Matthew Trumbo, and their daughters Shannon and Daniella .
She was born Janet Sue Hobbs to parents Wilbur Glen Hobbs and Carlene Ash Hobbs on April 4, 1948 at the Army Hospital at Fort Ord, California. As a youngster, she learned basic languages and customs while travelling with her family as her father was stationed in numerous countries in his days as an Officer in the U. S. Army. Her favorite country was Germany where she lived for four years. In 1962 Major Wilbur Hobbs retired after 25 years of service, including combat in World War II and the Korean War. The family settled in Sharyland, Texas where he bought and worked a citrus orchard. Janet did not like public schools because they lacked the discipline of army schools and/or schools in foreign countries. In 1965 she was inducted into the Sharyland High School Chapter of the National Honor Society and graduated in 1966 with honors.
Janet then enrolled at Pan American College in Edinburg, Texas and studied English, biology, music, and religion. In her junior year, she met Eloy Valdes, a sophomore from Weslaco, Texas, who was assigned to be her lab partner in a microbiology class. Not only did they study together, they also started dating, even as Eloy transferred to Texas A&M University in May 1969. Janet finished her B.S. degree with honors in English and Biology in May 1970 and started teaching at PSJA High School as Eloy began his senior year at Texas A&M. Eloy and Janet married in December 1970 and she ‘put hubby through’ (PHT) his last semester. In May 1971, he earned two B.S. degrees with honors in Biology and Chemistry, after which they settled in Weslaco, Texas and began their teaching careers while starting their M.S. degrees at Pan American University. Janet gave birth to Charlie in May 1973 and Eloy received his M.S. degree in August. Two years later in June 1975, Janet gave birth to twin girls, Jackie and Jennifer. A year later in August 1976, Eloy and Janet accepted teaching positions in The Woodlands and moved to Conroe, Texas with three children in diapers! Then in January 1977 Eloy accepted a position as a Chemist and Training Supervisor at Stauffer Chemical Company located in Exxon’s Baytown Refinery, so he moved the family to Baytown, Texas. Janet resumed her teaching career, Eloy began working in the chemical industry, and Charlie enrolled in kindergarten at Pumphrey Elementary School. In September 1979, Charlie was in 1st grade when he brought home a flier about a Cub Scout rally. The whole family attended the rally and we came home with a Cubmaster (Eloy), a Committee Chairman (Janet), a Cub Scout (Charlie), and a couple of Cub Scout mascots (Jackie and Jennifer). THIS WAS THE BEGINNING OF 41 YEARS OF VOLUNTEER SERVICE IN THE BOY SCOUTS OF AMERICA BY JANET AND ELOY! So, Janet started building a Committee for Pack 44 sponsored by St. John Catholic Church while Eloy started developing Cub Scout dens for 1st through 5th graders. The Pack grew from 20 Cubs the 1st year to 45 the 2nd year to 75 the 3rd year, and over 100 by the 4th year, all the while earning numerous honors. Eloy earned his Den Leader and Cubmaster awards while Janet earned her Den Leader and Committee Chairman awards. Then they both earned their District Awards of Merit, while Charlie was earning vast numbers of badges and loops from Bobcat all the way to Webelos. When he earned his Arrow of Light, he transitioned into Troop 175 temporarily until Eloy and Janet decided to organize their own Troop. In September 1984, we organized and chartered Pack and Troop 105 at the First United Methodist Church in Mont Belvieu, Texas with Eloy as Cubmaster/Scoutmaster while Janet served as Committee Chairman for both units. Charlie raced through all the ranks in Troop 105 from Tenderfoot through Eagle Scout which he earned in 1987.
Eloy and Charlie completed their Ordeals for Order of the Arrow memberships in 1985. The “OA” at that time was a “male only” service organization within Boy Scout Troops. However, the Sam Houston Area Council’s Colonneh Lodge challenged the “male only” policy of the National OA Office and started putting female adult leaders who had the camping qualifications through their Ordeals, including Mrs. “V” who completed her Ordeal in 1989 at Horseshoe Bend Camp in Wimberly, Texas. Eloy and Charlie had already achieved their Brotherhood requirements and Janet completed hers in 1990. In 1994, both Eloy and Janet were called for induction as Vigil Honor members in the OA at Camp Karankawa in Sweeney, Texas. MRS. “V” IS ONE OF ONLY A HANDFUL OF FEMALE BOY SCOUT LEADERS WHO HELPED ESTABLISH THE POLICY TO ALLOW BOTH MALES AND FEMALES TO BECOME OA MEMBERS. FEMALES ALL ACROSS THE NATION BEGAN TO BE NOMINATED FOR OA MEMBERSHIP AND WERE EVEN ALLOWED TO SERVE AS CHAPTER AND LODGE ADVISORS. MANY FEMALE ADVISORS HAVE HELPED OA CHAPTERS/LODGES TO GROW AND DEVELOP GOLD LEVEL HONORS IN BSA’S JOURNEY TO EXCELLENCE PROGRAM.
In 1988, Charlie and his Eagle Scout buddy Joseph Woodcox, began developing Explorer Post 105 in Mont Belvieu, when they convinced Joseph’s father, Larry Woodcox, to start an “aviation-based” program, which soon later became Venture Crew 105. Venturing is co-ed so Jackie and Jennifer both joined BSA’s Venturing program following 7 years in the Girl Scouts. Their first big event as Venturers was the National Scout Jamboree at Fort A. P. Hill, Virginia in 1989. Venture Crew 105 was the 3rd BSA unit that Eloy and Janet chartered at the First United Methodist Church in Mont Belvieu.
Twenty years later in 2005, after being instrumental in producing award-winning units every year along with over 250+ Arrow of Light Cub Scouts, 100+ Eagle Scouts, and 50+ Ranger Awards in the Venturing program, Eloy and Janet began considering retirement from BSA. However, when they transferred their church memberships to St. Mark’s United Methodist Church in Baytown, Texas, they discovered that there were no Scouts! So, Rev. Mike Proctor asked us if we would start Scouting again at St. Mark’s and we agreed, since our grandson, Isaac Mesa, was just starting 1st grade. In September 2005 we conducted a rally to form Pack 208. Eloy served as Cubmaster and Janet served as Committee Chairman. We started with about 25 Cubs between grades 1 and 5. The second rally produced 30 more Cubs, as the 5th graders wanted to go to summer camp. So, Eloy and Janet chartered Troop 208 in 2006 with Eloy as Scoutmaster and Janet as Committee Chairman. Then in 2007 we organized Venture Crew 208 after some parishioners asked about co-ed programs in BSA. So, Eloy became Advisor and Janet stepped up to serve as Committee Chairman. In 2009, there was some interest in forming a co-ed Sea Scout program at St. Mark’s and although we hesitated at first, we were persuaded to organize Sea Scout Ship 208. We started without even a trained Skipper or even a sailboat to our name, but soon St. Mark’s became home to the largest and finest Sea Scout program in the Sam Houston Area Council and the Southern Region of BSA!
BECAUSE OF ELOY AND JANET VALDES, ST. MARK’S UNITED METHODIST CHURCH CHARTERS ALL FOUR TYPES OF BSA UNITS AND IS PRESENTLY THE FLAGSHIP PROGRAM OF THE RAVEN DISTRICT IN THE SAM HOUSTON AREA COUNCIL. OVER 200 FAMILIES CALL ST. MARK’S THEIR SCOUTING HOME! MOREOVER, BETWEEN 2006 AND 2018, ST. MARK’S UMC WAS THE HEADQUARTERS OF THE RAVEN CHAPTER OF COLONNEH LODGE, A FIFTH BSA PROGRAM THAT ELOY AND JANET VALDES WERE RESPONSIBLE FOR ADMINISTERING AT ST. MARK’S. THIS IS A REMARKABLE ACHIEVEMENT AND A GREAT HONOR FOR ST. MARK’S UMC.
All throughout the past 41 years of Scouting, Eloy and Janet Valdes have excelled and earned many honors and awards. Both wear Wood Badge beads, both are Silver Beaver recipients, both are United Methodist Cross & Flame Award recipients, both are United Methodist Torch Award recipients, and both are Episcopal St. George Award recipients. The Valdes family was the first to receive the Raven District “Scouting Family of the Year Award” and both Eloy and Janet are Raven District “J. P. White Lifetime Achievement Award” recipients. Eloy and Janet have served on the National Scout Jamboree United Methodist Faith & Beliefs Exhibit Staffs 8 times every four years from 1989 through 2017. Together we have attended 6 National Order of the Arrow Conferences (NOAC’s) at universities such as the University of Tennessee, the University of Indiana, Purdue University, Michigan State University, the University of Iowa, and the University of Kentucky.
In 2015, Janet and Eloy decided to begin tapering off our vigorous volunteer work in BSA and start a memorable phase of personal travel and recreation without Scouts! We drove all around the United States seeing places we had always wanted to visit, such as Branson, Florida, California, New Mexico, Yellowstone, the Grand Canyon, and Niagara Falls. Then we joined Texas A&M’s Traveling Aggies and started doing cruises, beginning with a trip up the Mississippi River from New Orleans to Minneapolis! Then went to Alaska twice, on the west side out of Seattle and the east side out of New York. Then we flew to Amsterdam for a cruise on the Rhine River, visiting The Netherlands, Germany, France, Italy, and Switzerland. We flew to Dublin for a weeklong tour of Ireland – Janet’s favorite! We were unable to cruise the Caribbean on her birthday this year due to Janet becoming ill. Her health was declining and we needed to stay close to home. Little did we know that our traveling dreams were practically over.
In February 2019, on Scout Sunday at St. Mark’s, Janet Valdes was awarded the United Methodist “Susanna Wesley Award of Excellence” for her devotion and dedicated service to the Boy Scouts of America for over 40 years. She was nominated for this prestigious award by Mr. Larry Coppock, the former Director of Youth Serving/Scouting Programs of the General Commission of the United Methodist Men in Nashville, Tennessee.
JANET VALDES IS A VERY GREAT WOMAN BECAUSE SHE NEVER STOOD BEHIND HER HUSBAND, NOR DID SHE EVER STAND IN FRONT OF HER HUSBAND, BUT RATHER ALWAYS STOOD RIGHT BESIDE HER HUSBAND, AS HIS EQUAL. SHE HAS GIVEN OF HERSELF TO 1,000’S OF STUDENTS IN THE CLASSROOM IN 30 YEARS IN THE EDUCATION PROFESSION, 1,000’S OF SCOUTS IN BSA FOR 41 YEARS, 1,000’S OF FELLOW CHRISTIANS IN VARIOUS CHURCHES OF NUMEROUS DENOMINATIONS ALL HER LIFE, AND 1,000’S OF CITIZENS IN VARIOUS COMMUNITIES IN WHICH SHE HAS LIVED ALL HER LIFE. THE WORLD WILL NOT BE THE SAME WITHOUT JANET VALDES – SHE WILL BE MISSED BY ANYONE AND EVERYONE WHO EVER HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO KNOW AND LOVE HER.
A “Celebration of Life” for Janet H. Valdes will be held at St. Mark’s United Methodist Church, 3811 N. Main Street, Baytown, Texas 77521 on Saturday, January 11, 2020, at 2:00 p.m. with Rev. Dr. Kenn Munn officiating. The ceremony is under the direction of Crespo & Jirrels Funeral and Cremation Services. There will be a reception in the parlor immediately following the ceremony.
In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting donations in the name of Janet H. Valdes be forwarded to St. Mark’s United Methodist, 3811 N. Main Street, Baytown, Texas 77521, to benefit the Scouting program. If there are any questions, please contact Eloy Valdes at firstname.lastname@example.org.