Valerie Suzanne Libby

PORTLAND – Valerie Suzanne Libby, beloved wife, mother, grandmother, and friend, passed on to her next great adventure on March 10, 2024.

Valerie Libby, daughter of Barbara Martin and Leland W. Libby, was born in Portland, the eldest of seven siblings. She grew up in Natick, Mass. and graduated from Natick High School and went on to Fitchburg State University where she earned a degree in special education. In 1985 Valerie graduated from Boston College Law School.

Valerie and her husband, John Wipfler, met in law school, were married in 1985 and soon thereafter moved to Portland where they continued to grow their family. They have four children, Ash (married to Jill Vocatura), Michaela, Vanessa (married to Garabed Hagopian) and Isaac (married to Effie Drew); and five grandsons, Ben, Matt, Greyson, Colby and Hudson- all of whom she was smitten with.

Valerie was a driven and accomplished woman. She began her law career at a large law firm in Portland; during that time she helped establish the Women’s Law Section of the Maine Bar Association, revitalized the Young Lawyers Section, and helped establish an HIV/AIDS Legal Assistance Project. Valerie then went on to work at Hopkinson and Abbondanza before establishing her own law practice.

She was a wonderful mother, wife, grandmother, friend, mentor, teacher, intuitive, writer, personal coach, and optimist. Her superpower was the ability to connect with others in a way that made them feel “seen.” Valerie was a master of relationships and took a genuine interest in everyone she encountered. Many family and friends express that she was “their person”: the one they would turn to for advice, a listening ear, and a safe place. She was a beacon of love, energy, compassion, and wisdom grounded in her deep spirituality. She did not just think about others, she acted on making and keeping connections through visiting, writing cards, letters, making calls and texting with friends and family, many who have a drawer or box full of her correspondence which they often re-read for inspiration.

Valerie was faced with many challenges in her life, the biggest being diagnosed with lung cancer in 2012 despite never having been a smoker. After intensive treatment she beat the odds and was in remission for many years before the cancer recurred and metastasized in 2020. After her initial diagnosis she was determined to approach this challenge from a place of love and optimism rather than fear. Despite significant pain over the past four years, she maintained her optimism, sense of joy, and caring for others which inspired us all. She demonstrated incredible courage and didn’t allow cancer and pain to dim her light, optimism, love, and ability to be present for others. She had a joy for life and poured herself into everything she did.

Valerie made a significant impact on those around her, as her magnetic character and radiant soul left those around her feeling deeply loved, understood and supported. Her dance parties and living room karaoke, warm hugs and belly laughs will be sorely missed and we are humbled by the number of people she touched that will continue to carry her light forward.

Friends and family are welcome to join a Celebration of Life to share love and stories about Valerie on Saturday, April 6, beginning at 1 p.m. at the Mariners Church, 12 Moulton St., Portland.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in memory of

Valerie S. Libby to the Mass General Hospital. Donations may be made online at,

or checks can be mailed to:

Massachusetts General Hospital,

Development Office,

125 Nashua St., Suite 540,

Boston, MA 02114

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