Richard Earl Valdes, Sr., 69, of Lawrenceville, GA passed away April 22, 2015. He was preceded in death by his father, José Manuel Valdes, Jr. and mother, Mary Ruth Bekemeyer Valdes. He is survived by his wife of 46 years, Sandy Gandee Valdes; daughter, Tina Valdes and companion, Lisa Meadows; daughter, Tara Valdes and her furry children; son, Richie Valdes and wife, Sarah Beth; grandchild, Caroline Valdes; brother, Jim Valdes and wife, Sherry; brother, Jody Valdes and wife, Peggy; and a host of other loving family members and friends. Rick was a retired mechanical engineer from Rockwell and was currently working as an adjunct mathematics faculty member at Gwinnett Technical College. He was a member of Collins Hill Baptist Church where he sang in the choir. He was the consummate family man and was faithfully devoted to his wife and children. As a final gift of love, he was an organ donor. Funeral services will be held at 11:00 am, Saturday, April 25, 2015, at Wages & Sons Gwinnett Chapel with Rev. Tim Pemper, Rev. Bobby Moore, Rev. Meg Morrison, and Rev. Julie Boone officiating. Interment will follow at Gwinnett Memorial Park. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made, in memory of Rick, to Collins Hill Baptist Church Mission Fund, 1612 Collins Hill Rd, Lawrenceville, GA 30043. The family will receive friends from 6:00-8:00 pm, Friday, April 24, 2015, at Wages & Sons Gwinnett Chapel, 1031 Lawrenceville Hwy, Lawrenceville, GA 30046, 770-277-4550. Online condolences may be expressed at

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  1. Sweet Sandy and family, my love and prayers are with you at this time. Rick was such a sweet and nice person. I know he is thrilled to be in heaven and one day we will join him for evermore.

  2. Going to miss you at GTC. You and I were the longest tenured math adjuncts they had. It’s not going to be the same without you.

  3. Richard always seemed like a kind man and I know he was an excellent and dedicated math instructor. My thoughts are with his family and all of us that will miss him at GTC.

  4. Our Gwinnett Technical College Family is saddened by losing Richard and we mourn with the Valdes family. Richard touched us all – faculty, staff, and students – in his many years as an instructor. He was an intelligent man who didn’t have the need nor the desire to lord it over others. Instead, he was a patient, gentle instructor and colleague. I feel privileged to have known him and to have worked with him. He will be dearly missed.

  5. Dear Sandy and family, we are so sorry about your loss.
    Robert, Diane, Jenny, Jarred and Madelyn Hosch

  6. Richard was an important member of the Education Division at Gwinnett Tech, having taught math for us since 1992. Richard was widely respected by his students. We will miss our valued colleague! It was an honor to have known him.

  7. Richard was a valued member of our team in the GTC Math department and he will be missed greatly. His presence made our team, and our school, better in more ways than he ever knew. It has been a privilege to have worked with him. We thank his family for sharing him with us for so many years. Please know that you are in our thoughts and prayers.

  8. I was one of Mr. Valdes’ students this semester. He had a way of explaining things in class that helped me make better sense out of math than with most of my teachers in high school. You could tell he loved to teach, with suggestions for not making what he said “students call stupid mistakes.” He kindly called them careless mistakes. I wish for his family peace and fond memories at this difficult time. Take care, Jennifer

  9. We members of the GTC Mathematics department cannot thank ‘Valdes’ (as I called him) enough for his contributions throughout the years. We often sought his counsel when making departmental decisions since he knew more about the mathematics department and its history than anyone else. He was respected for his knowledge and teaching skills and his work ethic was beyond reproach. They don’t make ’em like Richard anymore. He will be sorely missed!

  10. Dear Mrs Valdes, we are sorry for your loss, but he is in a better place now with God. You and your family are in our prayers.
    We love you! God bless you.

  11. Mr. Valdes was a kind and soft spoken instructor. He was patient with us in class and took the time to explain whatever we, his student, did not understand. I pray for shalom (peace) over his family and close friends.

  12. I am honored and blessed to have been one of Mr. Valdes students’. He will truly be missed. Please accept my most sincere condolences to you and your family.

  13. I was a student in Mr. Valdez Class this semester. He helped me so much with math and I am so ever thankful. He was a great teacher and will be truly missed. I am blessed to have been one of his students. You and You’re family will be in my prayers.


  14. I am lucky to have Mr. Valdes as a math instructor. I learned more in his class than in my two college math classes (in the ’80s) combined. He taught me how to process number problems so they make sense. I will remember him every time I see number problems. He’s been a blessing! Please know that you are in my thoughts and prayers.

  15. God Bless Mr. Valdes, who was my math instructor this semester. He was very helpful and concerned for his students. He will be missed by so many. He has been in my prayers, and my thoughts. Again, God Bless you all.

  16. I was one of the Lucky Students who had Mr. Valdes as my math 98 instructor this spring semester. He was an excellent teacher, and a wonderful and understanding person. He was so nice to me when I told him I had type 1 diabetes and he could relate having diabetes too. I will dearly miss him and be praying for comfort for all the family who have lost such a dear loved one. Love and blessing to you the Valdes Family.

  17. Mr. Valdes was a very kind man. This semester I was in his class. I appreciated the way that he worked with me through things I hadn’t been able to catch in class, due to involvement in my young daughter’s school. He is, undoubtedly, in a better place and I am proud to have known him.

    Love and prayers,
    Traci Owen

  18. Richard was a very fine instructor. He helped so many students believe in their own ability to succeed in math. He will be dearly missed.

    Your family is in my prayers.

    Debra Guthrie

  19. I had the honor to be one of Mr. Valdes students. He was by far the best math instructor I had. A very kind man who really cared about seeing his students succeed. Your family will be in my prayers.


  20. He was a wonderful and gentle person. We worked together at Gwinnett Technical College in the education department. He would always knock on my office door just to say “HI”.

    Mr.. Valdes will be missed!

    Your family is in my prayers.

  21. He was a very nice instructor, he did not take any foolishness is classroom from his students. This was truly hard for me to expect his passing, since I just say him on Monday, prior to his departure. Every day is a precious gift from God and we must learn how to cherish each other while they are still here. Mr. Valdes will be missed! I will continue to keep the family in my prayers.

  22. My name is Briana, and I was lucky enough to have this sweet man as my Math instructor last semester. Not only was he helpful and taught me a lot in my math class, he was there for me as an ear when things weren’t the best at home. I just talked to him a couple weeks ago in the hallway and we caught up on each others lives and how things were going, He will be greatly missed, and I’m so sorry for your loss. By seeing all the responses from other students on here, it’s safe to say he had an impact on a lot of people’s lives. Since the day I found out he passed I think about him, and his family daily. I pray that you all find peace, and know he will always be with you.

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