Treasured memories of community champion Val Brooker

Val Brooker was a community champion in Huntingdon. 

Val Brooker was a community champion in Huntingdon. - Credit: BROOKER FAMILY

The funeral of a former chairman of the Huntingdonshire Labour party, Val Brooker, has taken place.

Val, who was born in Croydon in 1936, died at Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge, on January 16.

As a child, she had a keen mind for numbers and excelled in maths at school. After leaving school, she became a secretary until she met and married Robert Harvey Brooker (Bob) on January 28, 1956.

Bob swept Val off her feet after they met in a local pub and it was the start of a courtship that led to a long and happy marriage until Bob died in October, 2013.

Bob was serving in the Royal Air Force and the couple spent many years stationed at RAF Camps in Germany where they made life-long friends and many happy memories.

Val and Bob moved to live at RAF Wyton in 1976 where Bob was now stationed, but later, the couple moved to Thongsley, in Huntingdon. 

Alongside bringing up her family, Val dedicated much of her energy to her duties at Huntingdon Town Council. 

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Her children fondly remember being roped in to support her by driving voters to the polling stations. They say there is a photo of Val in Huntingdon Town Hall, a building she helped to open.

She worked at Superdrug in the town and also the Sophisticats jewellery shop as well as volunteering at the Scope charity shop.

Val's family describe her as "feisty and stubborn" and her children  "most certainly knew when we were in trouble". This feistiness gave her strength and a dogged determination through her illnesses and saw her through some difficult times.

Val was said to be a "dark horse" who had many friends through the Labour party and her charity work. She helped people in the community with social issues and cared about people in her community.

She selflessly took people under her wing and would go to great lengths to support them. 

Val had many health issues over the years, including diabetes and a hole in the heart. After a nasty fall in December 2019 she spent time in Hinchingbrooke Hospital and then the Oaklands Nursing Home in Cambridge. Due to several consequent falls and many health complications she was never able to return to her home in Thongsley.

She passed away peaceful in hospital on January 16.