A Memorial for Ivan Samuel Valdes

dad_0026OM Summit 2008 Week 1-5

February 16, 1939-May 11, 2015

Ivan Samuel Valdes, 76, of Hollywood, SC, passed away peacefully on May 11th surrounded by his family at Georgia Regent Hospital in Augusta, GA. He was born in 1939 in pre-revolutionary Cuba, the son of Marco Aurelio Valdes and Aida Maria Linares de Valdes. The family left their hometown of Esperanza in 1955, settling in the Bronx, NY.

Valdes received degrees from the Academy of Aeronautics in Long Island, NY, and Northrop Aeronautical Institute in Inglewood, CA. He then worked on NASA’s Apollo mission to the moon in the 1960’s. Ivan worked with Range Safety on the Saturn V rocket which was responsible for the destruction of the launch vehicle if it became errant after liftoff. When the program shut down, he then served as a contractor for  Radiation Inc., Westinghouse and the Atomic Energy Commission for the United States Navy. He spent over twenty years with South Carolina Electric & Gas as an electrical engineer. He retired as the utility’s Director of Economic Development.

Ivan was an avid golfer who loved music, cars, motorcycles, and sports. He had a fondness for Latin percussion jazz, and studying spiritual philosophies.

He was a loving father, son, brother, uncle, and friend. He will be greatly missed. He is survived by his wife, Laura Valdes; sons Marius and Marcus Valdes, by his former wife Avril; stepdaughter, Kim Brown; sisters Yvonne Pape and Miriam Catricala; nephew, Matthew Catricala; nieces Denise Moroz, Karen Moore, Michelle Eubanks, and Danielle Pape; grandchildren Alan, Abrielle, Anna, and Emma.

There will be a public visitation in his honor on Sunday, May 17th from 4:00-6:00 PM at J. Henry Stuhr West Ashley Chapel located at 3360 Glenn McConnell Parkway in Charleston, SC.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be sent to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital in the name of Ivan Valdes.

Do you have a photo, funny story, mannerism, or memory about Ivan that you would like to share?  Send it to us here and we will include it!

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20 entries.
Jan van Raay Jan van Raay from Portland, OR wrote on June 18, 2017 at 7:05 pm:
I met Ivan at the beach in the Bronx in 1958 or 1959 when I was in high school. He lived in the Bronx and I lived in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. We dated for a while and he taught me how to drink coffee the "right way" --very strong with lots of sugar. I never drank coffee before then and remember him for that. We went out on New Years Eve with some of his college friends. Found memories.
Martha Ivey Martha Ivey from Torrance. Ca. wrote on May 21, 2015 at 1:48 pm:
He was a great guy and will be greatly missed by all who knew him. so sorry. Martha
Michael Derrick Michael Derrick from Chattanooga, TN wrote on May 17, 2015 at 9:57 pm:
It was a very nice visit today, seeing so many people I haven't in a long time. Marc, the memories of your dad taking Marius, you, and me to Citadel Mall are forever in my mind. The ride home was the best. Once we hit Heathwood Drive, I would make the call "Whoa, he's intoxicated!" and Ivan would swerve that green Ford LTD all over our home street. I can't remember exactly how that got started, but I think maybe he was distracted and on the wrong side of the road and I said "Mr. Valdes, are you intoxicated?" He got such a kick out of that "technical term" he would happily oblige any time it was brought up afterwards. He was such an easy-going soul, it was hard not to have fun around him. I know you will all miss him dearly.
Mary and Elton Vogel Mary and Elton Vogel from Charleston SC wrote on May 16, 2015 at 8:05 pm:
Laura, we will miss Ivan. We especially remember the trip we took with both of you to Gatlinburg Tn. Ivan and Elton had their little 'sports cars' and enjoyed the winding roads. Our prayers for your family!
Tom and India Barnett Tom and India Barnett from Fairburn wrote on May 16, 2015 at 6:12 pm:
You are in our thoughts as you find your way through this. We are praying for your healing, with the passage of time. We know you miss him; we send our understanding and consolation. Know that the strain, the pain, will eventually ease, May your pleasant memories sustain and comfort you. You are in our thoughts and prayers,
Felton Knight Felton Knight from Hanahan, SC wrote on May 16, 2015 at 11:01 am:
Laura and Family, I had the privilege of being in the National Society of Professional Engineers with Ivan for many years including his presidency of the Charleston Chapter and later as South Carolina Society President. During our trips from Charleston to Columbia we learned much about each other and of course exchanged many humorous tales. Ivan's website is a fitting tribute and brings back pleasant memories. Please accept my sincere condolence for your loss.
Matt Fiscus and family Matt Fiscus and family from Peachtree City wrote on May 15, 2015 at 3:18 pm:
Valdes Family, Our thoughts and prayers are with you. May your hearts and spirits be lifted with all the brilliant and loving memories of Ivan, realizing that one day you will all be together again in a place much grander and majestic than our earth.
Elizabeth(Isabel)Ochoa Elizabeth(Isabel)Ochoa from Charleston SC wrote on May 15, 2015 at 1:47 pm:
Remembering a dear friend who was always ready to help others. His love for"real" coffee was ever present. Recalling a cheerful life is a tribute of a caring and sharing husband,father and gradfather!
Ken Stepp Ken Stepp from Marietta wrote on May 15, 2015 at 10:42 am:
Marcus and Family, I am so sorry for your loss. The website was so touching to view. He was a much loved husband, father, brother. grandfather, and uncle and friend to many. I hope everyone finds peace.
Marcus Valdes Marcus Valdes from Fayetteville, GA wrote on May 15, 2015 at 10:39 am:
Memories of Dad: -Sitting on the couch with him as a child with him running his fingers through my hair -Running away when I had misbehaved and knew it because he was removing his belt -Watching him hit golf balls into the net in the backyard -Him playing dominos with friends -The joy on his face when his father was around -Latin music on his reel-to-reel -Going to SCE&G on Meeting Street and impressed that he had his own office -Traveling to Florida to visit his mother, while there sleeping in the car because I wanted to see the Space Shuttle launch -the stereo he gave me for my 18th birthday -the "look" he gave me when I mentioned maybe enlisting in the Air Force instead of going to college right away -Going to the mall for ice cream with him and Michael Derrick, and how we loved his fake "drunk driving" on the way home (not as bad as it sounds) -Getting yelled at while learning to drive a stick shift (now I'm yelling at my son) -his unbearable snoring -his love of Carlos Castenella and all things Don Juan (I still haven't read them as much as he talked about them) Daddy, I love you and will miss you. I will pray for your soul and look forward to our reunification in heaven in years to come. You gave me more than you can imagine and I will always love you. I thank God for that last couple of days together and our "goodbye" tour of Charleston that I didn't realize was occurring at the time. See you on the other side.....
Graciela Zayas-Bazan Graciela Zayas-Bazan from Charleston, S.C. wrote on May 14, 2015 at 10:39 pm:
To you, dear friend of many years domino partner with my late husband Raul who lovingly called you"el marquez". To his whole family who I love dearly. I will miss him. He was truly a dear friend and gentelman. Graciela from Camaguey, Cuba.
Denise Butler Denise Butler from Charleston wrote on May 14, 2015 at 6:16 pm:
Ivan was a good friend for many years and I enjoyed many fun times with him on motorcycle trips. We met back in the early 80's and I loved his sense of humor and his honest approach to life.
Gene Butler Gene Butler from Charleston wrote on May 14, 2015 at 5:59 pm:
We hung out in the world of economic development , playing golf, riding motorcycles on the parkway, dancing at Club Trio, playing in Costa Rica, checking out the ladies at the book store and more than I need to write about here. Friends for more than 30 years, it's been a trip I'll never forget !
Yvonne "Cookie" Pape Yvonne "Cookie" Pape from Fayetteville, GA wrote on May 14, 2015 at 5:27 pm:
Brother, I will always remember our days in California and growing up together. The time you put me under the johnny pump and mom grabbed the two of us and made us "face the music". My big brother is gone and I will miss our times reminiscing about Mom and Pop and our days in Cuba. I will always love you. Until we meet again, Cuqui
Elizabeth Lesh Elizabeth Lesh from southport wrote on May 14, 2015 at 3:12 pm:
I have such nice memories of you all growing up Ivan was a role model to his family, he will be missed by all who knew him, God bless.
Jeff Hall Jeff Hall from Jonesboro, GA wrote on May 14, 2015 at 3:02 pm:
My deepest sympathies during your time of loss, my thoughts & prayers are with the family during this difficult time.
Karen Moore Karen Moore from Fayetteville wrote on May 14, 2015 at 9:14 am:
There are so many memories of my Uncle that I don't know which ones to mention. Even though we didn't see each other often I always loved to hear he was coming to town for a visit. I will miss him so much. Until we meet again!
Josh Josh from Spartanburg wrote on May 14, 2015 at 8:52 am:
Went to USC Upstate and had to check out the website, really great job. Your dad sounds like a really awesome guy who lived life to the fullest.
Graham Cerceo Graham Cerceo from Charleston wrote on May 13, 2015 at 11:50 pm:
I was a student of Marius'. I never met Ivan or Marius' extended family, I can only describe Marius' disposition in the time we spent at USC. Can only imagine that Ivan embodied a lot of who Marius is today, the rest of his siblings too Im sure. My thoughts are with you all during this chapter in life. Be there for one another and keep his flame alive through bringing joy and fun to each other, like Marius did for me. I'm sure it was all those qualities Dads give sons. Thank you Ivan.
Matthew Catricala Matthew Catricala from Las Vegas wrote on May 13, 2015 at 8:09 pm:
I will miss my uncle very much. I'll never forget the golf we played together and the trips he took to Orlando. I have great memories of uncle Ivan and my father. They laughed a lot when they were together.