In Memoriam - Valerie (Val) Garton

Val Garton at her DCUK desk in 1995It is with a sense of sadness that I have to report the sad passing of Val Garton, a lady who for many years was the face and voice of DCUK working alongside husband John, then Chairman of the organisation.

It was Val who set-up the first effective DCUK office in Nottingham at the Oliver Hind Club from where she administered DCUK during its heyday through much of the late eighties and into the mid nineties. Alongside John, Val worked to secure a future for DCUK when it looked as if the activity would tear itself apart in the early nineties

I had the privilege of working alongside Val when I first took over as Chairman in 1995. Her passion for the activity and above all for the kids always shone through and all who were around in those days will remember her beaming smile especially when watching corps perform. They will also remember that Val was uncompromising in her pursuit of the activity being the best it could be Ė she never flinched from that even when it involved having to learn about computers!

In 1996 Val retired from her involvement with DCUK to enjoy some well-earned peace and quiet with John in the beautiful Vale of Belvoir although she was a regular visitor at Finals through the late nineties and into the new millennium.

In recent years many will know that Val battled breast cancer with the support of John and her family and it was this battle that kept her away from Championships in recent years.

The past year has been a struggle for Val as her illness began to get the better of her and after much hospital treatment she returned home last week to spend her final days with her family. She passed away peacefully in Johnís arms in the early hours of Sunday morning - 13th July..

For all who knew her Val was a special lady. She was devoted to the service of young people and especially to those in drum corps. She lit up when she saw young people performing on the field and she never compromised in the pursuit of what she believed to be right for the activity.

Our thoughts go to John and his family in this sad period but they also go back to remembering a very special person who touched the lives of many and who will be remembered for her very personal impact on our activity and the people involved in it. We will remember her great energy and passion, her kindness and her dedication.

Details of the funeral will be available soon and I know that John, and Val, would enjoy seeing as many old friends as are able to get along to say thank you.

John Boyington (DCUK Vice President)

If you wish to send condolences to John and his family or wish to be informed of the Funeral arrangements then please email



© Drum Corps United Kingdom 2004