Pablo Valencia

Birth Date: 
Monday, July 14, 1930
Date of Passing: 
Friday, May 10, 2019

WOOSTER – Pablo Valencia, 88, of Wooster passed away peacefully at his home on Friday, May 10, 2019.

He was born July 14, 1930 in Bogota, Colombia, the son of Ricardo Valencia Samper and Ines Tovar de Valencia.  As his mother passed away when he was five years old, his stepmother Margarita Caro de Valencia lovingly raised him.  He married Katharine “Kitty” Halley on September 14, 1957.  She survives.

Pablo was a Professor of Spanish and Italian Languages and Linguistics at the College of Wooster for 32 years, retiring in 1993.  He was a member of St. Mary Catholic Church.

He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, wrote several college textbooks, and enjoyed traveling and teaching in Europe, Latin America, and Asia.  Pablo was very dedicated to educating and helping all of his students; he stayed in touch with many of them over many years. 

Pablo immigrated to the U.S. at age 20 to study at Georgetown University.  He became an American citizen while serving in the U.S. Army in Japan during the Korean Conflict.

Surviving in addition to his wife are his children, Margarita Valencia (John Michael Zins) of Washington, D.C., Miguel (Marilyn) Valencia of Rocky River, Ohio, and Pablo (Deborah) Valencia of Northville, Michigan; grandchildren, John Thorne, Gabriel, Carmen, David and Laura Valencia; great-granddaughters Penelope and Georgina; sisters, Leonor Valencia de Araoz-Fraser and Maria Eugenia Valencia Caro.

He was preceded in death by his parents, 2 brothers and a sister.

Friends will be received 1 hour prior to the 11:00 a.m. Memorial Mass on Friday, May 17, 2019 at St. Mary Catholic Church, 527 Beall Ave., Wooster with Rev. Stephen Moran as the celebrant.  Inurnment will follow in St. Mary Cemetery.

McIntire, Bradham & Sleek Funeral Home, 216 E. Larwill St., Wooster is assisting the family with arrangements.

Those who wish may make memorial contributions in his memory to the Ricardo Valencia Award, c/o The College of Wooster, 1101 N. Bever St., Wooster, OH 44691.  (The Valencia Award provides materials for Independent Study in Spanish).

Online condolences may be left for the family at

Memorial Contributions: 

Those who wish may make memorial contributions in his memory to the Ricardo Valencia Award, c/o The College of Wooster, 1101 N. Bever St., Wooster, OH 44691.  (The Valencia Award provides materials for Independent Study in Spanish).


Friday, May 17, 2019 from 10-11:00 a.m. at St. Mary Catholic Church, 527 Beall Ave., Wooster


Mass of Christian Burial at 11:00 a.m. at St. Mary Catholic Church on Friday, May 17.


Kitty and family,
I will try to remember you in prayer when you come to my mind.
Kitty, you and Pablo have been on my mind a lot the past 2 or 3 weeks.
I meant to call. So sorry that I did not.
Love, Levina(Feenie) Peachey

Kitty and family,

We were neighbors for several years on N. Bever St. We would visit outside on your many walks to the COW campus, and share the joy of the beautiful trees and flowers blooming along the way. You were wonderful neighbors, and more than wonderful people. Kind and funny, and always a smile on Pablo's face. I will remember him warmly, and he will be missed....RIP.

Kitty and family,

We enjoyed knowing Pablo and will have fond memories of our interactions with him. We knew him to be a warm, caring and generous person. We are very sorry for your loss.

Kindest regards,

Brian Cope and Patty Tovar

Dear Kitty--We are so sorry for your loss. I (Carolyn) knew Pablo from the time I arrived at the college and he was a wonderful colleague and a supportive mentor. John of course enjoyed working with him both at the College and through PRESHCO. We extend our sympathies to you, the children, and grandchildren. Carolyn and John

Dear Kitty and family,
We are sorry for your loss. We will always remember Pablo's caring and generous spirit. He was so warm and kind and made friends everywhere he went around the world. My father was fortunate to befriend Pablo many years ago in Ann Arbor, and Pablo was an incredibly loyal and supportive friend. I was blessed to have Pablo as my godfather and to witness his example of how to be a loving husband, father and friend. We are praying for all of you.
Paul and Susan Rodriguez

My memories of Kitty and Pablo extend mostly from my experiences in everyday Wooster life. Whether worshiping at St. Mary's, walking the farmers market and/or Save a Lot I could always expect a warm smile and genuine interest in the person. Pablo was a gentle soul and will be missed by the college and the city of Wooster. Condolences to the family and fond memories.

Dear Kitty and family,

We are deeply sorry for your loss. I am currently out of country and unable to attend the funeral.
We were so lucky to meet Pablo and Kitty soon after we moved to Wooster about 10 years ago.
We will never forget Pablo's hospitality and generosity.

Setsuko and Eric

Dear Kitty and family,
We are very sorry for your loss. We always enjoyed when you came by. We will miss Pablo and his big smile. God Bless You! We love you, Ada and Eunice Yoder

Dear Kitty and family. Wanda and I are very sorry for your loss. Pablo was a good friend and wonderful teacher. I know that Pablo had a deep faith in the carpenter of Nazareth. Jesus said 'I am the resurrection and the life', a truth we are all thankful for. Doug and Wanda Doohan

Amanda and I have such wonderful memories visiting with you and Pablo and learning Spanish together. Thank you for those wonderful learning times and sweet fellowship. Amanda is going to Peru this summer and wanted to let you and Pablo know. Somehow I think Pablo knows. Much love, Amy Murray

I still remember what a wonderful teacher MR Valencia was. I took Spanish from him in 1990. He was such a bright soul and a kind person.

My condolences to you.

Dear Kitty and family,
I will always remember Pablo as my favorite Spanish professor! I learned so much from him and enjoyed the opportunity to visit in your homes in Wooster and in Murcia. Praying for you all at this difficult time.

Dear Valencia Family,
Pablo was an incredibly talented academic and a thoroughly decent man. These are the best accolades I can say of anyone. He was an inspiration and will be missed. My prayers go with him and all of you during this difficult season. - Pat Schmitz, COW '88

I still remember walking in as a freshman to Wooster, and, in my halting Spanish, explaining to the gentleman at the registration table that I only had three years of Spanish, and thought maybe I should take Spanish 102. His reply: "Well, I am the chairman of the department, and teach Spanish 201, and I look forward to you joining us when classes start, because that is where you belong." He immediately immersed us in Spanish, and those first two or three weeks were tough, but under his kind tutelage, I learned it and still speak it today. I vividly remember a delightful evening my class had at his house where he and his lovely wife fed us and entertained us. I wrote to him a few times over the years, but alas, lost track of his contact info. I am sad to see he has passed on, but I know his fond memory will live on, held by the thousands of studens' lives he's touched over the years.
- Ken D'Ambrosio, CoW, '88-ish

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