Mrs. SokolEveryone has those few teachers that forever change them, while the rest drift off into obscurity. Mrs. Sokol was among the former for me. Her acting classes didn’t lead me down the path of acting, but rather offered a refuge from the mundane conformity of daily high school life. While nearly every other authority figure was pressing me to fit in (including a biology teacher/football coach who offered me money to cut off my “stupid” haircut), Mrs. Sokol taught me to tap into and embrace all of my awkwardness and absurdity and lead life as I saw fit. She helped to make me more comfortable with who I was, and for that I am eternally grateful.

Cheers Mrs. S.

Her full obituary, as printed in the Daily Herald:

Valerie D. “Boyd” Sokol Valerie D. “Boyd” Sokol, age 70, passed away peacefully with her family at her side on Monday, June 24, 2013 at her residence in Burr Ridge. She was born August 12, 1942 in Rockford, IL, the daughter of Robert Fuller and Barbara Jane (nee Burritt) Dearborn. She was united in marriage to Donald Sokol on December 4, 1993 in Rockford. Valerie was proud to have worked most of her career as an educator. She taught at Downers Grove North, directing more than 65 plays and musicals. Most recently she taught acting, script writing and makeup for BRAVO Summer Theatre at Gwendolyn Brooks Middle School in Oak Park. Illinois. In addition to providing portfolio and theatrical makeup workshops, Valerie enjoyed writing many scripts for musical programs. She has also written a one woman show, a memoir of her father and two novels. All her work reflects her love of storytelling and her passion for sharing her skills with others. A devoted mother and wife, she is survived by her beloved husband, Donald of Burr Ridge; her children, Alan Boyd of Aurora and Hollis (Corey) Abraham of Yorkville; her step-children, Laura Sokol of Temecula, CA, Jeffrey Sokol of Oak Creek, WI, and Anthony Sokol of Orland Park, IL; grandsons, Richard, Andrew, David, and Isaac; a great-grandson, Shane; brother, Bruce (Nancy) Dearborn of Rockford; sister, Anne Bachner of Dodgeville, WI; several nieces, nephews, and many dear friends and students. Her creative and positive approach to life is a legacy that will live on in the lives of those she touched. She is preceded in death by her parents and her daughter, Heather Anne Boyd. A memorial service will be held at 11:00 A.M. on Saturday, June 29, 2013 at the First Methodist Church of Downers Grove, 1032 Maple Avenue, Downers Grove, IL, where the family will receive guests from 10:00 A.M. until the hour of the service. Interment will be private. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to the Wellness House, 131 N. County Line Road, Hinsdale, IL 60521 or the American Cancer Society , 225 N. Michigan Ave., #1210, Chicago, IL 60601. For additional information, please contact the Moss Family Funeral Home, Batavia, IL. 630-879-7900 or