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Valentin Alexeeff
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Obituary for Valentin Alexeeff

Valentin Victorovich Alexeeff was born in Shanghai China in 1948. His parents were Russian refugees escaping the threat of the Bolsheviks and later the forces of Chinese Communism. Victor and Nina Alexeeff immigrated to San Francisco in 1949, and Val grew up in the City with his brothers Andrei and George, an active member of the Russian Community.

Val became a VISTA Volunteer in 1970, stationed in Sumner, Washington, where he met Mary Ann, who would be his wife of 41 years. He developed an interest in planning while working with self-help housing, and after earning a master's degree from the University of Washington, he returned to California, where he worked as a planner in Stockton and Antioch while becoming a father to his two sons, Mikhail and Anatoly.

He became the Planning Director and later City Manager of Clayton, California, where he helped to expand the small town. The City of Clayton gave him a leave in order to gain his second master's degree at the Harvard Kennedy School.

After leaving Clayton, he was named director of GMEDA, which encompassed planning, public works, and economic development in Contra Costa County. Val worked for the county in various capacities for fourteen years, earning a doctorate from USC during that time. He then moved across the state as planning director for Santa Barbara and Santa Clara Counties After a five year struggle with liver disease, he died on December 11. His wife and one of his sons were with him at the time of his death.

Val was a boisterous personality and a thoughtful and caring person. He loved the beauty of nature, music, and family. He was enamored with his wife and grateful for his brothers and sons. He was a person who constantly worked to improve his philosophical mindset. He wanted to understand how to overcome the mistakes of the past so society could move forward with additional capacity for love and respect.

He was sensitive at times and fierce at other times, and he took tremendous pride in not only his own accomplishments, but those of the people close to him. If you spent enough time with Val, you would have heard his thunderous laugh and seen his infectious smile.

His memorial will be held on December 30th at Scout Hall in San Francisco. In lieu of flowers please donate to the East Bay Regional Parks Department. All who come are invited to share remembrances of Val.

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