With tears in my eyes, a hole in my heart, and extreme sadness, I have to do something no mother should have to do: write her daughter’s obituary.

My daughter, Valerie Diane Hout Johnson, was 47 years old when her big heart gave out and she passed away at her home in La Sal on March 14, 2022. March was Valerie’s month as she was born on March 10, 1975, in Richland County, Illinois, to Diana Lynn Cazel and Ricky Dale Hout. She attended West Richland Schools.

Valerie married Mitchell Johnson on March 26, 2016. They lived in La Sal with their fur babies: three dogs and two cats. She was an excellent cook and homemaker. If you ever left her house hungry, that was your own fault. Her only brother, Ryan Kristopher Hout, shared an amazing and fun-filled sibling/friend bond with her. She was a devoted San Francisco 49ers football fan and enjoyed giving Ryan (a Denver Bronco fan) a hard time.

She was good at keeping in close contact with friends and family with that special opinion and her infectious laugh and humor. We all know that Valerie had a giving spirit and will be missed.

She is survived by her husband, Mitchell Johnson; her mother, Diana Lynn Cazel Dexter; her father, Ricky Dale Hout (Darla); her brother, Ryan K. Hout; her half-sisters, Morgan, Zoe, and Jazzlynn Hout; and many uncles, aunts and cousins that were very dear to her.

She was preceded in death by her grandparents, George and Mira Lynn Cazel and Richard Dale and Evelyn Hout.

Graveside services will be held on April 2 at 11 a.m. at Sunset Memorial Gardens Cemetery in Moab. A celebration of her life in Richland County, Illinois, will be announced at a later date. Condolences for the family may be left at