With great remorse and loss we announce the passing of our husband, father, and grandfather Herman E. Valentine, Sr., in Virginia Beach, Virginia on Sunday, April 30, 2023.
Herman was born July 26, 1937 in Norfolk, Virginia where he later attended Booker T. Washington High School and Norfolk State University. He was raised by his loving mother, Alice Hite, and father Frank Valentine, Sr. alongside his beloved siblings Dot and Frank. He would always credit Norfolk with being the city that shaped him, and when he gained worldwide attention by building Systems Management American Corporation (SMA), one of the largest minority-owned companies in the country, it was Norfolk, Virginia where he first broke ground. Mr. Valentine proudly made a name for himself at a time when black entrepreneurs faced countless barriers to success. In his time he was included in publications of Who’s Who in the World and was nationally recognized and honored for his best practices in hiring and training. Other achievements include social and professional Hall of Fame memberships and consistent recognition in rankings of Top 10 Black Businesses in the nation by major publications, and an induction into the National Black Press Hall of Fame. He was also the proud recipient of the Colgate Darden Award in recognition for his contribution to the social and economic wellbeing of Virginia citizens. Through his business Herman offered countless professional development opportunities for local women, minorities, and the disadvantaged, creating opportunities in his community for many who went on to develop lauded careers of their own.
Knowing that he could not have accomplished all of this by himself, Herman continued to give credit to his parents and loyal business associates, including his wife, Dr. Dorothy Valentine, their two sons Ward and Bryce and their families, their grandchildren, and to his personal Lord and Savior. Outside of his corporate accomplishments, Herman was an avid lover of horses and lived for many years on Cavalier Horse Farm, a place he dearly loved. He hosted horse shows and used his farm as a place for riders to train, some of whom went on to Olympic competitions. And above it all, he loved his family and was loved in return. He will be remembered by us forever for his ludicrously tall tales, his favorite show tunes and the dances that came with them, and the size of his dreams.
Funeral visitation will be held Friday, May 5th from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. at Altmeyer Funeral Home, 1801 Baltic Avenue, Virginia Beach. Funeral services will be held Saturday, May 6th at 10:00 am at The Historic First Baptist Church of Norfolk, 418 E Bute Street, with burial interment immediately following the service at Princess Anne Memorial Park.