Among other efforts, she said, Mrs. Valdez returned from divisional meetings of the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors to report on the expertise that she had found there.
For NJ Partners, Weiss said, Mrs. Valdez "did just about anything that anybody needed that didn't require a computer."
Mrs. Valdez grew up in West Philadelphia, graduated from Overbrook High School, and earned a bachelor's degree at the former National College for Christian Workers in Kansas City, Mo., and a master's in social work at the University of Pennsylvania.
She began her career in the 1960s at Norristown State Hospital while working for her master's at Penn, a sister, Nana Sidders, said.
"She would work one week; another week she could be studying" at Penn, Sidders said.
After working at a hospital in Whittier, Calif., she returned to begin her career at Ancora in 1971.
The attraction of such work, Sidders said, was "to serve people who couldn't help themselves - the mentally ill and their families."
In retirement, Mrs. Valdez stayed active at Ancora, working as a chapel volunteer for 12 years.
"She would get the people from the different wards and bring them to the chapel" for Tuesday services led by ministers from a variety of denominations, Sidders said.
"She would assist the pastors in many ways," from setting up the chapel to inviting guest speakers.
Mrs. Valdez was a charter member at the 1996 founding of Victory Bible Church in Hammonton, N.J., and a captain of its tract team, which distributed explanations of the evangelical church's teachings at public places, Sidders said.
Besides her sister, Mrs. Valdez is survived by daughter Genevieve Palomo; a brother; a sister; and her former husband, Manny.
A viewing was set from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday, April 3, at Victory Bible Church, 816 S. Egg Harbor Rd., Hammonton, N.J. 08037, before a 7 p.m. service there, with private burial.
Donations may be sent to Victory Bible Church at the address above or www.vbc4me.org.
Condolences may be offered to the family at www.lpwoosterfuneralhome.com.