“I love that my dad taught me how to drive a coach with four horses. He was a perfectionist and pushed me hard to do it right. Dad had a very big and loving heart.”
I grew up at Grant’s Farm with my six siblings. Our loving parents and the people who worked at Grant’s Farm were “the village” that raised us. Many of these people became our friends, co-workers and mentors. A few of them had a profound impact on who I am today.
Through the years I have served on nonprofit boards and in organizations that share my passion for children, education, conservation, health care and the nursing profession. I have always tried to live the values of my Jesuit education, “The pursuit of truth for the greater glory of God and for the service of humanity.” To this day I remain a nurse at heart and continue to be involved with the Saint Louis University School of Nursing and the University's board of trustees.
I am a mother of six adored children by my beloved late husband John Valentine. After being widowed and raising children for thirteen years, I met the second love of my life John Fries, also widowed. Between us we have eight children and eight grandchildren — we cherish our time with them and each other.
Our families love the great outdoors. On our Missouri ranch we raise white and brown bison, cattle, horses, and many of the types of animals I grew up with at Grant’s Farm.
Grant’s Farm remains such an important part of my life because it brings so much happiness to others. I’m thrilled that our family group has assumed operations at Grant’s Farm. We take pride in making Grant’s Farm the best it can be for our guests with an emphasis on connecting people with nature, animals, family, and friends. Our ancestors hoped for this and it is our intention to fulfill that promise.