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Ira "Lynn" Valentine '86 July 28, 2022 11:53 AM updated: July 28, 2022 12:01 PM

Ira Lynn Valentine
June 4, 1963 - July 6, 2022

Ira Lynn Valentine, was born on June 4, 1963, in Marshall, Texas to Ira Valentine, Jr. and Maudell G. Valentine.

He accepted the Lord, and was baptized, at an early age, at Pine Bluff Missionary Baptist Church. "Lynn", as called by his family, is known for his gentle and loving spirit, his love for his family and friends, his outstanding athletic ability, and the ability to make friends wherever he goes; many have referred to him as a "gentle giant". A noted family man and an all-around people's person, you could always count on a smile when Lynn was around.

He is a 1982 graduate of Marshall High School, where he a was a proud Maverick and a standout running back; his senior year he ran 174 times for 858 yards and scored nine touchdowns. On February 10, 1982, Ira became the first Marshall player to sign a letter of intent, signing to play for Texas A&M University. He was a four-year letterwinner at A&M, from 1983-1986, starting off as a defensive back and later playing as running back, and majored in Industrial education. Ira finished his college career with 101 touches for 486 yards and 6 six touchdowns. He played in, and won, two Southwest Conference Championships in 1985 and 1986. In 1986, Ira rushed for his college career high 194 yards.

At the conclusion of his college football career, Valentine was a 12th round (314th pick overall) selection in the 1987 NFL Draft by the Houston Oilers. Noted as the fastest player at his position, stated by Coach Jerry Glanville, he ran a 4.40 in the 40 yard dash. While playing for the Oilers, Valentine played 7 regular season game, 5 rushes for 10 yards, 2 catches for 10 yards, 1 kickoff return for 13 yards, and two playoff games as a rookie. He played professional football for the Oilers for a year and a half, before receiving a tryout with the St. Louis Cardinals, in 1988, and later signing a two-year contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in January of 1989. When his career with the NFL was completed, Lynn moved back home to Marshall, Texas; a place he loved and always cheered for.

In the late evening of Wednesday, July 6, 2022, Lynn was drafted to play on a team led by the best coach there is, Our Lord and Savior. Upon his arrival to the stadium (the gates of Heaven), he found cheering on the sidelines his parents, Ira Valentine Jr. and Maudell G Valentine; sister, Vanessa Ruth Valentine; and loving nephew, Willie “Junea” Williams, Jr.

Although Lynn's football career and life here on earth have been completed, he has left many precious memories to be shared by those he loved the most, including his loving and devoted fiancé, Judy Williams; son, Breylan Bradford; special children, Portia and Ray O'brien Horton, Madison and Julian Williams; four brothers, Larry (Myrtis) Lester of Houston, Edward Valentine of Marshall, Robert (LaVelma) Valentine of Longview, and Chilly Valentine of Marshall; two sisters, Velma (Londell) McGlothin and Katina Valentine, both of Marshall; special sister and brother, Maudie Empy and Joe Lovely; grandchildren, Tristan and Mackenzie Bradford; God children, Ashley Valentine (niece) and JaVarey Valentine (great nephew); one uncle, Will (Josephine) May “Big May” of Atlanta, Georgia; very special friends and golf buddies, Ken Wilkerson, Billy Williams, and Larry Lockett; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, friends, coworkers, and classmates.


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