Tuesday, May 15, 2007 | 7:31 a.m.
As a young woman, Valerie Pruden taught herself to play the organ, and she studied the Bible cover to cover.
Both efforts would benefit fellow parishioners at Red Rock Baptist Church during five decades in which she played organ during services and taught Sunday school.
"As a teacher, she gave great insight into God's work," said the Rev. Darrell Adcock, pastor of Red Rock Baptist for the past seven years. "The fact Valerie had no formal training is the very essence of what we believe - that God inspires us through his word. She, too, was an inspiration."
Pruden, a mother of six, grandmother of five and great-grandmother of two, died Saturday at Nathan Adelson Hospice of liver failure. She was 70.
Pruden's liver disease has been diagnosed three weeks earlier, her family said.
Services for the Las Vegas resident of 45 years will be at 11 a.m. Wednesday at Red Rock Baptist Church, 5500 W. Alta Drive.
"My mother was an avid reader of fiction, romance, mysteries and she knew every subject of the Bible," said daughter Jamey Lien of Boulder City. "She also loved going to the movies and watching reality TV shows. And, on occasion, she'd use a swear word."
She was born Valerie Williams on June 15, 1936, in Cleveland. She was raised by her stepfather, Steven Kuntz, and her mother, Eva Kuntz, a former Sunday school teacher who, at 93, survives Pruden and lives in Las Vegas.
Pruden came to Las Vegas in 1962, and she began teaching Bible classes at Red Rock Baptist in the mid-1960s. She continued off and on for 25 years, her family said. Early on, she taught grade schoolers and, in more recent years, senior citizens.
Pruden stopped volunteer teaching in 2005.
In addition to her daughter, mother, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, Pruden is survived by two other daughters, Kim Smith of Las Vegas and Kyllan McCall of North Las Vegas; and two sons, Chris DeFlorentis of Las Vegas and Carl DeFlorentis of Palm Springs, Calif. She was preceded in death by her son Peter DeFlorentis.