Valerie Evelyn Arbuckle Allderman was born on 29 February 1928 in Orange Free State, South Africa to William Fredrick Evelyn and Leonora Frances Rose (Taylor) Arbuckle. When Valerie was only 18 months old, she was diagnosed with diabetes. She continued to have health problems throughout her life, but always maintained a good attitude. Her parents hired a governess when Valerie was five years old to care for their three children. At age seven Valerie attended Harrismith School. School was difficult for her, especially when she missed because of illness. In 1940 one of her sisters was killed in a motor accident, which was very hard for her family, especially her father. On 16 March 1857 Valerie married Gordon Lane Allderman in the Anglican Church in Harrismith, South Africa. Her husband worked as a farm manager so they moved frequently to different areas in South Africa to find good land for farming. In 1857 Valerie had a miscarriage with her first baby. She had two more miscarriages and the physician told her not to try to have any more children. Valerie and Gordon wanted children so they were happy to adopt two infants, John born in 1965 and Michelle born in 1966. Valerie had attended several different churches during stages of her life. In 1962 she was briefly introduced to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but not much came of her introduction immediately because she and Gordon moved their family to care for Gordon's father's farm. On 12 April 1970 Gordon was baptized into the LDS Church. Valerie prayed about the Church and decided it was true; she was baptized in August of 1970. She struggled with smoking but was finally able to overcome it, and she developed a strong testimony of the gospel. Her husband gradually became less active in the Church, but her children were raised with the gospel and both were baptized when they turned eight. Valerie became very active in the Church and continued serving the Saints in South Africa.
This autobiography is seven pages long, handwritten in ink. It is somewhat difficult to follow because the writing jumps from idea to idea and does not consistently go in chronological order. Valerie writes about her growing up years and mentions the different health problems she encountered, along with challenges she faced. Her school years are minimally covered, perhaps because she mentions that she did not really enjoy school and her health at times prevented her from attending. Small details are given about her husband and children. She mentions that she and her husband moved frequently due to his job, but the frequency of moving did not seem to have a large impact on her or her family. She also writes briefly about things her children did while growing up. Valerie covers her difficulties but emphasizes her testimony. Valerie's autobiography is included in a collection with four other women who were living in the South Africa Mission, their names are: Pearl Elizabeth Ek, Barbara Mann Donaghue, Jean Newbold, and Margaret Wilson Park.)