Condolences for Vivian J. Strong

To start with a memory of almost exactly 33 years ago: Vivian and Earl drove my wife and myself to the Twin Cities airport on May 1, 1989 after our second interview with the search committee of St. John's United Church of Christ. That interview was "successful" and she and Earl welcomed us wholeheartedly into the church and into their family when we arrived on July 4, 1989. And just eleven days after that, they had Elizabeth and me (and a brother and sister-in-law) over to Pioneer Camp Ground and their "second family" for a whole day. Vivian was the "Energizer Bunny" of St. John's Church. She never stopped. She was always there. She sang in the choir; she worked tirelessly at the church suppers; she served at countless funeral lunches. Among all the grateful memories that Elizabeth and I have of her is how she made a baby quilt for our adopted daughter, Susannah, the month before we went to Colombia, South America to adopt her. Twenty-eight year old Susannah still has that quilt! And one last memory: of Vivian reading the poem, "When I am Old, I Shall Wear Purple." She brought the poem to life. This was at a mother-daughter banquet with her dear late mother, Florence Lamke.
From Rev. Donald Fox