With loved ones at her side, Vivian Ione Neilson passed away peacefully on Sunday, Feb. 4, 2018 at Rainycrest Long-Term Care in Fort Frances, Ont.; united at last with those she missed so deeply.
Vivian was born on April 4, 1928 on the northeast corner of Sifton Township, at the homestead of her parents, Leroy and Amanda Berg.
She grew up helping on the farm, hunting for food and cooking it for the hired help—honing skills that would carry her through her working life.
On Sept. 25, 1946, Vivian married Garnett Neilson, who grew up near the southwest corner of Sifton. They bought a mixed farm north of Stratton, which eventually grew into a sizeable beef farm. Along the way, they raised seven children on home-grown food.
Mom's five girls were proud to wear the dresses and other “for good” clothing that she made for them and she passed those skills on to them, along with cooking and carpentry.
Snowmobiling, square dancing, and quilt making were favourite activities in the middle years. Vivian also was known throughout the district for her creativity. Many brides remember her making their wedding dress and the bridesmaids' gowns, and also decorating the wedding cake. They would show her a picture of the dress they wanted and she would make it.
After nearly 40 years of farming, Garnett and Vivian moved to the river, east of Pinewood, and built her dream house that had been many years in the planning. They spent 15 happy years there, gardening, fishing, cruising on the pontoon boat, garage saling, and occasionally exploring North America.
When they no longer could maintain the river property, they bought a condo on the river in Fort Frances. After Garnett's passing, and with her declining mobility, Vivian moved to Rainycrest and was happy there.
Mom has never been one to look back with regret and her family finds comfort in knowing that the current move is the same-always looking forward.
Vivian was predeceased by her parents, Leroy and Amanda (Mundahl) Berg; husband, Garnett; son, Ronald; son-in-law, Melvin Olson; and siblings, Clifford and Alton Berg, Gladys Welch, Lucille Gemmell, Evelyn Armstrong, and Alice Hartviksen.
She leaves behind her son, Richard (Linda) Neilson (Mark and Peter); and daughters, Linda (Bill) Fadden (Ken, Dan, Dena, and Chris), Candace Olson (Chris, Tanya, and Neil), Elizabeth (Wayne) Salchert (Ron and Brent Oster), Laurie Spanninga (Vic Juhala) (Crystal and Jolaine); and Faye (Kelvin) Flatt (Amy and Jason).
She also leaves 28 great-grandchildren; sisters-in-law, Lou Neilson, Dixie Kivi, and Grace Neilson; brother-in-law, Wm. (Moie) Neilson; as well as numerous nieces and nephews.
A memorial service will be held Friday, Feb. 9, 2018 at 2 p.m. at Knox United Church in Fort Frances, with Rev. Barbara Miller officiating.
Cremation has taken place, with interment at Pine Ridge Cemetery in North Branch, Ont. at a later date.
The honourary pallbearers will be Vivian's grandchildren.
If desired, in memoriam donations may be made to the FSH Muscular Dystrophy Society or the charity of your choice.
Online condolences may be offered at www.greenfuneralhomefortfrances.com