Vivian L. Todd, age 90, went to be with her Lord on Tuesday, June 17, 2014, at her residence in the Gibson Creek Retirement Community, Salem, Oregon. Vivian was born June 28, 1923 to Joseph Shelton Fritts and Edna G. (Schadewitz) Fritts, the second of five children. She grew up on the family farm near Grass Valley, Oregon and attended grade school in Kent, Oregon, followed by high school in Moro.
Vivian always dreamed of being an elementary teacher. With financial assistance from an aunt she was able to attend Oregon College of Education in Monmouth, Oregon from which she graduated with a teaching degree in the summer of 1943. She went back to teach at Grass Valley Grade School for several years.
In March of 1945 she married the love of her life, Bill Eugene Todd, also of Grass Valley. Several years later they settled on a wheat and cattle ranch out of town where they raised their family. During this time Vivian not only took care of her family but also cooked many meals for hungry hired hands during harvest season. She loved to can fruit and to prepare pies and cobblers from every summer fruit available, much to the enjoyment of family and friends!
A life-long member of Grass Valley First Baptist Church, she taught Sunday School there for many years, putting to use her love of teaching children. Many still remember the beautiful flannel graph figures she used to make the stories from the Bible come alive. A special project dear to her heart was researching and writing a book on the history of the church for the 100th anniversary celebration.
Vivian returned to teaching after her children were independent, teaching kindergarten at the new Grass Valley Grade School for about ten years. She is remembered with great fondness by former students for the wonderful school experiences she gave them.
After retiring from teaching, she and Bill volunteered for several years at the Sherman County Historical Museum, a pursuit they both enjoyed tremendously. During their retirement years, she and Bill were able to do some traveling, including a 5Oth wedding anniversary trip to Hawaii.
Vivian pursued many other interests during her lifetime, including gardening, sewing, crocheting, and collecting antiques of all kinds. She was a true homemaker and loved to, in her own words, “make something of nothing.”
Vivian loved life on the ranch, but eventually she and Bill bought an old house in the town of Grass Valley, remodeled it to be their dream home, turned the grounds into a virtual park and lived there many years. Vivian continued to live in her home after Bill passed away in 1997 until 2010 when she moved to Salem to be closer to family. At her new residence at Gibson Creek she spoke to others often about her beloved home in Grass Valley.
Above all, Vivian cherished her family and friends. Her kind heart, nurturing spirit, generosity and compassion will never be forgotten. We will miss her. Her bright light now shines in Heaven.
Survivors include daughters Ardine Kapteyn and husband Art of Salem, OR, and Becky Friesen and husband Dean of Roseburg, OR; son Scott Todd of Portland, OR; 7 grandchildren and 7 great grandchildren. She is also survived by two brothers, Doran Fritts and wife Kathy of Grass Valley, OR and Scott Fritts and wife Betty, of Scio,OR. She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband Bill Todd, daughter Donna Kay Todd, and brothers Louis (Bud) Fritts and Ed Fritts.
The family would like to extend special thanks to the staff at Gibson Creek Retirement Community and to Serenity Hospice for their attentiveness and loving care of Vivian.
A memorial service will be held August 1, 2014 at Grass Valley First Baptist Church at 10:30 a.m. with a luncheon to follow. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Grass Valley Baptist Church, P0 Box 26, Grass Valley, OR 97029 or to the Sherman County Historical Society, P0 Box 173, Moro, OR 97039. Assisting the family Virgil T. Golden Funeral Service.
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