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Vivian A. Patterson, 84, died peacefully Monday, June 9, 2008, while listening to a baseball game and watching the 9 a.m. sunlight break through the eastern window of her Portsmouth, Va., bedroom. She died from complications related to fatty liver disease.
Vivian's roots remained in Scott City, where she was born and baptized, lived and loved, graduated as widow alongside her son from Southeast Missouri State University, conducted business, nurtured many and was nurtured by her friends until December 2007.
To Scott City, Vivian served as a caring and principled special education teacher (retired), a Meals On Wheels volunteer, a Cape Girardeau Airport security guard, a VFW volunteer, a very successful bingo practitioner and a loyal member of Broadway United Methodist Church in Scott City.
She is survived by her exceptionally honorable, extended family, her Yale Drive, Scott City, neighbors. From them, her grandson will be forever educated in the practice of hospitality, duty to elders and core humanity for their care of and breaking bread with Vivian.
She is also survived by two watchful friends, Dr. and Mrs. Sue Hunt, to whom her grandson is indebted for helping her to navigate many medical obstacles these past few years and keeping her gainfully employed as a pet nanny. Vivian is also survived by a loyal friend of 80 years, a gentleman and a crush, retired Army 1st Sgt. Ralph McClain, for whom she has long held a pristine yet understated affection. Vivian is survived by her niece, Phyllis Masse, of Kankakee, Ill. Finally, Vivian is survived by her only and "No. 1 grandson," Christopher G. Patterson of Portsmouth, and his love and Vivian's co-care provider, Stefanie Renate Osfolk.
Vivian's husband, Cecil Gordon Patterson; her only son, Douglas Monroe Patterson; and her mother and father, Orville and Bessie, preceded her in death.
Vivian and her grandson are humbled and more than thankful for the immediate persistent care coordinated in Portsmouth by Dr. Robert Accetola and his team since Christmas Eve 2007, and supported by Dr. S. Damle, The Harborview Endoscopy Group and the Heartland Home Health Care and Hospice teams. Vivian had a grand time and looked forward to each visit from her home health care and hospice "girls": Amy, Kim (PT), Linda, Lisa, Beverly and her daughter, and Kim, Chaplain Dingus, Becky, Dawn, Nancy and Diana, who saw us through the final days.
Vivian's last words were "That's right" in response to her grandson's promise that she had a beautiful day ahead of her and that she was his "No. 1 grandma." Her grandson requests that she be remembered for her final words and know that she always had a positive outlook and intended to do nothing less than that which was right and fair by her neighbors, her friends, her family and her fellow Americans.
By her direction, Vivian's cremains will be interred with her husband's (Army officer retired) at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery in St. Louis.
Her grandson requests that those who intend to send flowers would take ownership in Vivian's request for "no fanfare" and, instead, share 30 minutes of their time each week to chat, share a newspaper, and cook and enjoy a meal with someone in your community who is alone. Though she could only share it with a few of us before, now she can share her smile with many more. Please remember and share Vivian Patterson's smile.
Sturtevant Funeral Home in Portsmouth was in charge of arrangements.