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Life Story / Obituary
All who knew Vivian Velasquez would agree that she never took anything for granted. She valued her family and loved ones above all else, and her love for life was easy to see. Vivian had an overly generous heart, and she worked tirelessly to serve others in whatever way she could in ways both great and small. She was someone who loved unconditionally and was always willing to extend a helping hand to those in need. Dearly loved, Vivian will be deeply missed by all who were blessed to know and love her.
During the first half of the 1940s, the eyes of our nation were focused overseas as countless young servicemen and women answered the call to serve during WWII. Those who remained stateside became very familiar with rationing on common goods such as rubber, sugar, paper, and canned goods. It was also during this time of unrest that Lloyd and Mary Ida (Longenecker) Ross, of Niles, Michigan, were awaiting the birth of their baby as winter held their small town firmly it its grip during the early part of 1944. On February 24th, their wait was finally over as they welcomed their firstborn daughter, Vivian, into their family with open arms.
In many ways, Vivian was a typical young girl of her generation. She was raised in the family home along with her eight younger siblings, Alice, Madelon, Shirley, Diana, Dennis, Scott, Lyle, and Carl. As the oldest in her family, Vivian often cared for her siblings as her parents both worked outside of the home. She took her role as their caretaker very seriously, and she learned several valuable lessons that she would apply later on in life with her own family. Vivian completed her education at local schools and worked several jobs over the years. Throughout her life she did factory work and also worked in dishwashing and housekeeping, and it has also been said that she mastered the life of a homemaker with ease.
New and exciting changes were on the horizon as a young woman when Vivian met the love of her life while attending a wedding. His name was Hector Velasquez, and it didn’t take long for the two to fall deeply in love. With the desire to spend the rest of their lives together, Vivian and Hector became husband and wife. Over the years, they welcomed seven children including Chris, Catherine, Michael, Mark, Terri, Timothy, and Michelle into their hearts and home. It was easy to see that Vivian’s family was her greatest source of pride and joy, and she took her roles as a wife, mother, and homemaker to heart. She selflessly went above and beyond on a daily basis to care for her loved ones. Later in life, Vivian was thrilled to become a grandmother and even a great-grandmother. She spent 49 years sharing her life with her beloved Hector before he passed away in 2010.
Vivian was the sort of person who liked to stay busy, and she was involved in many activities to fill her free time. She enjoyed things like word searches and puzzles, which helped keep her mind sharp. Above all, Vivian loved to spend time with her family as she never tired of being surrounded by their love. Among Vivian’s most precious moments are those she spent taking road trips with her sister-in-law. She enjoyed all different kinds of music including classic rock ‘n roll, country, and polka. Vivian also grew to enjoy her husband’s jazz band. A strong believer in education, Vivian often read to her children and grandchildren. She loved family movies like Steel Magnolias, The Land Before Time, and various westerns. Vivian also found a passion for the shows Charmed and Paranormal, although spending time with loved ones always came first.
Remembered as being a woman of strong character, Vivian upheld the morals she believed in and taught her children to do the same. She was kind and loving, and family was always her greatest treasure. Vivian was affectionately called “blockhead” by her husband, and she had a sense of humor that was contagious to all who were near. As her family and friends can attest, she was fond of saying, “Whatever happens, happens and it will all work out,” which was a testament to her inner strength and resilience.
All who knew Vivian Velasquez would agree that there was nothing more important to her than family. She served on instinct and without thought for herself. Vivian was a strong and steadfast role model for her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, and her nurturing spirit was unmatched. Vivian leaves behind a priceless legacy that her loved ones will proudly carry on in her footsteps.
Age 76, died Thursday, July 30, at her home. She was born February 24, 1944 in Niles, Michigan to Lloyd and Mary Ross. Surviving are her children: Chris (Carole) Velasquez, Catherine (Amos) Aldrich, Michael Velasquez, Mark Velasquez, Terri (Marvin) Allen, Timothy (Shanna) Velasquez, Michele (Eric) Russell; many grandchildren and extended family. A Memorial Mass will take place Monday 11 AM (AUG 10) at St. Joseph Catholic Church with inurnment following at Mt. Olivet Cemetery. Visit Vivian’s personal webpage at www.BetzlerLifeStory.com where you may read her Life Story, archive a favorite memory or photo, and sign her online guestbook. Memorial contributions may be made to St. Joseph Catholic Church. Betzler Life Story Funeral Home, 6080 Stadium Dr., Kalamazoo, 269-375-2900