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Great Falls —Vyva Valeria Tyler, 97, passed away peacefully on September 26, 2013, in Great Falls. She was born May 12, 1916 at Ipswich, South Dakota, to Benjamin and Nettie (Gomsrud) Callison. Vi was the 6th of 13 children. Her family moved to Loma in 1917. As a young girl, she and her sisters explored the hills around Loma. They would swim the river in the summer and ice skate in the winter. They loved making paper dolls from Penny's and Sears catalogs.
Memorial services will be held Saturday, October 12, 2013 at 11:00 am at the Rohrer United Methodist Church in Big Sandy. Cremation has taken place under the direction of O'Connor Funeral Home.
She went to high school in Fort Benton where she and her sister would live in a rented room during the week and go home on weekends. Vi graduated in 1934. She met a banjo playing farmer (Gordon Tyler) at a dance at Kennilworth Hall. They became sweethearts and married on June 15, 1935 in Fort Benton. After their marriage they spent the winter at Wheeler, where Gordon worked on the Fort Peck Dam project. They moved back to his farm, where they raised their five children, and lived there until Gordon's death in 1968. A couple of years later, she had her house moved into Big Sandy. Both Gordon and Vi were very active in Odd Fellows and Rebekahs, each holding the highest state offices and attending many national conventions. She was a member for over 70 years.
After her move into "town," she worked for a time in the lunch room of the grade school and then at The Mountaineer Newspaper. When the new owner needed a babysitter, she volunteered. For the next 20+ years she was kept busy taking care of a lot of the town children. She became "Grandma Vi" to most of them.
Vi enjoyed sewing, knitting, crocheting, plastic canvas, making bead ornaments, listening to gospel music, and playing card and board games. She was also a certified ceramic artist, and had a shop in her basement. She taught many adults and children alike to "make ceramics." A favorite pastime for her grandchildren and great-grandchildren when they came to visit was to paint ceramics. She'd always have little items ready for them to paint as they saw fit. Vi was a fixture at the local bazaars and flea markets with her ceramic and beaded Christmas ornaments.
She was a faithful member of the Methodist Church and rarely missed singing in the choir. Her "waffle" cookies were always at the bake sales. Vi lived by herself in her own home until the age of 92, when she had to be admitted into skilled nursing care.
Vi leaves behind her daughters, Jean (Ernie) Peters of Great Falls and Susanne Green of Chester; sons David of Washington, Arnold of Havre, and Terry of Great Falls. She is also survived by 12 grandchildren, 19 great-grandchildren, and 7 great-great-grandchildren; sisters Lucille of California, Betty of Great Falls, and Patsy of Washington; numerous nieces, nephews, and many friends.
She was preceded in death by her husband Gordon, brothers Lloyd, Clinton, Lionel, Thomas, and Benjamin; and sisters Clover, Alice, Hazel, and Jewell.
In Vi's memory, donations may be made to Rohrer United Methodist Church in Big Sandy. Services will be announced at a later date.
Condolences may be posted online at www.oconnorfuneralhome.com .
Published in Great Falls Tribune on Sept. 29, 2013