Longtime Juneau resident, Vivien Antrim, passed peacefully in the morning on Monday, November 16, 2020 at Bartlett Memorial Hospital under the care of the wonderful doctors and nurses. Until the day of her passing, Vivien was living independently at her home overlooking Pearl Harbor by the Shrine of St. Therese.
Vivien was born on February 8, 1928, in Sacramento, California to Dan and Geraldine Barber. She grew up in Auburn, California, graduating from Placer Highschool and later Placer Junior College.
She was on a blind date at a lakeside big band dance venue in Grass Valley, California, when she saw her future husband, Lee, across the dance floor. They were married a short time later in Gardnerville, Nevada, in the winter of 1948, driving over the Donner Summit in a blinding snowstorm, the first of many adventures together.
Vivien went on to get a bachelor's in education at San Francisco State, which began her career in education. She worked as a Kindergarten teacher in the Bay area. Lee got a job with the Department of Defense which took the couple to a number of overseas posts. The first was in Stuttgart, Germany, where they lived for ten-years and where their son Marc was born. From there the family transferred briefly back to the Bay area, and then on to Lancaster, California when Lee was posted at Edwards Air Force Base. They moved from Lancaster to Newfoundland, Canada where they lived for five-years and Vivien resumed her education career, teaching on Harmon Air Force Base.
In 1965 Vivien moved with her family from Newfoundland to Springfield, Massachusetts. While there, Vivien got her Special Education certification from American International College. Vivien then started the first special education program for the Ludlow, Massachusetts School District.
The family moved to Juneau, Alaska, in 1970 when Lee took a job with the State of Alaska. Vivien joined the staff of Henri House and ran the pre-school special education program. When Henri House transitioned into St. Jude Center on what is now the Bartlett Hospital campus, Vivien continued working with the special education program until her retirement.
Vivien traveled with Lee throughout mainland Europe and the U.K. while they lived there and went back many times over the years. Vivien's fondest memories were of the times they spent later in life in Copenhagen and St. Johns. They also traveled throughout the U.S. Some of her favorite times were spent with old school friends from California who flew up every year for what became an annual trip to fish over at Thayer Lake Lodge on Admiralty Island.
Her house was filled with Alaskan art pieces, but one of the regrets she often laughed about was missing out on acquiring Rie Munoz' well-known 'Reindeer Roundup.' She saw it in the window of Faces, Places and Things, and took a thoughtful walk around the block before deciding to spend the money, only to find out that it had been sold in that short time!
Vivien enjoyed entertaining everyone who stopped by and was an artful cook, delighting family and guests with one of dishes from her amazing recipe file. She loved nothing better than a group of people around her table having a lively conversation. She also spent significant time gardening on her Pearl Harbor property, creating a lush and varied garden. She was widely read and her ability to recall the nuances and atmosphere of a particular work was amazing.
When Vivien celebrated her 90th birthday in 2018 she was joined by all of her Pearl Harbor neighbors and family for a night of festivities and she was crowned the 'Queen of Pearl Harbor.' She was truly touched.
Vivien is survived by her son, Marc and his wife, Kris Fortier, of Juneau. She is also survived two grandchildren she simply adored and in whose lives she played a large role, Molly Antrim, of Anchorage and Derek Antrim of Sequim, Washington. Vivien also cherished her three great-grandchildren, Braedon, Aubrey and Arlen.
Vivien will be missed by her many friends and acquaintances, and her neighbors in the Pearl Harbor community. At Vivien's request, there will be no services. She asked, instead, that you make a donation in her name to Hospice Care of Juneau.
Published in Juneau Empire from Nov. 22 to Dec. 21, 2020.