Vivian Ann Hilts Dean passed away at home amidst her loving family after a valiant, two-year battle with non- Hodgkin's lymphoma.
Vivian is survived by her husband of 45 years, James Grable Dean; her daughter-in-law, Colleen Dean, widow of their son James Bruce, and grandsons Ryan and Jared; daughter, Deborah, son-in-law Michael, and grandchildren Allison, Colin, Grable and Will; daughter, Laura; and son, Eric.
She was looking forward to the upcoming marriages of Laura to Edward Cannon on June 20th, 2006, and Eric to Adrian Bonelli on May 19th, 2007.
She is also survived by her sister, Sandra Gordin and her family, along with numerous other family members in the United States, Canada and the Philippines.
She is preceded in death by her son, James Bruce Dean and parents, Lorne and Beulah Hilts.
Vivian was born in Grimsby, Ontario, Canada. She moved to the United States when she was nine years old, and as a young woman became a naturalized citizen of the United States.
She met James in 1952 when they were in junior high school in Modesto, California. Their friendship blossomed into love and they became high school sweethearts.
She graduated from Modesto High School in 1956 and, after two years at Modesto J.C., she attended San Jose State, where she earned her B.A. and Elementary Teaching Credential in June of 1960.
On June 30th, 1960 she married James and they lived in Modesto, where they taught for the next several years.
In the fall of 1966, Vivian and James moved to Anderson Valley where she taught at Anderson Valley Elementary School. She helped her husband develop and operate a private school and group home. There she was a house parent and teacher to more than 500 adolescent boys over the 40 years they have run the program.
During this time she earned her Special Education Credential from Dominican College. She has made a lasting impact on these boys' lives through her compassionate service and nurturing care.
Vivian also had a special place in her heart for the 4-H program and participated for many years as a project and community leader, continuing to serve even during her treatment for cancer.
She was also a member of the Rebecca's Lodge in Boonville for several years.
She was extremely artistic and creative and had a wonderful talent for seeing beauty in everything.
Vivian was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She has served as a teacher in Relief Society, Primary, Sunday School, and taught nine years of early morning Seminary. She has an enduring testimony of the Lord Jesus Christ and His power and goodness.
Vivian was incredibly kind, loving and patient and is held in high esteem by all who knew and associated with her. As one of the young men that she helped to nurture through troubled times reflected, she was a beacon of light in a dark world.
Vivian was buoyed up by and often articulated her gratitude for all of the many cards and letters she received daily during her illness. Vivian's influence will continue to be felt by an untold number of people.
Family and friends are invited to a visitation at Eversole Mortuary, 141 Low Gap Road, Ukiah, on Friday, June 9th, 2006, from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m.
The memorial service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, June 10th, 2006, at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1337 S. Dora, in Ukiah.
Interment will follow at 1:30 p.m. at Evergreen Cemetery on Anderson Valley Way in Boonville, California.
Arrangements are under the direction of the Eversole Mortuary, 707-462-2206.
www.modbee.com/obituaries Published in the Modesto Bee from 6/8/2006 - 6/10/2006.