Vivian Eleanore <I>Bennett</I> Burdette

Vivian Eleanore Bennett Burdette

Birth
Oregon, USA
Death 3 Feb 2014 (aged 89)
Renton, King County, Washington, USA
Burial Renton, King County, Washington, USA
Memorial ID 130595038 · View Source
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Vivian Eleanore Burdette (Bennett)

Vivian was born January 31st 1925 in Portland, Oregon. Her father was Charles Orville Bennett born on November 8th 1893 and died on June 21st 1948. His 3rd Great-grandfather was Abraham Tout (1752-1826) a Private during the Revolutionary War which qualifies all direct line descendants for the “Sons of the American Revolution, SAR" or “Daughters of the American Revolution, DAR). Her mother was Mildred Lillian Boyer born June 24 1899 in Omaha, Nebraska and died December 18th, 1978 in Vancouver, Washington. Her parents were married December 10th 1915.
Around the time Vivian was born her parents separated. Charles kept her brother (Charles Dale) and sisters (Faye Blanche, Ruth Azalea and Betty Lou) and Mildred kept Vivian.
On September 24th 1925, when Vivian was about 8 months old, her Grandmother, Mary C Boyer died. Mary was born in Logstor, Denmark on July 7th 1864 and died in Grass Valley, Oregon. Mary had immigrated to America around 1890. She married Peter Masius Boyer, also from Denmark (May 7th 1862 – October 13th 1906) on September 28th 1891 in Omaha, Nebraska. They moved to Grass Valley, Oregon around July of 1903. Peter was a watchmaker. They (or she after he died) homesteaded land there which accumulated to at least 80 acres, probably more.
After Vivian’s Grandmother died Mildred exchanged numerous letters with her sister Betsy regarding how to distribute her grandmothers land. In the letters Vivian’s mom mentioned Vivian as “baby” and said she would refer to her in letters as such. Eventually Betsy bought Mildred’s share of the land.
On April 30 1926 Vivian’s mom married Christ Joseph Schultz, (born about 1887 in Russia) at Goldendale, Washington. The marriage certificate showed her as Burnett rather than Bennett.
By 1930 census records show the family living in Wishram, Washington with Vivian’s sister Ruth as Vivian and Ruth Schultz.
1940 census records show that they had lived in Richfield, Washington around 1935, where Ruth married Fred Huber. (Records indicate that by 2004 large amounts of lead, arsenic and chromium were found there and the area was declared a level 1 hazardous waste site.) By 1940 the family was back in Wishram again showing her as Vivian Schultz. Census records also showed Ruth living in a different home in Wishram with her new son John. Vivian had thought that Schultz was her real father until she was about 17 years old. One time when Schultz was hitting her mom she hit him on the head with a frying pan so when she heard he was not her real father she was happy. He never adopted any of Mildred’s children. During her high school years she lettered in Volleyball. She also worked for the old S. P @ S. Railroad in Wishram where her Step-father worked. Vivian had said that she didn’t really notice the depression because they lived in a railroad town and most people worked for the railroad.
Vivian graduated from Wishram High School early in 1943. She went to Vancouver, Washington and got a job working for Kaiser Ship Yards building Aircraft Carriers. She started as a welder and eventually ended up as a secretary. This made her a “Rosie the Riveter” during World War II, something she could be very proud of. Up until

World War II women worked mostly in light manufacturing or at home but with so many men off fighting the war they were needed to supply the troops with machines and materials and performed admirably in that role.
Sometime in 1943 Vivian met Donald Streeter and by the end of 1943 was pregnant with her first daughter Kerrie. Late in the pregnancy she moved to Eastern Washington and lived with her sister Faye until Kerrie was born. She then moved in with her mother who was now in Pasco, Washington.
Vivian was working for the railroad at that time and met and eventually married Carl F. Russert on the 22nd September 1945. She worked at a restaurant called the “Sweet Shop” in Pasco, Washington sometime afterwards where she met Fred Collett. She eventually divorced Carl Russert and moved in with Fred and by January 12th 1949 had her second child, Scott Lee Collett. On January 5th 1950 she had her third and last child, Lonnie Kay Collett.
Fred Collett had been with the Army Air Force during WWII and had worked at Hanford and as a truck driver since then. He lost his job so he went to Seattle and secured a job with the Boeing Company on the Flight Line so Vivian boarded a train and moved to Seattle around July of 1950.
On April 3rd 1951 Fred and Vivian were married in King County, Washington.
Around July of 1951 she and Fred went to Wichita, Kansas to work at that Boeing plant for a year. Scott went to her sister Ruth’s and Lonnie joined Kerrie at her mother Mildred’s home. Kerrie was living with her Grandmother by then. They worked in Wichita for about a year and moved back to Seattle around July of 1952 when Scott and Lonnie came back to live with them.
Sometime after July of 1954 they bought a house in Chelsea Park in Seattle. Her marriage with Fred was becoming strained by early 1956 and she moved in with neighbor Frank Garvin and Fred moved Frank’s wife Marty into his home. During this time Scott and Lonnie moved to Vancouver and stayed with Vivian’s mom Mildred for something over 6 months. By the time they returned around January of 1957 Vivian had married Frank (September 29th 1956) and Fred had married Marty (September 1956). They stayed in Chelsea Park until around June of 1958 then moved to Federal Way, Washington. By then Vivian had a job with Bar S as a meat packer.
During the summer of 1959 they bought a Mobil Home and moved to Land of Lakes Trailer Park in Kent, Washington. Frank was working at Penberthy Instrument Company in Seattle and Vivian at Bar S in Seattle
By November of 1960 they moved the trailer to Cedar Grove Trailer Park in Maple Valley, Washington. Frank lost his job during a strike but found a good job at Boeing. Vivian remained working at Bar S. Vivian was a lead on the Hot Dog Machine and worked for a time at the Seattle World’s Fair representing Bar S demonstrating the machine in 1962.
By June of 1966 Vivian separated from Frank and moved to the Renton Highlands and Seattle. She married Denver Paul Burdette “The Love of her life” on September 17th 1966. Paul had been a Medic during WWII in North Africa and Italy with the US Army. He got a job at Bar S and they both worked there until Ronald Reagan’s war on Unions caused them both to lose their jobs in August of 1981. They were hired back for half pay but the plant eventually closed down.
They lived in their motorhome and at a trailer park in Renton and traveled whenever they could. Paul died June 2nd 1994 after almost 28 years together.
Vivian spent her remaining years doing what she enjoyed most. Playing cards with family, going to the casino, reading, doing word puzzles and watching MASH and old cowboy movies on TV. She had never really smoked but all of her husbands did and she eventually had to be on oxygen because of second hand smoke. She died peacefully in an extended care facility in Renton, Washington on February 3rd 2014 a few days after her 89th birthday. At the time of her death she had 3 Children, 6 Grandchildren, 6 Great Grandchildren and 4 Great-Great Grandchildren.


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  • Created by: Scott Collett
  • Added: 30 May 2014
  • Find a Grave Memorial 130595038
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Vivian Eleanore Bennett Burdette (31 Jan 1925–3 Feb 2014), Find a Grave Memorial no. 130595038, citing Greenwood Memorial Park, Renton, King County, Washington, USA ; Maintained by Scott Collett (contributor 46578682) .