Vivian Stein Obituary (1936 – 2022) – Alamo, CA



Viviane Stein
April 11, 1936 – January 27, 2022
Vivian Dorothy Stein passed away on January 27 after a long and fruitful life. Vivian was born in the small western Minnesota farming community of Morris to George and Rosella Aanerud on April 11, 1936. Her ancestors had settled nearby communities on the prairie when they emigrated from Norway and Sweden to the late 1800s. She was very proud of her Scandinavian heritage. She spent her childhood with her younger sister Virginia living in small towns that served the farming community. Social life revolved around visits to family farms and many relatives in the area. She learned to play the accordion and participated in Girl Scouts.
She graduated from Morris High School in 1954 and moved to the big city to attend St. Cloud State Teachers College where she met “her sailor”, John Stein. They were married on August 11, 1956 and lived 64 years of marriage before John died in 2020. During these early years of marriage, they moved in with their young son, Jimmy, while John sought permanent employment. Vivian helped support the family by teaching elementary school wherever they landed. John found a job with the Social Security Administration and soon realized his dream of coming to California. She later recalled, “John joined the ranks of the federal civil service and thus began our adventure. In the first 11 years of marriage, we moved 13 times. We became modern nomads.”
Although it was difficult for her to leave behind everything she had known and all of her family in Minnesota, she rose to the challenge. In California, she was a typical early ’60s housewife. She volunteered with the Girl Scouts even before her daughter Susan was born in 1963. She made new friends, including lifelong friends. date Lee and Irene Gray and Pat and Judy Felker. Soon after moving to the Alamo in 1971, she became a modern career woman. She got a job with the Social Security Administration and worked there for 21 years before retiring in 1995.
In 1980, two wonderful things happened in his life that set the course for the next forty years. Vivian became a Catholic and later joined the brand new Young Ladies Institute (YLI), Our Lady of the Valley #236, at St. Isidore’s Church in Danville. She served her institute after her initiation by taking positions of responsibility every year. She served as Local President and Recording Secretary on several occasions.
After ten years, she took a leap of faith and ran for national office, winning one of the grand director seats. She eventually won YLI’s highest office, Grand President, in 2000. During her year as Grand President, she visited all the institutes and made many friends and memories. Her favorite was traveling to Hawaii to visit their institutes and participate in the Aloha spirit. YLI gave her the opportunity to travel because there was always an annual trip planned. She has been on three cruises with her good friend Anita. After her time as Grand President, she became the Grand Treasurer of YLI. She was proud of her efforts to modernize a manual accounting system by converting it to Quickbooks software.
In addition to her service at the Institute for Young Women, Vivian enjoyed her flowers in the yard, parties with interesting people, trips with her daughter Susan, especially to Amarillo to visit her granddaughter Claire, the gardening with his son Jim and all things family. together. Above all, she loved being a “mom” not only to her children, but also to other friends and family. Susan’s friend Shelly Simmons used to call her “the other mother”, Patti Stein called her mum and she was a mum away from home to her niece Roxanne Oulman.
She is survived by her sister Virginia of Venice, FL, her son James (Patti) of Alameda, CA and her daughter Susan (Robert) of Danville, CA, her grandchildren Aria, Kevin and Claire and her great-grandchild -daughter Hannah. She was predeceased by her husband John, her parents George and Rosella and her brothers Richard and Roger.
The funeral will take place on Tuesday, February 8 at 10:30 a.m. at the St-Isidore Catholic Church in Danville. Interment will immediately follow mass in the chapel at Queen of Heaven Cemetery in Lafayette.
When Vivian was Grand President of the YLI in 2000-2001, her program was “Whatever you do”, based on Matthew 25:35-36. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in his name may be made to the charity of your choice which “feeds the hungry, gives drink to the thirsty, clothes the naked, welcomes the stranger, visits the prisoners, nurses the sick or sheltering the homeless.”

View the online memorial for Vivian Stein

Published by East Bay Times on February 4, 2022.

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