Butch, Tammy and Mitchill want to thank all of you for being here today to honor and celebrate the life of a very kind, strong and loving lady, Vivian Lekopoy.
I have the honor to have been asked to work with Butch, Tammy and Mitchill in putting together some memories of a dear wife, mother, grandmother, sister, aunt and friend and to share them with you here today.
Vivian Jane Tessmer was born in Toronto on February 11, 1946 to Val and Hilda Tessmer, the youngest of a family of three girls. Her dear husband Alexander “Butch”, daughter Tammy and son Mitchill along with two beautiful grandsons, Dylan and Cole, survive Vivian. Sister Laurene (Orwell) Haga and Joan (Vance) Reed along with numerous brothers and sisters-in-law, cousins, nieces and nephews also mourn her loss.
Vivian’s family moved to Flin Flon in 1953 and lived on Steventon Blvd. Growing up Viv was an excellent student always demanding a hundred percent of herself. She was an avid athlete as well, taking up curling and bowling. She went onto provincial competitions for both sports. She loved golfing and skiing for enjoyment but curling was her most challenging sport. She has a few boxes of trophies to support this. Music was a love of hers as well. She played the piano and sang in the Flin Flon Community Choir. Viv graduated from Hapnot Collegiate in 1963 and worked at Kernahan Adjusters. She then took on a position as a stenographer at H.B.M.& S. in the safety department and later became a safety officer.
Viv and Butch have known each other since early childhood. They even lived kitty corner to each other while in high school. It was during their part time jobs at the Rex Theatre that Viv took notice of Butch and asked him out for Sadie Hawkins. They continued dating for seven years until it was decided that maybe they should cement this relationship with a ring and a wedding. So on September 28, 1968 they took the plunge. We all know that most of this was organized by Viv as she was the planner of the two and Butch just knew to go along! Viv knew her own mind and there was no stopping her once she’d made it up! He was smitten of course and their love flourished for 49 years. If you were at a wedding or social gathering where there was music, Viv and Butch could be seen “cutting the rug” on the dance floor and it was fun to watch them together. They were really smooth!
Viv continued to work until she changed her career path to full time motherhood in 1976 having Tammy and then Mitchill in 1980. She took on this new position happily and became a wonderful mother. Vivian loved being a homemaker and was an amazing cook, sewer, knitter, and gardener. With Viv, there was a certain way to do things. Perfection was a big part of Viv’s makeup. She was hardest on herself, expecting the seams on the outfit she was making to be straight, the walls being painted to have the professional look, and the gardens in the yard to bloom, and they did! Once Tammy and Mitchill were safely established in school Vivian began volunteering at McIsaac School and soon became an Educational Assistant working at McIsaac School and then at Hapnot where she helped many students who struggled with math and other subjects. She missed her calling to be a teacher and would have been a great one. Many students over the years have met her and Butch and thanked her for her patience and support helping them with their subjects and helping them further their education.
Travel was top on Viv and Butch’s list over their married life together. They honeymooned in Hawaii, which back in the day was unheard of! They took Tammy and Mitchill to Disney Land a few times. I believe they enjoyed these trips as much as the kids. Cruising the Caribbean mid winter was a highlight for both, as well as a few C.F.A.R. trips just a few years ago. Each spring for many years the motor home was parked on the driveway and Viv loaded it up and away they went on camping expeditions. They traveled each summer to a new destination. Tammy and Mitchill, you will have many fond memories of these trips. Vivian always said they weren’t going to wait until retirement to travel. She was proud of the fact that she had done everything she had wanted when she was young enough to enjoy it!
It takes a minute to find a special friend, an hour to appreciate them, and a day to love them, but it takes an entire lifetime to forget them.
My friendship with Viv began more than 38 years ago when our children were preschoolers. We had a casual friendship back then. We lived on the same street and soon I was asked to join her curling team. I was honored and little did she know I was not a very accomplished curler. That didn’t matter with Viv, not that she wasn’t competitive but she was always encouraging and this sealed our friendship. I admired her matter-of-fact approach about everything. We were together through tragedy, loss, and celebrating grandchildren.
Vivian, we will remember the proud, courageous, beautiful lady you always were and always will be in our hearts. Love you, miss you, always and forever.