Vivian Edith Dean Rushton was born the 22nd of December 1924, to Arthur Asberry Dean and Zema Mae Hindman in Whiting, Iowa. She died on 23 March 2023 at Whisper Cove Assisted Living on South Main Street in Kaysville, Utah of natural causes.
Vivian is preceded in death by her husband, Maeser Millard Rushton; mother, Zema; brother, Warren Lyle "Deen"; and foster daughter, Leona Michelle Cotonuts. Surviving family members are sons, Mark Maeser (Carma) Rushton, Kaysville, Utah; Larry Millard (Mary Ann) Rushton, Nampa, Idaho; three grandchildren, Joel Willes (Alisa) Rushton, Salt Lake City; Emi V (James) Taylor, Kaysville; Rhett Mark (Riki) Rushton, Kaysville; and ten great-grandchildren.
She lived a rather austere childhood with her mother and older brother Warren Lyle Deen in a two room home with exterior plumbing and a wood/coal stove for heat. Zema was an expert seamstress, providing for her little family making dresses without any support from her vanished husband.
Two of Zema's sisters had migrated to Southern California finding gainful employment in Los Angeles County. They wrote and encouraged Zema to join them, and so she did. As Lyle had volunteered for induction into the U.S. Army, Zema packed up Vivian and away they went to join her sisters, initially renting in Venice, California. Zema's skills reading and designing dress patterns transferred perfectly to reading blueprints and producing intricate aircraft plumbing. For a time both Zema, as a plumbing fabricator and Vivian as a "Rosie the Riveter" worked together at Douglas Aircraft, Long Beach, California.
Vivian loved to dance, and she and her BFF, Bea, were often in the audience at the Pacific Ocean Park ballroom. The band's bass player, Maeser noticed Vivian and asked another band member to introduce him to her. It was love at first meeting. They dated a short time then Maeser was called to war. Upon return, and while on leave in Riverside, California, Maeser phoned Vivian and asked; "Why don't you and your mother jump on the trolley, come over to Riverside this weekend and we'll get married?" That's exactly what they did, and on the 21st of March 1945, they became one!
Maeser soon received orders and departed for a new duty station. Zema had remarried and she and her husband, Darwin Leroy McGee, invited Vivian to stay with them in their North Hollywood home until Maeser's return. In the meantime, their first son arrived on the 14th of December 1947, joining his mother in North Hollywood. Maeser returned and on January 29, 1950, their second son, Larry Millard Rushton was born. Mark was unable to properly enunciate Vivian or 'Larry boy', and they each retain nicknames of “Bib” and “Yaybo” to this day.
1956 was another momentous year, as Maeser baptized both Vivian and Mark, confirming them members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Mark has often joked that as Vivian learned her baptism would occur in the San Fernando Stake House, she arrived hungry! Vivian remained a faithful member until her death. Upon Maeser's return, they purchased their own home on La Sane Ave. in Encino, California. Maeser continued his military service in the California Air National Guard, in Van Nuys. He concurrently served as a U.S. Postal Service mail carrier for the Encino Post Office. He also had his jazz quartet, The Rushtones, who were featured in the LA Basin. Vivian worked seasonally for See's Candies in Reseda, California. She never ever tired of their chocolates!
1955 became even more momentous in Vivian's history, Maeser, among many other skills, was a Strategic Air Command trained and certified Air Traffic Controller (ATC). When the Federal Aviation Agency (FAA) was organized Maeser's application for employment was accepted and he chose Salt Lake City (SLC) as his place of employment. The young family packed up their belongings, destined for SLC, Utah. After a month or so renting in Granger, they settled in their new home at 1121 East and 5730 South, South Cottonwood Heights, Utah. There they lived until 1961, when they moved for the last time to beautiful/peaceful 817 East Brookshire Dr. Kaysville, Utah.
Vivian served as a Mutual Improvement Association (MIA) adult leader. Where she had an amazingly positive influence on "her girls". They just loved her - as she did them! Later, she served as a counselor in the ward Relief Society Presidency.
In 1964, Maeser and Vivian in partnership with Al and Gala Held (fellow ATC) opened the Pizza Pantry, a small pizza restaurant across 2nd North from the old Bowman's market and Post Office. Maeser always stated they opened the business to keep Mark and Larry off the streets at night. It was a success in all aspects. Both Vivian's and Maeser's parents had passed, and part of their inheritance was used to purchase a mid-sized motorhome. They enjoyed traveling the country in that vehicle. They also leased a U.S. Forest Service plot and built a modest 'A-frame' cabin upon it in Island Park, Idaho. It served as a summer/vacation home and waypoint for them and their family.
In 1993, Maeser died of renal cancer, and was laid to rest in the Kaysville Cemetery.
Vivian always had an interesting menagerie on display in her living room themed for each holiday/occasion. Vivian lived alone and independent another 30 years at her home in Kaysville. She yearned to again be in Maeser’s arms, but endured alone until the end! She maintained a positive attitude throughout, and rarely complained. She taught her two sons to be compassionate. She never had an ill word to say about anyone.
At 97, her vision had so declined that she could no longer drive safely. She would call family or friends when she needed to go to Bowman's for food. Shopping would always be followed by, "Would you like to get a bite to eat?", then Subway, Wendy's, or the Old Gristmill would be next in order. The microwave and Stouffers Chicken a-la-King became her go-to for evening meals. She would call her only granddaughter, Emi, and the two would trek downtown for nails and a pedicure. In the end, with failing hearing and vision, and throughout 30 years as a widow, she was watched over by her brother and sister angels from the Kaysville 12th Ward. They contributed greatly to her joy. The family greatly appreciates the care given Vivian by the nurses and CNA's at Whisper Cove and through Enhabit Hospice, we love you!
Funeral services will be held 11:00am Tuesday, April 4, 2023, at the Lindquist’s Kaysville Mortuary, 400 N. Main Street, Kaysville, Utah 84037. Friends and relatives may visit the family on Tuesday morning from 9:30 to 10:30am at the mortuary. Interment will take place at the Kaysville City Cemetery, 500 E. Crestwood Road, Kaysville, Utah.
Condolences may be shared at: www.lindquistmortuary.com