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Vivian June Campbell

Vivian Campbell, born June 12 (the year, as she would have said, is no one’s business), passed away on Jan. 3.

She was born in Williston, N.D. Vivian was a wonderful mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, second mother, sister, friend and wife. She shone love on her family and friends, and her legacy of warmth will live on thanks to her prolific production of afghans, knitted ear muffs and mittens. She was quick to joke, laugh, quote poetry and sing. Her family remembers she would always have the perfect words of wisdom to soothe. She was well read and filled her home with music.

Vivian met Bill, her faithful companion, shortly after she had been widowed with six children and a farm to manage. She married him in 1960 and they added to their family. Vivian and Bill were industrious grain farmers who rarely complained. Viv had a deep appreciation for the Montana plains and the coulee that ran through the property they owned east of Dutton. Bill loyally cared for his wife, and he even turned out to be pretty good at cleaning house and cooking while he tended to Vivian in her final years.

Vivian could cook for a crowd and can enough pickles, apple butter, tomatoes, salmon, and all manner of beans to last three winters. Her quick wit and capable hands were essential while raising seven children, six boys and one girl (all of whom would admit to being a handful in their youth). Her children reflect fondly on going to the cabin with the folks, where Vivian would feed and take care of her family in the chilly Montana mountains. Fishing in Alaska, with a Labrador retriever and Bill at her side, was a seasonal activity for many years. Her children and her family all leaned on her for support, and she was always there to hold us up when we were weak. She was an exceptional and unconventional woman. Vivian lived for her family. Her goodness and love was not confined to those of us related by blood, and her kindness was spread to others, who were brought over to Ma’s house. Some stayed for quite awhile and became part of the family.

Robert Louis Stevenson said, “The man is a success who has lived well, laughed often, and loved much . . . who looked for the best in others and gave the best he had.”Vivian could see the good in anyone, and she gave her best freely and often. Vivian was synonymous with warm blankets, stuffed-full bellies, a calming song, and a shoulder you could always cry on. Her family rests knowing she is at peace, but there is a persistent void in our lives and the lives of everyone she knew. We were blessed to have been touched by her love.

Vivian is survived by her husband Bill Campbell; daughter–in-law Rosemary (Fuhringer) Younce; children Carl (Carla Grasseschi) Younce, Victor (Kathleen Ellis) Van Horn, David Van Horn, Paul Van Horn, Lynne (Ben) Knobel and Joe (Cathy DeBruycker) Campbell; brothers Tom Mattingly, Carl Mattingly, Cecil Tharp, Bruce Jasperson, and sister Bonnie Selzler; 25 grandchildren: (Jim) Mary, Brenda (Floyd), and Rhonda (Throckmorton) Younce, (Carl) Courtney, and Corey Younce, (Victor) Victor Jr., Justin, Christine and Casey Van Horn, (David) Zach Van Horn Crane, (Paul) Troy, Brandi, Cody, and Christi Van Horn, (Lynne) Sarah, Emily, Hannah (Block), Sam, Olivia, and Eli Knobel, (Joe) Carli (Neal), Janelle, Jesse, Coley Campbell and Dillon Harell; and 16 great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her son James Younce, sister Patsy Frosch, brother  Bill Mattingly, late husband Lynn Van Horn, and parents Orsina Mattingly and Mary Mattingly Jasperson.