Vivian L. Buckingham, age 91, of Cambridge and formerly of Isanti, died December 17, 2016 at Rosewood Assisted Living in Cambridge. The funeral service will be held at 11 AM Friday, December 23rd at South Isanti Baptist Church with visitation one hour before the service at the church. There will also be a visitation Thursday, December 22nd from 5-8 PM at our Isanti location.
Vivian Leona Pearson was born in Kelliher, MN on February 5, 1925 to Ole and Selma (Bent) Pearson. She attended school in Waskish and Hibbing where she graduated in 1942.
On February 11, 1950 she married George Buckingham in Hibbing, MN where George worked as a driller in an ore mine. They made their first home in Side Lake near Hibbing and then moved to Fridley for a short time with their three boys. In 1956 they moved to a farm in rural Isanti where she and George had two more boys and a long awaited girl. They became members of Long Lake Lutheran Church where Vivian was a Sunday School teacher.
In 1967, Vivian went to work at the Cambridge State Hospital for five years. This is about the time she and George moved the family to their home on the Rum River near Isanti. She then went to work at Cambridge Elementary School where she assisted with a boy with cerebral palsy.
Vivian was the Isanti County DFL Chairperson and in the spring of 1979 she and a group from the Isanti County DFL went to a reception at the Vice President’s mansion and one at the House of Representatives. Later that year she went to a luncheon at the White House. She met President Carter and Vice President Mondale on these trips.
George and Vivian moved to Waskish in northern Minnesota in 1980 and built their log cabin. They were devoted members of Bethlehem Lutheran Church. While living in Waskish she was awarded Minnesota’s outstanding senior citizen for Beltrami County. In 1997 Vivian joined the senior corps and was a senior companion for a few months but liked working with children better and joined the Foster Grandparent Program. She volunteered at Kelliher Elementary School until she moved to Isanti.
In 2001 George and Vivian moved back to Isanti where they attended Faith Lutheran Church. She went right back to her Foster Grandparenting and was a Foster Grandparent at “Someplace Special” in Cambridge and Heavenly Sunshine Nursery School in Isanti. Vivian absolutely loved and was very proud of her work as a foster grandparent and we heard about “her kids” often. Vivian was always known to be an advocate of children with disabilities. In the past few years Vivian attended South Isanti Baptist Church.
Vivian passed away at Rosewood Assisted Living in Cambridge on December 17, 2016 at the age of 91. Besides her parents she was preceded in death by her husband, George; grandsons, Eric and Christopher; great-granddaughter, Emily; four brothers and two sisters.
She is survived by six children, George (Tiara) Buckingham of El Paso, Texas, Brian (Sandy) Buckingham of Cambridge, Robert (Judy) Buckingham of Little Falls, Peter (Karen) Buckingham of Waconia, Richard Buckingham of Cambridge, Karen (Perry) Caraway of Princeton, Kentucky; 26 grandchildren, 38 great-grandchildren, 1 great-great-grandchild, and by many other relatives and friends.