Honoring Tradition.
Celebrating Life.

Vivian Hodock

September 19, 1934 - July 1, 2023
Grand Rapids, MI


Graveside Celebration of Life

Saturday, August 19, 2023
1:00 PM EDT
Fort Custer National Cemetery
15501 Dickman Road
Augusta, MI 49012

Life Story / Obituary


Vivian Hodock was a compassionate and caring wife, mother, and grandmother. She lived her life putting others first and selflessly gave much of her time and resources to the family she so loved. Vivian treasured any amount of time spent with her growing family, especially over the holidays. Her unconditional love and warm presence will be deeply missed by her many special friends and loved ones.

1934 saw the turning point in the Great Depression in America with unemployment decreasing. Born during one of the most severe droughts in our nation’s history, Edwin and Hilda (Hill) Davidson were elated with joy to welcome home their newborn daughter, Vivian Elaine, on September 19th in Ontonagon, Michigan. Born the oldest of the children, her birth brought much happiness into their family home.

Vivian held a childhood filled with resilience. Her mother died before Vivian was ten years old leaving her and her brother to live at their maternal grandparent’s home. The other siblings were split between other relatives. While living on her grandparent’s dairy farm, Vivian learned the value of a hard day’s work looking after the chickens and farm animals. She had learned some cooking and baking before her mother passed, however, her grandmother taught her most of her skills in the kitchen and behind the sewing machine.

Her grandparents were of Finnish descent and spoke their native language in the home. Vivian could understand a little and was always very proud of her heritage. She told stories of them making their own cheese and eating a lot of fish while living off the shores of Lake Superior. Their smokehouse also served as a sauna which came in handy during her years on the Ontanogon High School ski team. Her uncle and grandparents always encouraged her to try new things. After graduation, they talked her into leaving their small Upper Peninsula town and attending nursing school in Detroit.

During her time in the city, she met Mrs. Hodock who later introduced her to her son, Richard who was home from the military. The two of them hit it off from the start and eventually married on November 19, 1955. After a large celebration where the whole community brought all sorts of foods to contribute, they made their home in Clinton Township. She and Richard welcomed home five daughters.

As a mother, Vivian relished her role as a stay-at-home mom. She prepared her traditional Finnish and Swedish meals and even learned some Polish recipes from her mother-in-law. Her family grew accustomed to warm home-cooked meals and fresh baked goods. A real treat was her homemade pasties! Luckily, they grew several fruit trees and she spent a lot of time canning and making preserves over the years. A dedicated wife, Vivian enjoyed waking up early each morning to share breakfast with Richard and many weekend mornings they ate breakfast as a family.

In addition to her cooking and caring for the family home, she made many of the girls’ clothing. She also liked to make dolls and doll clothes. Vivian also helped with Girl Scouts and school events. Each summer the family enjoyed time at Frank’s Cottage on Monroe Lake. She and Richard were active members of St. Claude Catholic Church where they shared the importance of faith with their children. When their youngest daughter was a teenager, they welcomed their son, Richard, completing their family. The three of them did a lot of camping throughout the state. They particularly favored the Cadillac and Cheboygan areas. Eventually, they bought a motor home that they named the Green Monster! They loved long car rides as well as food, so driving across the state to a favorite place for a meal was not out of the ordinary! Once Richard retired, they moved with their son to Cadillac where they liked the small-town feel. Here, they became members of St. Anne’s Catholic Church.

She and Richard made a beautiful life together. They continued their long car rides as well as garage saling and meeting new people. Sadly, he passed in 2005. Vivian and Richard had talked about getting a dog. After Richard died, she filled the void with her Pug she named Jitters which was the name that Richard had picked out before he passed. Later, she welcomed another dog, Teddy. Vivian was content in Cadillac for several years enjoying the simple pleasures in life. She loved reading and word searches as well as sharing her love of cooking and baking with others. Seeing the joy as others bit into her meals made her immensely proud of the love she poured into her dishes. Vivian always made special time for her grandchildren. She enjoyed listening to their many successes and teaching them how to cook and bake. If they were ever stuck in the middle of a recipe, they knew who to call! Later, she realized being home alone was not comfortable for her so she moved to Grand Rapids to live with her son and daughter-in-law. Described as generous, kind, and loving, Vivian leaves behind a rich legacy of living her life to the fullest. May her family lean on the many beautiful memories she leaves behind and may they find comfort in knowing they were loved beyond measure.

Vivian Elaine Hodock, age 88, of Grand Rapids, and formerly of Cadillac and Detroit, passed away July 1, 2023. She was preceded in death by her beloved husband, Richard. and by her daughter, Linda Willer.

Vivian is survived by her children; Suzette Hodock, Debora Willer, Julie Goodman, Amanda Hodock, Richard and Tami Hodock; and son-in-law, Ed Willer; as well as her 9 grandchildren and 6 great-grandchildren.

Cremation has taken place and she will be interred at Fort Custer National Cemetery. The Celebration of Life Service will begin at the cemetery at 1 PM on August 19, 2023.