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Grand Rapids Circle Theater
1700 Fulton St. East
Grand Rapids, MI 49506
Life Story / Obituary
Vivian Kishman was a loving wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. A caring nurturer, she cherished her years as a mother and was delighted with the arrival of her grandchildren. Living her life to the fullest and enjoying the company of each and every person who came her way, she leaves behind a wonderful example of accepting all people with compassion. Her warm personality, genuine friendship, and adventurous spirit will be deeply cherished for generations to come.
The 1930s were significantly impacted by the effects of the Great Depression. Banks were still closed but there was a promise of a new election year awaiting. On June 7th, 1930, in Grand Rapids, MI, Gladys (McCombs) Daniels welcomed home the arrival of her newborn daughter, Vivian Marie. The family was complete when brother Richard was born in 1934.
As a family, they moved around a bit before making their home back in Grand Rapids. Vivian’s childhood was filled with fond memories of traveling to Traverse City to visit her grandparents who often took her to the local fair. She would muck out the horses’ stalls in order to later ride them. Afterward, she would find swimming in the Grand Traverse Bay refreshing after a hot day at the fair. Back home, Vivian remained active in the neighborhood often playing baseball with the boys. She once took a wild hit right between the eyes with a bat! Vivian held a passion for reading at a young age where she was known to hide out in her closet often late at night in order to finish the latest Agatha Christy novel! She also took piano lessons and never passed up an opportunity to attend a theater or live music productions. She was an avid fan of Engleberg Humperdink throughout her teenage years. Vivian also had a large group of friends who enjoyed going swimming, ice skating, skiing, tobogganing, sand sledding, and roller skating! There truly was never a dull moment when Vivian was around!
Graduating with the Class of 1948 from Mt. Mercy Academy, an all-girls school, she pursued more education at Grand Rapids Junior College before accepting a position with the Michigan Bell Telephone Company. Known for her quick wit and useful knowledge, she was transferred to Detroit to work as an overseas operator. Returning to Grand Rapids, she advanced to a supervisor position before later landing at Arrigo’s Fleet Service as a credit manager. During the course of her career, she continued her education at Davenport College where she kept up with the ever-changing world of business.
Not to be forgotten, however, was the meeting of Jerry L. Kishman, the man of her dreams. Her co-worker recognized the goodness in both of them and encouraged them to agree to a blind date. The two of them hit it off right from the start! Gerald was working at Continental Motors in Muskegon at the time and they enjoyed dating for a short time before they were head over heals! The happy couple eloped to Crown Point, Indiana and exchanged their forever vows on April 24, 1954. Together they raised five wonderful children; Larry, Thomas, James, Yvonne, and Patricia. As a family, they camped in many favored spots around Michigan including their favorite spot near Hardy Dam at Big Bend Campground. They treasured tooling around the lake in their pontoon boat either fishing or swimming until the sun set. They also took a trip to Mackinaw City and created many lasting memories. There was never any doubt that Vivian loved her role as a mother as there wasn’t anything she wouldn’t do for her family.
Blessed with grandchildren over the years provided her and Jerry plenty of activity. They enjoyed attending many of their special school events and celebrations. Vivian was well known for never forgetting anyone’s birthday and was sure to send a card with a thoughtful handwritten message enclosed. She savored hosting countless Christmas dinners often bringing out her special dishes. Vivian was proud of her family history and treasured the special cake plate that she inherited from her great grandmother Helmer, a cup from her great grandfather with Kishman inscribed on it from the Worlds Fair, silverware from her Aunt Dorothy Holmes, and glassware from her late mother. During these holidays, many family members gifted her with an addition to her collection of Christmas angels. Vivian loved each and every one of them!
Retirement afforded she and Jerry time for traveling. They took a fabulous trip to Hawaii where they enjoyed snorkeling and taking in the vast beauty of the Pacific. They later began trips Florida during the harsh Michigan winters. They often chose the Florida Keys until they purchased their own vacation home in Haines City, Florida which they enjoyed for twenty-four years. No greater testimony of their love for another was found than the time she cared for Jerry during his illness and eventual death on May 20, 2008. Devastated to lose her sweetheart, she leaned on the support of her close family and friends until she was able to move on. Vivian continued traveling with her daughter, Yvonne, and attending live theater performances and concerts. She loved the music of Yani in addition to blues, jazz, and classical music and always held season tickets to the Circle Theater. Always one to look on the bright side of life, Vivian leaves behind a rich legacy of optimism, dedication, and unending love. She will be dearly missed and lovingly remembered by her many special friends and family.
Vivian Marie (Daniels) Kishman, aged 89, of Tallmadge Township, Michigan, passed away at her home on Monday, August 12, 2019, with her loving family at her side. She was preceded in death by her husband of 55 years, Jerry Kishman, her grandson, Jeremy Kishman, granddaughter, Heather Bird, brother, Richard Daniels, sisters-in-law, Violet Smith, Ruth DeMott, Doris Holzhay and Marilyn Prelewitz. She will be remembered by her children, Larry Kishman, Thomas (Sue) Kishman, James (Lisa) Kishman, Yvonne (Bob) Bird, Patricia (Greg Smith) Kishman; 11 grandchildren; 16 great grandchildren; brother-in-law, Floyd Prelewitz; sister-in-law, Alice Vandenberg; many nieces and nephews. Vivian was a dedicated and nurturing mother and grandmother, a lifelong learner, and successful in her career. She had a zest for life which she expressed in a love for travel, pleasure in the arts, and new adventure. A private memorial service will be held. Interment in Maplewood Cemetery. Contributions in her memory may be made to St. Luke's University Parish Building Fund or Grand Rapids Circle Theater. To sign her guest book and to leave your own memory of her, visit her web page at firstname.lastname@example.org