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Obituary, Vivian Elida Westre, 95


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Vivian Elida Westre

Vivian Elida Westre, 95, passed away February 12, 2016, with her two children at her side at Petersburg Medical Center Long Term Care.

She was born July 17, 1920 in Ketchikan, Alaska to Gifford and Agnes Close. Her father built a home next to Sunny Point Cannery near where the Ketchikan ferry terminal exists today. Vivian spoke fondly of her childhood there and shared many interesting stories about her pet bear cub.

At age 14 the family moved to Petersburg where her father worked for the U.S. Forest Service. Vivian enjoyed camping up Petersburg Creek, hiking, skiing and exploring at Point Agassiz. When her father's position was changed to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Vivian enjoyed opportunities to accompany him on the Auklet while he did salmon assessment surveys, as well as many trips up the Stikine River.

At age 16, Vivian moved with her family to Wrangell. Following her graduation from Wrangell High School, she attended business school in Seattle. After graduation, she worked for the Reconstruction Finance Corporation in Seattle and also joined the Red Cross to help take care of the wounded during World War II. After the war, Vivian moved to Fairbanks where she worked for a construction company building the new airfield.

Vivian married Tony Westre in 1949 and moved to Petersburg where they owned and operated a grocery store, The Sanitary Market.

They had four children, Laura, Daniel, Sylvia and Bruce. In 1962, Vivian and her children moved to Ketchikan where she worked as a telephone operator for the city. Years later she worked as a dispatcher for Moran Tugboats.

After Sylvia and Bruce moved with their families to Petersburg, Vivian decided to make her home there again. She resided at Mountain View Manor for 20 years, enjoying her family and the company of many friends.

Vivian was active in the Cub Scouts, Girl Scouts, Tai Chi, Petersburg Lutheran Church and Emblem Club and served as Worthy Matron of the Order of the Easter Star. She will always be remembered for her captivating smile and generous and kind nature. When Vivian realized that she was going to be called to heaven soon, the first thing she said was, "I have so many to thank."

She was preceded in death by her brother Gifford Close, daughter Laura and son Danny.

She is survived by sister Floy Wingren, niece Marlene Scanlon, daughter Sylvia Larson (Robert), son Bruce Westre (Wendy), grandchildren Eric (Jayme), Troy, Sean (Brenna), Ty (Lindsay), and Krystle; great-grandchildren Brayden, Ledger, and Noah Larson, Devon, Brinley, Caleb and Andrew Westre. Vivian was blessed with Andrew's arrival February 11.

There will be a graveside service February 28 at 2 pm in Petersburg followed by a reception at the home of Bruce and Wendy Westre, 1200 North Nordic.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Petersburg Medical Center Long-Term Care Activities Program.


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