Vivian Harrison Kemp

1925 ~ 2021

Vivian passed away October 11, 2021, after a short illness and 96 full years of life. Vivian was born July 14, 1925, in Garfield, Utah to John and Lucille Harrison.

Vivian had two brothers and four sisters. She grew up in the small towns of Garfield and Hunter where she lived through the Great Depression. As a child she enjoyed playing with her future husband Ray. As they grew, so did their love for each other. Vivian and Ray were high school sweethearts. Ray joined the Army wand was deployed during World War II. Vivian waited for him while he was deployed. While Ray was deployed, Vivian worked at Walgreens in downtown Salt Lake City. After Ray’s return, he and Vivian were married in Dillon, Montana, on August 16, 1946. Together they had four children, Kathy, Mary, Ken, and Mark. Vivian was a loving mother who devoted herself to caring for her children until Mark started school. While Mark attended Webster Elementary, Vivian worked in the school’s library. Later she worked as a teacher’s aide.

Vivian loved Yellowstone National Park. Beginning in about 1980, Vivian and Ray started volunteering in the park every summer. They lived in their trailer all summer, next to Mark and his wife Virginia. She worked at the information desk at the Fishing Bridge Visitor Center helping people with anything they needed to know about the park. Vivian made many friends from all around the country while working in Yellowstone and loved attending ice cream socials with others working in the park. Vivian and Ray enjoyed fishing and watching wildlife. They also enjoyed hosting and entertaining family who frequently visited them at the park.

Vivian and Ray loved to travel, especially with family. Vivian made trips around the United States, including Florida, Texas, Arizona, and California. Vivian refused to fly, however, saying she saw more driving.

Vivian and Ray loved to bowl. They started bowling at the Copper Club, west of Magna and ran the bowling alley and snack shop on the manager’s nights off. They played in multiple leagues, competitions, championships, etc. throughout the years. Vivian and Ray went to the Senior games in St. George, Utah each year, where they won many metals. They passed their love of bowling on to their children, who continue to bowl in league play. Vivian bowled in the Empire Mixed League at Delton Lanes where she made many friends. She continued to bowl there until she was 83 years old.
Vivian and Ray celebrated their 50th anniversary in Yellowstone with their family and friends. They celebrated with a family dutch oven cook-out. After 53 years of marriage, Vivian lost her loving husband to a heart attack. She continued to volunteer in Yellowstone for the summer for a couple more years after that.

Vivian loved to create things with her hands. She loved to make Christmas ornaments and decorations for her family, which she frequently gave as gifts. Her own Christmas tree was full of her hand-made ornaments, which she added to frequently. She especially loved to crochet. Her home was always full of crocheted afghans and rugs. She loved to crochet blankets and clothes for her family as well.

Vivian broke her hip while vacuuming her house at the age of 83. After months of physical rehabilitation, she recovered and returned home to living independently. Vivian had a pacemaker to regulate her heart rhythm. At age 88, she dislocated her shoulder in a fall while shopping. She broke her other hip just after Thanksgiving at the age of 89 and had a partial hip replacement. After physical rehabilitation, she moved into assisted living at Cottonwood Creek. Vivian was a very strong woman. She fought through many health problems and retained a great deal of independence. She still knew all of her family and most of the staff at Cottonwood Creek and could tell stories ranging from her childhood to what happened last week, up until a couple of weeks before she passed. Vivian lived a long, full life and she has earned her eternal rest.

Vivian is preceded in death by her parents, John and Lucille Harrison, her two brothers and four sisters, her husband, her daughter, Mary Solt, her son-in-law Gary Bateman and her daughter-in-law Kristy Kemp. Vivian is survived by her daughter, Kathy Bateman, her sons, Mark (Virginia) Kemp and Ken Kemp, her grandchildren, Shawn (Kandie) Davies, Steve (Cree) Davies, Nickie (Ed) Gillmor, Jeff (Kaycee) Kemp, Brandon (Cassie) Bateman, John (Jennifer) Kemp, Veronica (Spencer) McDougal, 15 great grandchildren and 2 great, great grandchildren.

Special thanks to the staff at Cottonwood Creek for their compassionate care.