Larkin Mortuary

Vivian Dixon McKay

06/13/1936 - 10/11/2017

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Vivian Dixon McKay was born June 13, 1936 in New York City to Paul Smoot Dixon and Ora Nivian Anderson.  She spent much of her childhood in Long Island before moving with her family to Salt Lake City.  Vivian attended East High School, BYU, and graduated from the University of Utah in Education.  A gifted teacher, she loved the years spent with her first graders.  In 1957, Vivian married her sweetheart, Richard Llewelyn McKay, in the Salt Lake Temple and, after Dick’s service in the navy, they settled in Salt Lake City.  Together, they raised six children in a home filled with love, faith and laughter.  Later, there would follow 21 grandchildren and 24 great-grandchildren.  That number continues to increase.  Favorite memories include trips to the beach and time spent at the family cabin.  Vivian was a wonderful homemaker; she was famous for her delicious Sunday dinners, and she filled her home each fall with the smells (and chaos) of canning applesauce, peaches, tomatoes, and jam.  Much of the joy in Vivian’s life came from her innate gift of service; service to her family, her neighbors, her faith, and community children.  She had a special gift in working with children and influenced many young lives.  For many years, Vivian and Dick were instrumental in educating school children throughout the valley with innovative dental health programs.  Vivian loved people and excelled in her work in the Health Sciences Development office at the University of Utah.  With a deep love for her Savior, activity in the LDS Church was of great importance to Vivian.  She served on the Primary General Board, in the Relief Society and Young Women organizations, and in many teaching positions.  Vivian had a love of genealogy and devoted many, many hours to ancestral research.  Vivian and Dick served together as missionaries in the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Mission.  When Dick became ill, Vivian was the perfect caregiver, providing him constant support, companionship and love.  Vivian passed away October 11, 2017, surrounded by her family.

Survived by children, Becky (Lance) Larkin, Cathy (Don) Brown, Chris McKay, Rick (Lori) McKay, David (Traci) McKay, Kimberly McKay (Jared Raynor); 21 grandchildren and 24 great-grandchildren; and sister, Margaret Dixon.  Preceded in death by husband, Richard L. McKay, and brother, Paul S. Dixon.

Funeral services will be Saturday, October 21, 11:00 am, at the Monument Park Ward, 1005 S 2000 E.  Friends may call Friday, October 20, 6-8 pm, at Larkin Sunset Lawn, 2350 E 1300 S, and 9:30-10:30 prior to the service at the ward.  In lieu of flowers, the family has requested donations be made to the LDS Church Missionary or Humanitarian Funds.  Online condolences at

Recent Condolences

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  • My condolences and best wishes to you. I remember your beautiful mother when I attended Monument Park Second Ward growing up. She was also in Sunrise Senior Living during the time that my mother, Mary Goates, was there. Hugs and my love to you and your family. Vivian was a treasure.

    — Carolyn Goates Campbell
  • I remember as a young girl when she came to Bonneville Elementary to teach us about dental care. I also remember her Relief Society lessons and how much I loved them. Her uplifting spirit and kind heart was a benefit to me.

    — Jayne Shaffer Stott
  • Dearest McKays,
    I have tried for several days to find the address of one of you to write a note but have had no luck, so I will use email instead. I am so sorry about Vivian, and so sad for all of you who have had to live with the loss of your mother, in a way, for the last several years.
    She, and all of you, made our lives on Yale a very happy one.
    We certainly moved into the right block! We were there for 9 years, and the most unhappy time in Kippy’s and Missy’s lives was the day we moved away.
    Vivian was always happy, caring and loving. She showed verbally more than once how much our friendship meant to her, and I was very touched by that.
    Although it has been more than 45 years since we left, I cherish each of you and your mother.
    With my love,
    Kitty Liddle

    — Kitty liddle