Vivian Papsdorf

Obituary of Vivian J. Papsdorf

Vivian J Papsdorf (née Mayer), most recently of Port Charlotte, Florida, passed away on June 18, 2020, four months into her 100th year. Vivian was born in Boston, Massachusetts, on February 16, 1921, to Lawrence Mayer and Mary "Mayme" Johanna Gillis. Lawrence was from Scranton, Pennsylvania. Mayme was one of 13 children of Alexander Chisholm Gillis and his wife Mary from Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. Vivian lived in Scranton until age seven, when her mother tragically died. Her two brothers remained with their father, but Vivian went to live with her mother's sister Margaret in New York City. Vivian also spent some time boarding at a convent school in St. Johnsbury, Vermont. Vivian reported that she was an avid roller skater in her early years, and also a frequent movie-goer. She went on to attend Erasmus Hall High School in Brooklyn. Around 1940, Vivian became friends with Priscilla Papsdorf, at Lake Ronkonkoma, on Long Island. Vivian took driving lessons from Priscilla's brother, Robert, and went on to not only get her license but to also marry Robert, in October 1944. They rented an apartment in Rego Park, Queens, where their first child, Patricia, was born. They moved to a new house in the town of Glen Cove, on Long Island, soon after Patricia was born, and it was there that their other three children were born: Barbara, Robert, and Margaret (always known as Peggy). The Papsdorfs moved to a house in Flushing, Queens, in 1960. Robert Sr. died in 1973, and soon afterwards the children were all out and on their own. At this point, Vivian fulfilled a longstanding dream and got her degree from Queens College. In the early 1980s, Vivian moved to Northern Virginia, where her daughter Barbara and her husband Leo were raising their three children: Paul, Jacqueline, and Lee. Her two other grandchildren, Conor (born to Peggy and her husband Mark), and Louis (born to Robert and his wife Jonetta), grew up in Washington State, where Vivian would spend a pleasant two weeks every year until she was 96. In 2010, as she neared her 90th birthday, Vivian relocated to Port Charlotte, Florida. Vivian made a new set of friends in Port Charlotte, with whom she regularly played cards and participated in Thursday-night restaurant excursions. Vivian bought herself a new car at the age of 94 and didn't really start to slow down until after a broken hip in 2016. In her last years she continued to see friends and family, and particularly enjoyed getting to know her great-grandchildren: Charlotte, Brayden, Camille, and Ella Vivian (who carries her name into the future). It's amazing that someone can live to such a great age and still be so important a part of so many lives. Vivian was loved and cherished by her wide circle of family and friends, and will be greatly missed.
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