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Vivian P. (Dunn) Paus Sullivan

December 3, 1924 ~ July 30, 2020 (age 95)


Vivian P. Dunn Paus Sullivan

(1924 – 2020)

As she often talked about doing lately, Vivian Pauline Dunn Paus Sullivan slipped away to “a better place” on July 30, 2020. Death was due to natural causes.

Vivian was born December 3, 1924, in Garden Valley, Wisconsin to Clara J. (Matysik) and Archie H. Dunn. At some point the family relocated to Eau Claire in the shadow of Mount Tom. Vivian graduated from Eau Claire Senior High in 1942 and was very instrumental in organizing class reunions throughout the years. Reunion materials often featured her distinctive printing. (She rejected cursive writing long before schools started doing so.)

Following graduation, Vivian worked in a shoe store. But she found her true calling when she met and married Victor G. Paus on January 5, 1943 and soon began a family that grew to three children: Richard (Rick), Michael and Cheri.  Vivian’s life was her children’s lives. Meals were lovingly and beautifully prepared, but it was the cookies that family members traveled miles for.  As if that wasn’t enough work, Vivian kept the Paus house extremely clean and neat. But she didn’t lose sight of what was important; in later years when visiting grandchildren left handprints on mirrors, she kept the handprints until she could see the children again.

Vivian and Victor were avid campers and passed on that love to their children and grandchildren.  They were pictured in the St. Paul Pioneer Press camping with their granddaughter Susan when, at a few weeks of age, Susan was Shell Lake Campground’s youngest camper ever. Two decades later when Susan (Sue) became a mother, Vivian was pleased to have a five-generations photo published in the Eau Claire Leader-Telegram.

In 1950 Vivian joined Beta Sigma Phi sorority. As the Girl Scout song advises, she made new friends but kept the old. And the sorority’s flower, the yellow rose, remained her favorite flower.

Six days before Vivian and Victor were to celebrate 25 years of marriage, Victor unexpectedly died. Eventually Vivian returned to work, this time at a chiropractic office. In 1971 she married Dale Sullivan, becoming an acting mother and acting grandmother to his three children and their children. She also became a resident and fan of Chippewa Falls, where she worked the switchboard at the historic Hotel Northern. She and Dale were members of St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church. Like Grandma Moses, she began painting later in life, creating objets d’art out of household objects. Her brush control allowed her to create tiny, intricate designs.

Vivian is survived by her children: Richard (Sandra) Paus, Michael (Judy) Paus, and Cheri (Russ) Borman; grandchildren Susan (Rob) Brown, Chad Paus, Jessica Paus, Amanda Paus (Patty Montgomery), Christopher Borman, and Laura Borman (Nick Laughlin); great grandchildren Marques (Jessica) Brown, and Isaac Reynolds; great great granddaughter McKayla Brown; and nephew Bill (Mary) Hanafin and former daughter-in-law Kathleen (Geoffrey) Thompson.

She was preceded in death by her parents, brother Archie E., and husbands Victor and Dale.

Vivian will be remembered for her curiosity and extremely sharp mind. When you talked with her, you got her complete attention. She followed world news as well as her beloved Packers and Badger football teams.  At age 95 she was an accomplished wiz with her laptop and wireless phone and loved her Amazon “Alexa,” her home companion. Before such technology her set of encyclopedias was her constant go-to, as every grandchild no doubt remembers.

Our sorrow is tempered by the knowledge that Vivian has transcended her earthly infirmities. Because of the current pandemic, family and friends cannot gather for a service in her memory but a private ceremony will be held at the gravesite in Sacred Heart Cemetery in Eau Claire for family only. Condolences can be sent to Michael Paus at 8559 W. Bluebird Rd., Lake Tomahawk, WI 54539.                  

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