Vivian Evonne Murphy (Larson) was born in Yorkton and grew up on a farm in the Meadowville District. She attended the Meadowville Country School through grade 6 then went to the Saltcoats School to complete her education and graduate from grade 12. Growing up, Vivian had a passion for horses. She belonged to the 4-H beef club, learned how to curl and enjoyed playing soft ball. She also developed a lifelong friendship with her girlfriend Edna and the Schick families. In 1961 Vivian went to Prince Albert to study to be a Registered Nurse at the Victoria Union Hospital. This is where she met her close friend Marilyn and many adventurous and humorous stories were made when sneaking out of residence to have a good time. Vivian graduated in 1964 and returned home to work at the Saltcoats Hospital.
In 1965 Vivian married the love of her life, Leonard Murphy. They lived in Saltcoats and their first daughter Jackie was born in 1966. Their second daughter Kathie was born in 1967. Vivian and Leonard then bought her parents farm where she grew up and moved there. Vivian took a nursing position in Yorkton and in 1968 she joined the Yorkton Psychiatric Centre as it was named then. She worked there for 40 years before retiring in 2008, culminating in a 47 year nursing career. Vivian was very passionate about mental health. She was dedicated to her clients and a strong advocate for them. She made close relationships with her colleagues (of which many lasted until her passing) and was known to be a jokester, pulling a few pranks with her colleagues and bosses along the way.
Vivian’s love for horses never waned and in the 1970’s she started breeding and raising Arabians. Her daughters developed a strong love for horses as well and over the years, Vivian coached them on training and riding their horses. She was always proud of her daughters’ equestrian accomplishments over the years. Vivian loved driving horses and Leonard built her many buggies, carts and wagons. Vivian then took up judging horse shows across southern Saskatchewan as well. She was involved with the Saltcoats Agricultural Society for 30 years and was the horse show director for many years, building the show into a qualifying event on several circuits. She was the president for four years and brought in entertainment like cow patty bingo, the dunk tank and the pig roast. Vivian was also part of the Yellowhead Arabian Horse Association which held many Arabian horse shows and boasted one of the best evening dinners and socials for exhibitors which her dear friend Marion could attest to. In addition, she belonged to the Carrot River Valley Arabian Association and the Saskatchewan Arabian Horse Association. Vivian was also very passionate about 4-H and always believed the program went along way in building character and poise for youth and developing them into strong citizens in her community. She was part of the Saltcoats 4-H Club for 17 years, was the Light Horse Project leader for many years and frequently spoke over the years about how much she loved her 4-H families. Through 4-H she formed a close bond with her girlfriend Gloria and many wonderful years were spent attending the Royal Red Arabian Horse Show together in Regina.
Vivian and Leonard were hard working people, running a mixed farming business as well as both working off the farm. They had a small dairy herd where they separated and sold the cream. They raised hogs as well at that time. They then moved into beef cattle and eventually built up a Simmental herd. Vivian and Leonard were very connected with their rural community and hosted many parties with their neighbours. Vivian was an avid curler and attended many bonspiels in Tonkin, Saltcoats, Dubuc and elsewhere in the surrounding communities. There was always a good time to be had at the parties and curling. Vivian also took pride in her flower gardens on the farm and continued with a beautiful back yard in Yorkton years later.
Leonard and Vivian were fortunate to travel and enjoyed trips to Hawaii, England and Ireland, Churchill, Australia, Las Vegas and Victoria to name a few. Vivian was an accomplished accordion player, loved dancing to old time music with Leonard and later became a talented painter with some of her work displayed at the Godfrey Dean Centre. She took her talent back to Mental Health in 2016-2017 and taught art therapy to the clients who always said they looked forward to Wednesdays when she attended.
When Leonard passed away in 2011, Vivian moved to Yorkton. There she met many new friends (including her friend Michael). She joined the seniors’ dancing circuit and the New Horizons Seniors Centre, eventually sitting on the board as well. After she retired, Vivian experienced some complications from surgery that limited her mobility though she never let that hold her back, even if it meant only burning up the dance floor a few times in the evening instead of all evening. During these adventures, she was blessed to meet her best friend Olga and together they shared laughter and comradery.
In 2018 Vivian was diagnosed with cancer but she didn’t let it hold her back. That fall she organized and hosted a large 75th birthday party in Dubuc, attended by well over 100 people. Vivian fought a courageous battle against the cancer and was able to stay in her own home until the week before she passed. In her last week, Vivian talked a lot about how proud she was of her family: her strong marriage with Len, the accomplishments of her daughters (showing horses, flying, having successful careers) and the paths her two grandchildren are on. She reminisced lots about the stories of her life, her adventures and the people she met along the way whom she dearly loved.
Vivian is predeceased by her husband Leonard Murphy, her parents Gerald and Elva Larson, her parents- in-law Charles and Gertrude Murphy, her sister-in-law Merle Larson and her brother-in law Bill Spokowski. She leaves to mourn her daughter Jackie (Scott Park) and their children Carter and Brooklyn; her daughter Kathie; her brothers Reuben and Donald (Marilyn); her sister-in law Shirley (Albert Liepert); her sister-in law Lois; many nieces and nephews, aunts and uncles, cousins, other family, friends and colleagues.
A Celebration of Life for Vivian Murphy, age 78 of Yorkton beloved wife of the late Leonard Murphy, was held on Thursday December 30th, at 11:00 am from Christie's Funeral Home and Crematorium in Yorkton with Sarah Giles officiating.
The service will be live streamed please click onto the link provided to view the service, you do not have to have a Facebook account to participate.http://www.facebook.com/christiesfuneralhome/videos/?ref=page_internal
Interment will follow in the Bredenbury Town Cemetery .
In following Vivian's wishes the family request that those attending the service for Vivian be fully vaccinated against Covid -19.
For more information or to send a condolence to the family of Vivian E Murphy, please visit www.ChristiesFuneralHome.com.
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