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Vivian (Parsons) Greer
  • Bread of Life Inc.
    54 Eastern Ave.
    Malden, MA 02148

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Vivian (Parsons) Greer, of Melrose, died Saturday, February 24, 2018 at Oosterman's Rest Home in Melrose. She was 94.

Vivian was born on September 21, 1923 in Everett, one of four children raised by the late Henry and Eliza (Moores) Parsons. Her family moved to the U.S. from Newfoundland, and Vivian was the only child of the four born in the U.S.

Vivian grew up in Everett during the Great Depression. She had vivid memories of her father not being able to find work as a carpenter, and having to make do with their meager savings. Vivian enjoyed listening to her mother singing hymns as she would clean. Her cousin Sadie eventually came to live with the family and became like another older sister to Vivian. Vivian would go on to graduate from Everett High School.

Vivian would go to work for Mobil Oil, later known as Exxon Mobil, for over 30 years, working primarily in the office. She also worked as the switchboard operator for some time. During WWII she was required to don a hard hat and steel-toed boots, and take inventory at the Everett site, much to the chagrin of the male employees who thought the warehouse was no place for a woman. WWII would also touch Vivian in a more personal way as her brother George suffered serious injuries and on more than one time, the family was told he was not expected to survive. She was happy when he returned home, married and had a family.

Vivian met Humphrey Greer at the Baptist Church in Everett Center where he sang in a small group of men as part of the choir. Both Vivian and Humphrey put their personal lives on hold to care for their parents. Before Vivian met Humphrey, she cared for her dying mother in the family home. She managed the home for her father and 17 years after her mother's death, she cared for her father allowing him to die in his own home as he requested when his health failed. Vivian and Humphrey would get married in 1976 at the First United Methodist Church in Melrose.

Vivian and Humphrey enjoyed traveling. Some of her favorite trips were to Switzerland, taking the Mail Boat in Bar Harbor and going with other family members to Freshwater, Newfoundland, the birthplace of her father. Vivian was very proud of her Newfoundland heritage.

Vivian was a happy, curious and feisty woman. She enjoyed going to Louie's Pizza in Bedford to eat cheese pizza and have a diet root beer. She loved holiday gatherings and would always bring homemade applesauce and cookies. Two of her favorite possessions were her ceramic Christmas tree, and her boys and girls choir candles which she kept out all year round.

She loved to garden and to work around her home. In her retirement, Vivian and Humphrey volunteered at Lahey Clinic. She enjoyed working in the brace clinic and feeling like she was helping others.

In later life, Vivian enjoyed spending time with two special grand nieces, Heidi and Lisa, who would come up from North Carolina many summers to help her with home maintenance when she was widowed. She came to live at Oosterman's Rest Home in 2005 after a serious illness where she was lovingly cared for by the staff and her niece Linda. While 94 years may seem like a good long time, it's never long enough for those that loved her.

Vivian was the beloved wife of the late Humprey Greer with whom she shared 18 years of marriage. Dear sister of the late George Parsons Sr., Hannah Parsons Rohner, and Leonard Pennell. Devoted aunt to George Parsons Jr. and his wife Carolyn of Arlington, Linda Parsons Field and her husband Douglas of Melrose, Richard Parsons and his wife Elaine of Waterboro, ME, Jean Parsons Forsey and her husband Robert of Melrose, Nancy Rohner Von Dohlen and her husband Richard of North Carolina, Judy Rohner Roberts and her husband Frank of New Hampshire, Christine Rohner Waybright and her husband Gregory of California and the late Lorraine Parsons McInnis. Cherished cousin of the late Sadie Moores Powell. Also survived by many grandnieces and grandnephews, and great-grandnieces and great-grandnephews.

Relatives and friends are invited to gather in honor and remembrance of Vivian's life for her Funeral Service at the First United Methodist Church, 645 Main St., Melrose on Monday, March 26 at 12 noon. Interment at Woodlawn Cemetery, Everett. Donations may be made in her memory to Bread of Life Inc., 54 Eastern Avenue, Malden, MA 02148.