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NRCC’s Vivian Roesler has treasure trove of memories


STITCHED TOGETHER — New Richland Care Center resident Vivian Roesler finds strength in the arms of the Lord and prays her family knows that comfort as well. (Star Eagle photo by Rachel Rietsema)


Staff Writer

Tucked away in one of the cozy wings of New Richland Care Center is a sharp lady ready to follow the Lord’s lead whenever He calls.

It doesn’t matter whatever life dishes out, Vivian Roesler knows He will provide the strength to trek through.

“I’ve known Vivian for many years,” said New Richland Care Center Activities Director Kathy Flor. “She is a very nice lady. She’s very knowledgeable, fun to visit with and is a Christian lady.”

A resident here since May, she has become enamored with the building’s pleasant atmosphere. More specifically, these last nine months spent at the care center has helped her to feel so much better.

“I have a tendency to be a jolly person,” Vivian said. “I like to smile and laugh a little bit.”

More often than not, staff and fellow residents will find her reclining in the chair with a book in hand. Currently, she has her nose in a book written by Beverly Lewis.

“Paradise Valley is a lot about the Amish people,” Vivian said. It’s very interesting.”

Upon placing her bookmark for the day, her mind often wanders to something a little more concrete, something she can touch and keep close to her heart.

“Most important was raising my family and trying to be a good example for them,” Vivian said. “My daughter Laurie actually just turned 56 the other day.”

She can’t stress enough just how wonderful family ties are. Dennis, Sharon, Marcia and Laurie have all blessed her world.

“My daughter Marcia’s name came from a cousin of my dad’s who had a Marcia in their family,” Vivian said. “We would get Christmas Cards from them and I thought that was so pretty so I wanted to call my girl Marcia. She got my middle name, June, too.”

From the moment Marcia was born, until the day she passed away from a brain aneurism, Vivian and her late husband Ole loved her so. That love never died.

“I always thought I’d like to have two and two,” Vivian said. “But it got to be three and one. And after the third one, I didn’t want any more children because Marcia was such a care. So, when I was pregnant with Laurie, I wasn’t very happy.”

But, with almost a few tears glistening down her cheek, she has no regrets about Laurie. She doesn’t know what she would do without her. The same goes for all her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

“I can list the grandchildren,” Vivian said. “There’s Karla, Mike, Todd, Brian, Eric, Tammy, Joann, Jared, Lindsay and Jessica. My great-grandchildren are Ashley, Jonah, Ella, Megan, Kendra, Brayden, Jack, Max, Addison, David, Alex, Andrew, Elizabeth and Michael.”

Of course, they are not so little anymore. Time has a way of doing that.

“I crocheted each one of the grandkids an afghan,” Vivian said. “I made them quilts too.”

Memories also flood her mind when thinking about another family member, her mother Lilian. This New Richland Care Center resident passed away in March of 2003, living to be almost 104 years old.

“I miss her a lot because I’m the only child now that my brother Lowell died,” Vivian said. “I could tell her anything. When a lot of things come up now, I think ‘Oh I’d like to tell mom about it.’

These two had a good relationship, and talked every day on the phone. If for some reason her mother didn’t answer, nerves would sometimes get the best of Vivian.

“One day she didn’t answer and I was just beside myself,” Vivian said. “I just didn’t know what to think. When Sharon came home after school, I said ‘You go to grandma’s and see if she is alright.’

Turns out, she wasn’t even at home. Here she was clear across the field visiting with the neighbors.

“She could have fallen down the steps, so I was real worried for a while there,” Vivian said. “My dad Edgar died at the age of 61 in 1955, making her a widow at 58.”

Vivian’s heart also doesn’t go a day without reminiscing about her husband Ole. The time she shared with him she keeps stowed away, ready to be shared at a moment’s notice.

“I met Oliver at Dairy Days in New Richland,” Vivian said. “I was supposed to have a blind date with somebody else, but his mother wouldn’t let him go. So all of us kids were there and so was Ole.”

Quite wonderfully, sparks flew, three years passed and they got married at her home church of Vista Evangelical Covenant. They were 22 and 20, respectively.

“I can give you the exact date of our first date we had,” Vivian said. “October 9, 1938.”

They made their start on the farm she was born and raised on. Simple living soothed her soul, farming at the very core.

“I didn’t want to move because it had been a century farm,” Vivian said. “We raised corn and beans. We had cattle for a while too.”

Milking five to six cows twice per day sometimes became a bit cumbersome. But, no matter what, someone had to get the job done.

“One time I was going to be a really good helper for my husband out in the field while driving the tractor,” Vivian said. “The front wheels got stuck in the corn stalks and it started slinging around. Then, the knob hit my wrist and oh boy did that hurt.”

Letting go of the steering wheel, she sat there in disgust. And to make matters worse, Ole had a lecture up his sleeve.

“My husband said, ‘You should have known better,’” Vivian said. “That was like throwing water at a duck. I wasn’t very happy with that remark. I said, ‘Would you know how to run my sewing machine?’ That was the last time I was out in the field like that.”

So, in the desire of earning something she could call her own money, she became a Tupperware dealer. After hosting party after party, she had the means to buy a few household items.

“It was a task to get it all loaded in the car, but I enjoyed it,” Vivian said. “I bought my piano with the money I earned.”

No longer a Tupperware saleswoman, she is still active in her church.

“I have some wonderful church friends who come to pick me up every other Thursday,” Vivian said. “We go to Hartland for breakfast at 8:30.”

The church pew knows her presence even more so.

“I’ve been going there for 90 years,” Vivian said. “I follow the Lord and try to be His servant.”

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