Vivian Adelle (Knutson) StensbyJune 11, 1920 ~ August 31, 2017 (age 97)
Vivian Adelle Stensby, age 97, a life-long resident of the Chetek area, died Thursday August 31st at Atrium Post Acute Care of Chetek. Vivian was born June 11th, 1920 at the home of her parents, John and Emma (Thompson) Knutson. Vivian was the eighth of 11 children born to that family and grew up on their Sioux Creek farm on the banks of the Red Cedar River.
Vivian married Myron Stensby on June 22, 1943. Together they farmed in the Chetek area until Myron retired from farming in 1967 when they moved into town. Vivian and Myron never were blessed with children of their own, but many of their many nieces and nephews loved them nearly as much as their own parents.
Vivian graduated from Chetek High School in 1937 and then earned a two-year teaching degree from the University in Eau Claire (now UW-Eau Claire) in 1939. Viv taught in several one-room schools in the Chetek area from 1939 to 1947 at which time she retired from teaching to help Myron on the farm. In 1954, Viv was called back into teaching at another one-room school who needed a teacher at the last minute. The following year Viv was hired to teach at a four-room school in Sand Creek (wow! Only two grades, a janitor and hot lunches). During her time in Sand Creek, Viv took classes to earn a four-year education degree from UW-Eau Claire in 1965. Viv taught in Sand Creek for eight years, at which time she was transferred to Roselawn Elementary in Chetek (only her beloved 4th graders) where she taught eighteen years until retiring in 1982. Viv not only taught the three “R’s”, but also important skills of living that her former students regularly attest to. Her students were expected to learn and use good penmanship (Viv was aghast to learn that some schools no longer teach cursive writing – “What are they thinking?”). Viv taught with love and her students responded with love for her in response. In her retirement years, Viv rarely went out in public without running into former students who often responded with hugs.
Vivian was preceded in death by her beloved husband, Myron, on June 6th, 1986. She was also preceded in death by all of her siblings and their spouses: Alvira (and Clarence) Hovland, Edith (and Willis) Leavens, Orrin (and Ardith) Knutson, Hartwell (and Esther) Knutson, Juna (and Ervin) Sylte, Jess Willard (and Lorraine) Knutson, Lolita (died in infancy), Lorraine (and Leighton) Waterhouse, and twins Jeanne (and Irlan) Neas and Joanne (and Eldon) Erickson. Several nieces and nephews have preceded her as well. Recently she was saddened by the death of relatives Luanne Peter and Owen Knutson.
Vivian is survived by many nieces and nephews and their families and hundreds of former students.
Vivians’s funeral will be held at Chetek Lutheran Church Saturday September 2nd at 11am. Visitation will begin at the church at 10am. A lunch at the church and internment at Lakeview Cemetery will follow.
Because of Vivian’s love of education, the family asks that memorials be directed to either the Chetek-Weyerhauser Scholarship Foundation or the Youth Education Fund of Chetek Lutheran church.
The family wishes to acknowledge and thank her many caregivers during her years at Atrium together with Lakeview Hospice during the difficult last few days of her life.
The Burnham-Ours-Kolstad Family Funeral Home of Chetek has been entrusted with serving the family.