Vivian (Vicki) E. Rittenhouse, age 97, of Ankeny, Iowa, and formerly of Jackson, Michigan, died following a brief illness on Saturday, March 24, 2018, at Mercy Hospice House in Johnston, Iowa.
Memorial services will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, April 14, 2018, at Arbor Grove Congregational Church, 2621 McCain Road, in Jackson, Michigan, with Pastor Daniel Kidder-McQuown officiating. Memorial visitation will be held at the church on Friday from 5-8 p.m. and will resume one hour prior to services on Saturday. Vivian requested cremation and will be interred next to her husband, Stuart (1922-2001), in the Memorial Garden at the beloved church they helped to create.
The only child of Swan Erickson and Esther (Edling) Erickson, Vivian was born on January 6, 1921, in Chicago, Illinois, and grew up in nearby Evanston, where she was active in the Girl Scouts and earned their prestigious top award, the Golden Eagle.
After graduating from Evanston Township High School in 1939, Vivian attended Lawrence College, then Northwestern University, where she met Franklin Stuart Rittenhouse. They married in 1942, at the outset of World War II, during which Stuart served in the United States Navy. After the war, they returned to the Chicago area to enable Stuart to complete his degree in Electrical Engineering. Stuart was hired by Consumers Power Company and they moved to the Jackson, Michigan, area. Here they raised their four children: Janice (Robert) Matthews, Patricia (William) George, Eric (deceased), and Nancy (Duane) Trupiano. They also raised James Polley Rittenhouse (deceased) from 6th grade to adulthood.
When Vivian's children were all in school, she returned to school herself, and in 1962 earned her B.S. in Education degree from Michigan State University. She taught 6th grade at Blair Elementary and, for many years, 7th grade English at Frost Junior High School. Upon retirement, Vivian continued to remain active in the Jackson community until 2015, when she moved to Ankeny, Iowa, to be near her daughter Pat.
Vivian's long-standing community activities included Arbor Grove Congregational Church (Charter Member), the Girl Scouts, the American Association of University Women, the Jackson Scandinavian American Society (Charter Member), the Master Gardeners, and Questers. She loved her family, her pets, teaching and learning, interior design, flower gardening, traveling, and living at Skiff Lake.
Vivian was the loving grandmother of Helen (Bill) Trotter, Jo Anne Ware, Michael (Martha) Matthews, Paul (Michele) Matthews, Greg Matthews, Wendy (Jeff) Ritchey, Glenn (Heather) Matthews, Emily (Doug) Bonessi, Brian Trupiano, Alan Trupiano (deceased), Eric (Kathy) Rittenhouse, Joe (Sarah) Rittenhouse, Becky (Gerald) Taft, and Ben (Alexis) Rittenhouse; and was proud to be great-grandmother of 19.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to Arbor Grove Congregational Church and/or the Girl Scouts of America. Ryan Funeral Home of Nevada has been entrusted with the care of Vivian and her family.
Saturday, April 14, 2018
Arbor Grove Congregational Church
Pastor Daniel Kidder-McQuown
Friday, April 13, 2018
Memorial Garden Cemetery