Vivian Creech Purdy, March 30, 1920 - Tuesday, Aug. 12, 2014

Saturday, August 16, 2014 | 6:52 p.m. CDT

Vivian Creech Purdy, 94, of Columbia, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, August 12, 2014. A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 20, at First Baptist Church. Visitation is at the church from 12:30 until time of the service.

She was born in Pineville, Kentucky, on March 30, 1920, into a family that operated a coal mine in Harlan County, Kentucky. Growing up in Knoxville, Tennessee, Vivian enjoyed Girl Scouts and many high school activities. This world was disrupted when her mother decreed she should complete her senior year of high school at Stephens College where she also received her AA degree in 1939. At Stephens she was active in athletics and also in the First Baptist Church college group where she met Allan Purdy, an Ag student from Macon, MO. After graduating from Stephens, she returned to Knoxville where she graduated from the University of Tennessee with a major in psychology. During WWII she worked as a customer service agent for American Airlines in Knoxville, enjoyed hiking in the Smoky Mountains, and corresponded with Allan who was serving in the Navy in the Mediterranean. They were married in June, 1945, and returned to make their home in Columbia in 1947.

Vivian was a full-time mother with four children, an avid gardener, and an active participant in church and community. She served as a Red Cross volunteer Gray Lady at University Hospital, helped locate and purchase the Girl Scout Silver Meadows Camp, and served First Baptist Church in many capacities. After Allan retired, they enjoyed travels to visit family and friends, including Allan’s professional colleagues of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators. Allan preceded her in death in 2010. In her later years when she was less physically active, she continued her practice of reading late into the night, and she played chess with anyone who would take her on.

Survivors include four children: George and wife Rayma of Seattle, WA; Robert and wife Bonnie of Renton, WA; Christina and husband Doug of Seattle; and Raymond of Madison, WI; four grandchildren: Robert Jr, Laura, Catherine, and Elizabeth; four great grandchildren, and a great great granddaughter.

We will miss her wit and wisdom, her interest in people and her enjoyment of visiting with friends. The family thanks Home Instead of Columbia for help to Vivian in the last few years, and Stephnie Baldwin, who came as a nurse and became an adopted granddaughter. The children also thank our parents’ many friends in Columbia, especially those in the church and MU community.

In lieu of flowers the family suggests a donation to Stephens College, First Baptist Church, or a charity of your choice.

Online condolences may be left for the family at

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