Vivian Marie (Larson) Barth

Pictured here is a photo of Vivian and David Barth, or who I know of as my Grandma and Grandpa Barth. Their three boys are sound asleep. This photo was taken not too long after the end of WWII.

Pictured here is a photo of Vivian and David Barth, or who I know of as my Grandma and Grandpa Barth. The three boys are sound asleep. This photo was taken not too long after the end of WWII.

This last Monday morning I received a call from my mom, and she informed me that my Grandmother, Vivian Marie (Larson) Barth, had passed away peacefully earlier in the morning. My grandma was 97 years old, and we got along real well. Without saying too much, I do know that I am grateful to have had such an extra ordinary grandmother, and also grateful to have lived within range of her and her influence. And although 97 is a long and full life (you really can’t ask for more), on the inside I still feel very sad, and kind of hollow about the region of the heart. But dying is a part of life. And for some reason I am reminded what Grandma Barth often said to us when she sensed we were distressed: “Everything will be okay.” This is true.

She was the reason we think of Swedes as stoic, and by no means was she void of emotion. She loved her family, her friends, her church, and her community. On occasion she would inject a sharp quip that would bring gravity to any lofty conversation. I once said to her, after reading in Engelhardt’s history of Fargo-Moorhead about J.A. Johnson, the first long-time Swedish mayor of Fargo, that he was mayor for 5 terms. Without missing a beat, Grandma Barth responded with, “Sounds like someone was in office for way too long.” This caused me to laugh out loud. While driving around with Grandma Barth, she once gave an indirect opinion of conspicuous consumption by simply saying, “You don’t need all that money to live and be happy.” Yes, we will miss you Grandma Barth, but your intellect and wisdom will continue echoing through the ages. You taught us well. A full obituary is linked here, and some reflections from Grandma Barth are linked to here and here.


6 responses to “Vivian Marie (Larson) Barth

  • Valerie Barbie-Bluemle

    Grandma Barbie passed on in 2001, I miss her to this day and think of her often. Cheers to the great women, and amazing grandmothers that live on in our hearts and memories. This is a wonderful memorial to your grandmother.

  • AbandonedRoadsPublishing

    Sorry to hear about this, Aaron. I remember you telling me last year about driving around the outskirts (I think that’s right?) of Bismarck. I lost my own grandparents far too soon and there’s something lacking today without that old wisdom from the earliest 1900s. Whenever we feel like life is being too rough on us, we can always remember how bad The Great Depression must have been…or try to, since the wise ones aren’t here to tell us anymore.

  • The Archaeology of Food | The Edge of the Village

    […] produces food today. I remember when I was 10 or 11 years old (or thereabouts) in the kitchen of my late Grandma Barth. She had just sliced up a tomato, and in putting it on the table in front of me she said, […]

  • Some Archaeology of Food | The Edge of the Village

    […] produces food today. I remember when I was 10 or 11 years old (or thereabouts) in the kitchen of my late Grandma Barth. She had just sliced up a tomato, and in putting it on the table in front of me she said, […]

  • Grandpa’s Handwriting | The Edge of the Village

    […] “C’mon IN!” just after knocking on the exterior door. He and his wife, Vivian (my late grandmother), were always excited to have […]

  • Happy Mother’s Day | The Edge of the Village

    […] Molly and I drove over to Bismarck, North Dakota, to spend Mother’s Day weekend with Julie and Paul (my parents). I also got flowers for Molly’s late mother a couple days ago, because mothers are all around us. Always. Last night, before bed, Molly and I (or Molly and Me, which has a nice ring to it) stumbled into a family archive in Julie and Paul’s basement. Numerous photos from my late grandmother, Vivian Marie (Larson) Barth, who passed away a year ago this month. […]

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