Sterling Vivian


Sterling Coleman Vivian, 92, of Ottumwa, died at 12:45 a.m. June 10, 2024 at Good Samaritan Society-Ottumwa.

He was born May 1, 1932 in Ottumwa to Frank and Alice Boden Vivian. Sterling married Etta Lorraine Young on April 28, 1958 and she preceded him in death on February 17, 2023.

A graduate of Ottumwa High School, Sterling was a veteran of the U.S. Army. He worked for Burlington Northern Railroad for over 30 years and had worked at John Morrell & Co. and Norris Asphalt.

Sterling attended the Second Baptist Church. He was a member of B.P.O.Elks Lodge #347 and a member of Empire Lodge #269 A.F.&A.M in Ottumwa.

Sterling was an amateur boxer and loved golfing, fishing, playing tennis and was an avid bowler. He was a really good wine connoisseur and made his own airplanes and built computers.

Surviving are his four daughters, Sheree (Mike) Long of Ottumwa, Wendy Smith of Ohio, Nicole (David) Heatherly of Great Falls, MT and Monique Vivian of Lenexa, KS; 9 grandchildren, Adam (Ashlie) Vivian, Tyrelle Burk, Damien (Raylene) Lewis, Khyia (Brian) Dyer, Cain Plettenberg, Brody Thompson, Avery Thompson, Diana Adler and Britany Long; 10 great- grandchildren; 2 sisters, Mary Ford of Ottumwa and Juaneza Vivian of Fayetteville, NC; many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents; step-father, Emerald Green; a daughter, Sonja Rush; an infant grandson, Joshua Heatherly; and a sister, Carol Vivian; two brothers, Charles Vivian and Frank Vivian, Jr.

His body has been cremated.

Memorial services will be 1 p.m. Friday, June 21st at Reece Funeral Home with Pastor Jeff Hendred officiating. The family will be present to greet friends one hour prior to the service.

Inurnment will be in Ottumwa Cemetery. Military honors will be conducted by Walter B. Schafer Post #775 Veterans of Foreign Wars and O.B. Nelson Post #3 American Legion.

Memorials may be made to Alzheimer’s Association.

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