Vivian Elaine (Hayward) Smallwood, a sixty-five year resident of Sedro-Woolley, passed away on Wednesday, Dec. 23, 2020 at her home. Family and friends surrounded her with loving remembrances and each of her six children participated in her care during her final months on hospice. She was an elect and regal daughter of God who served her family and communities with love, loyalty, and care throughout all the days of her life.
Vivian was born in Mt. Vernon, Wash. on May 6, 1935, the oldest child of Fred Henry and Vernice Inez (Meyer) Hayward. The family of nine (seven children) moved several times during Vivian’s childhood living in Bellingham, Blaine, Cle Elum, Concrete, Custer, Gardner, Hamilton, Mt. Vernon, Sedro-Woolley, Sekiu, and Yakima. As the oldest she was often called upon to help with the care of her younger siblings. In later years many of them shared they often saw her as their “second mom,” one who cared fiercely for them and in later years, their families. She cherished her relationships with each of them.
The family home in which she lived for more than fifty years was built on the site of the old two-room McRae Schoolhouse. Interestingly, Vivian attended school there in her early elementary school years. The family lived on the hill a mile or so behind the school so in first and second grade she rode her pony Smokey to school and back each day. Vivian and Smokey were a big hit with her classmates! Little did she know then that as a young married wife she and her husband would end up buying the school and land upon which it was located and building the family home upon the schoolhouse’s foundation. Her home of fifty years stands solid and strong to this very day. It is a refuge and a gathering place for family and friends.
After graduating from Bellingham High School in 1953, Vivian attended Bellingham Technical College studying business and art. While in her early college years Vivian met, dated, and married Eddie Eugene Smallwood in 1955. They raised a family, served their communities, and built a rich life together enjoying all of life’s trials and tribulations, as well as milestone celebrations and numerous happy times and moments. Eddie always said, “The good Lord provides,” and He did. They celebrated fifty years of marriage together shortly before Eddie passed away in 2005.
Vivian was a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, she served in the women’s Relief Society, the Young Women’s, and children’s Primary organizations in many positions and capacities. She was well-known for preparing delicious meals such as her harvest dinners each fall, picnics, recognition ceremonies, and gatherings of all types. Members of her congregation became cherished “family” members, she loved them without judgement or reservations. Vivian was an avid genealogist, and volunteered for many years at the LDS Church family history library. She compiled numerous histories of her and her husband’s families, and also researched family histories for many other friends and extended family members. These compilations were her gifts to others and she rejoiced in tracing the roots of so many she knew. These findings are her legacy to many, and will be treasured by her family forever.
Professionally Vivian volunteered then worked for more than 37 years for Washington State University Extension as a Food Safety Educator and specialist covering the areas of Island, Skagit, Snohomish, and Whatcom counties. She taught elementary- through college-level classes at such places as chambers of commerce, community centers, libraries, and schools. Vivian earned the title of Master Food Preserver, engaging with varied communities such as tribal and Hispanic populations, teaching by example, and always keeping safe practices in mind. She treasured the relationships she developed through WSU Extension, many of these individuals became much-loved and lifelong friends. Vivian delighted in her gardens, producing an abundance of fruits, vegetables, and glorious flowers, especially her beloved dahlias and zinnias. She was a prolific canner, when her children were at home she prepared as many as 1,200 quarts of food annually. She enriched the lives of numerous families by teaching and sharing her skills, knowledge, and abilities with others.
Vivian was preceded in death by her beloved husband Eddie, her parents Fred and Vernice, a half-sister Florence (Chuck) McLean, her sister Beverly, her youngest brother Gary, and a niece Carline. Vivian is survived by her six children, Douglas Eugene (Doris Stafford), Steven Nova, and Larry William Smallwood, all of Sedro-Woolley, Susan Elaine Lewis, of Los Angeles, Calif., Lynnea Dianne Smallwood, of Bellingham, and Denise Marie (Scott) Farmer of Sedro-Woolley.
She is also survived by her ten grandchildren, Joshua (Chrystie) Lewis, of Corte Madera, Calif., Daniel (Anna) King, of Sedro-Woolley, Nicholas Nova (Kimie) Smallwood, of Wenatchee, Edward King, of Bellingham, Sara (Justin) Taylor, of Port Hadlock, Justin (Erin) Lewis, of Paso Robles, Calif., Mitchell Steven (Sarah) Smallwood, of Auburn, Michelle Ethridge, of Bellingham, Zachary (Wendy) Farmer, of Sedro-Woolley, and Dominic Farmer, of Johnson City, Tenn.
She dearly loved her four great-grandchildren, Riley A. Riley-King (son of Edward), of Anacortes, Alanna Jolie Lewis, of Corte Madera, Calif., Amelia Noelle Smallwood, of Wenatchee, and Ezekiel Scott Farmer, of Sedro-Woolley. Each one of her grandchildren and great-grandchildren meant the world to her. She treasured all of them beyond measure.
Her surviving siblings include Gerald “Jerry” (Sharon) Hayward, of Yuma, Ariz., twins Kenneth (Cindy) Hayward, of South Sioux City, Neb., and Karon (Tony) Martucci, of Mineral Ridge, Ohio, and Richard (Nancy) Hayward of Tacoma. She is also survived by numerous extended family members, cousins, nieces, and nephews all of whom were important to her and she dearly loved. They are noted and remembered in her numerous volumes of family history.
Vivian’s family would like to publically thank the many doctors, nurses, therapists, and caregivers at Skagit Regional Health Center, as well as those at Hospice of the Pacific Northwest who provided her with great tender loving care. They are also grateful for the many kind words and offerings shared by members of her Church, neighbors, and friends. There were many caring acts of service and concern rendered to Vivian and her family during the final months of Vivian’s life.
A private graveside service will be held for immediate family members only at Pleasant Ridge Cemetery in LaConner, Washington. Vivian will be laid to rest alongside her husband Eddie, and near her parents, grandparents, a brother, niece, and numerous other family members. Family members lovingly tend these graves several times each year, remembering those who came before us with reverence and care.
We are saddened to not be able to offer funeral services at this time due to the effects of COVID-19, however we are grateful to be able to conduct a public viewing on Saturday, Jan. 2, 2020 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Lemley Chapel in Sedro-Woolley. The family plans to hold a celebration of life at a later date. In lieu of flowers, suggested memorial gifts may be made in Vivian’s name to the American Cancer Society or the humanitarian aid fund of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Share memories and thoughts of Vivian and sign the online guest register at www.lemleychapel.com or sign the guest book at her viewing.