Vivian Kleinkopf, 86

Dress designer, artist and gardener

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Vivian B. Kleinkopf, 86, a 51-year resident of Oak Park, died peacefully in her sleep at home on June 5, 2020. Born on March 9, 1934 in East St. Louis, Illinois, to Claud and Louise Saunders, she grew up in small-town Belleville, loved arts and crafts, ice skating on ponds, and studied fashion design, graduating from Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri, the second oldest all-women's college in the U.S., from which she received the highest award for alumnae. An award-winning dress designer, painter, co-founder of the Park West Antiques Fair, avid gardener, and nutrition business owner, she was a member of Calvary Memorial Church, Oak Park, and matriarch, full of grace, heart, and energy, for her family.

Vivian was predeceased by her parents and her husband John, with whom she raised three sons. She is survived by her three sons, Mark, James (Julie), and Jeff (Karlen); her grandchildren, Matt, Jack, and Will, Colin (Rebecca), Jamie, and Katie, and Keira; and her brothers Richard and Harry (Penny) Saunders. She appreciated her dear friend Marilyn Garapolo and others who visited frequently with love to share hot tea, warm sunshine, and long conversation.   

In lieu of flowers, a donation may be made to Grace Lutheran School (7300 Division St., River Forest 60305, www.graceriverforest.org ), where her three sons attended, and her youngest granddaughter currently attends.  

State of Illinois Phase Three Re-Opening compliant indoor "visitation" will be held at Drechsler, Brown, & Williams Funeral Home, 203 S. Marion St., Oak Park, on Friday June 12, 10 a.m.-12 noon. A brief outdoor "Celebration of Life Service" will follow at Concordia Cemetery, 7900 Madison St., Forest Park at 12:30 p.m.

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