Vivian Kleinkopf, 86

Dress designer, artist and gardener

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter

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, ), 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.

Love the Journal?

Become our partner in independent community journalism

Thanks for turning to Wednesday Journal and We love our thousands of digital-only readers. Now though we're asking you to partner up in paying for our reporters and photographers who report this news. It had to happen, right?

On the plus side, we're giving you a simple way, and a better reason, to join in. We're now a non-profit -- Growing Community Media -- so your donation is tax deductible. And signing up for a monthly donation, or making a one-time donation, is fast and easy.

No threats from us. The news will be here. No paywalls or article countdowns. We're counting on an exquisite mix of civic enlightenment and mild shaming. Sort of like public radio.

Claim your bragging rights. Become a digital member.

Donate Now

Reader Comments

No Comments - Add Your Comment

Note: This page requires you to login with Facebook to comment.

Comment Policy

Facebook Connect

Answer Book 2019

To view the full print edition of the Wednesday Journal 2019 Answer Book, please click here.

Quick Links

Sign-up to get the latest news updates for Oak Park and River Forest.

MultimediaContact us
Submit Letter To The Editor
Place a Classified Ad