Cover photo for Vivian Hommerding's Obituary
Vivian Hommerding Profile Photo
1928 Vivian 2017

Vivian Hommerding

March 20, 1928 — January 17, 2017

Vivian G. Hommerding, 88, Merrill, peacefully crossed the river to eternal life on Tuesday, January 17, 2017 at Pinecrest Nursing Home, Merrill, WI. She was born a spring baby on March 20, 1928. The story was often told that It was unseasonably warm that day, and Vivian's Aunt Katie hung clothes out on the line to dry. It was a beautiful first day of spring as Bernard and Martha Walenczyk announced to all of their family and friends that their beautiful baby girl, Vivian, and her twin brother, Bernard Jr., were born. Vivian and Bernard each weighed only about a pound and a half when they were born. Martha wrapped her babies snuggly and placed them on some soft cotton inside a shoe box. She then placed the shoe box on the door of the family wood stove to keep the babies warm. Vivian worked as a nurse's aid at the Holy Cross Hospital in Merrill beginning at age 15, under the supervision of the Holy Cross Sisters. She and her sister, Alice, lived on the top floor of the hospital, as did other young girls. Her sister, Marie, lived there for a while, also. Vivian told many stories about how the nuns kept a close eye on her and the other girls. Because God gave Vivian a heart of gold, she often felt sorry for Alice when she was homesick. Their parents, Bernard and Martha, lived near the Merrill Airport on Airport Road, which was quite a hike from the hospital. But because Alice was so homesick, Vivian walked with Alice all the way to their parents' homestead, and then back to the hospital, so Alice would feel better. Vivian also attended vocational school, where she learned homemaking skills and met some lifelong friends.

She married the love of her life, Lawrence Hommerding, on September 25, 1948. Together, Vivian and Lawrence were the best parents in the world to four healthy, happy children, Patrick, Thomas, Cynthia and Jan. As the years went on, Vivian also briefly worked at the Merrill Pea Cannery. She also did babysitting for a neighborhood family for a few years, which she enjoyed tremendously. Eventually, she went back to work at the Holy Cross Hospital again and retired in the early 1980s. So many people remember the wonderful care Vivian gave them when they were patients at the Holy Cross. Vivian was a gentle, caring person. She went out of her way to make the people she cared for comfortable. She always had a big smile on her face and a cheerful tone to her voice. Vivian had an extremely strong faith in Christ. She believed in prayer. If ever anybody had a concern in life or was upset, her advice to them was to pray because "God always listens." She said several rosaries every day, and she was sometimes called "The Rosary Lady." Vivian prayed for everyone and anyone who needed a prayer. Her daily prayer list was about a mile long. Vivian experienced much loss in her lifetime, but her strong faith in God carried her through every time. She was always there for her family and friends and anyone else who needed a helping hand. She was the first to step up to the plate when someone needed help. When her sister, Marie, lost her husband, two young sons, and her mother- and father-in-law in a house fire, Vivian immediately invited Marie and her remaining children to live with her family. Their house wasn't large, but she made room and helped out because she knew it was what God would want her to do. Another testimony to her caring spirit was when Vivian lost her two young sisters, Joyce and Dorothy, in a tragic car accident. In the weeks that followed the accident, Vivian's mother, Martha, was terribly depressed. Vivian's son, Pat, was a year and a half old and she had her second child, Tom, shortly after her sisters' deaths. One afternoon, because she was worried about her grief-stricken mother, Vivian packed up her young sons in a stroller and walked several miles out to check on Martha because she wasn't able to get ahold of her by phone. A car wasn't available to her at the time, so she took it upon herself to walk with the boys to be sure Martha was safe. Her heart rejoiced when she and the boys arrived at Martha and Bernard's farm and everything was okay. Among Vivian's favorite pastimes were knitting (in her younger years), baking homemade doughnuts, cookies and other yummy treats, cooking, gardening, reading, casino trips, rummage saling, and keeping up with local and national news. Vivian was a proud Democrat and wasn't afraid to say so. She cared greatly about exercising her privilege to vote. Survivors include her children, Patrick (Carol) Hommerding of Merrill, WI, Thomas (Jane) Hommerding of Philips, WI, Cynthia Hommerding and Jan (Gary) Yonke, both of Wausau, WI, seven grandchildren, Matthew (Machelle) Hommerding of Rogers, MN, Jennifer (Andrew) Hommerding-Wahlsten, Chanhassen, MN, Benjamin (Misty) Hommerding and Amanda (George) Vokolek, both of Green Bay, WI, and Shanna Yonke, Nathaniel Yonke, and Joshua Yonke, all of Wausau, WI; six great-grandchildren, Drew, Brady, Elijah, Elliot, Grayson, and Gavin; sister, Judy (Vern) Warren, brother-in-law, Albert Hommerding; and many nieces, nephews, relatives, and friends. Vivian was preceded in death by her parents, Bernard and Martha Walenczyk, her husband, Lawrence, her sisters Joyce and Dorothy Walenczyk, Marie Wenzlick, and Alice Krueger, and her twin brother, Bernard Walenczyk, Jr. She was also preceded in death by many other relatives and friends. Funeral services will take place on Friday, January 20, 2017 at St. Francis Catholic Church in Merrill, WI. Visitation will be from 9:30 to 11:00 am, service at 11:00, with burial following. Lunch will be served in the church cafeteria following the burial. Memorials honoring Vivian may be made to St. Francis Catholic Church. Waid Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements. Online condolences may be made at www.waidfuneral.com. A special thank you goes out to the angels at Pinecrest Nursing Home, who took such wonderful care of Vivian, especially Dawn and Sharon. Your kind words and loving actions were very much appreciated by Vivian and her family. "Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be afraid, for I am your God. I will strengthen you; I will help you; I will hold on to you with My righteous right hand." Isaiah 41:10 ...Until We Meet Again Those special memories of you Will always bring a smile If only I could have you back For just a little while Then we could sit and talk again Just like we used to do You always meant so very much And always will, too The fact that you are no longer here Will always cause me pain But you are forever in my heart Until we meet again. God bless you, Mom. You're finally home!

Previous Events

Visitation
Friday, January 20, 2017
9:30 AM - 11:00 AM
St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church

Merrill, WI 54452

Visitation
Friday, January 20, 2017
11:00 AM
St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church

Merrill, WI 54452

Visitation
Friday, January 20, 2017
12:00 PM
St. Francis Catholic Cemetery

Memorial Drive
Merrill, WI 54452


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