By PORTIA A. SCOTT (www.atlantadailyworld.com)
Celebration of Life Service for Octavia G. Vivian was held Friday, May 13, at 11 a.m. at Providence Missionary Baptist Church at 2295 Benjamin E. Mays Drive in Atlanta. Viewing of the body was held at Willie Watkins Funeral Home Chapel, 1003 Ralph David Abernathy in Southwest Atlanta. She was 83.
There was no repast and donations were asked to be made to Providence Missionary Baptist Church in honor of Octavia Vivian. Vivian is the wife of civil rights icon C.T. Vivian.
Al Vivian, her son, remembered his mother for her patience, gentle spirit, quiet wisdom and loving manner. He praised her great sense of humor and recalled how she taught him to drive. “I remember watching the traffic behind me, and she said ‘don’t look behind you, but look ahead.’ Vivian recalled that he, from that day on, always looked ahead.
He also remembered how she made him laugh yet kept a low key that made you stay on the correct path. Vivian said his mother was “a peacemaker and always brought peace to the situation. She would bring people together.”
Her son also remembered the words of ambassador and former Mayor Andrew Young, who praised the deceased as a woman of the Civil Rights Movement, “who was very active in the movement and allowed the men to go out and do what they did.” Al Vivian captured her character and wanted people to know who she was.
Other tributes were brought by Mrs. Juanita Abernathy, Rev. Joseph E. Lowery and Dr. Bernard Lafayette, who all had great things to say about Mrs. Vivian, who was loved by her family. Mrs. Abernathy cautioned the children that their “mother loved you and was there for you all the time.” As long-time, close friends, Mrs. Abernathy recalled how Mrs. Vivian was a good mother and wife. Cong. John Lewis sent a letter of condolences..
Rev. Dr. Gerald L. Durley, pastor, said the deceased “was the best mother” and was devoted to her husband, children and grandchildren. She was praised by Rev. Durley as “a loving, strong and spiritual woman who assisted and supported her husband and loved God.”
Born Octavia Geans in Pontiac, Michigan on Feb 23, 1928 to Leslie and Alvier Geans, Mrs. Vivian was the only daughter of two brothers, who preceded her in death. She grew up and became editor of the Pontiac’s African-American newspaper as a