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Vivienne Boswell Williams

November 2, 1930 - April 28, 2020

Private service and burial. Celebration of life to follow at a later date.

Memorials: Contributions may be made to First United Methodist Church of Ft. Worth (fumcfw.org), First Street Methodist Mission (fumcfw.org/mission), Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas (plannedparenthood.org), or to a charity of one’s choice.

Vivienne Boswell Williams, passed away Tuesday, April 28, 2020.

When Vivienne Boswell Williams was a little girl growing up in Ft. Worth, Texas, her playmate Martha Ryan Smith once named one of her favorite cows after her in a true sign of old Ft. Worth friendship. Although no one ever named a cow after her again, Vivienne continued to engender this level of loyalty and goodness in people until the day she died.

A descendant of one of Ft. Worth’s pioneer families who owned Boswell Dairies, Vivienne was born on November 2, 1930, to Edith and V.W. Boswell. She graduated from Paschal High School, attended SMU and graduated from the University of Texas with honors, with a BBA and membership in Sigma Beta Delta. She “blew the curve” in all her classes, as her future husband Don Williams was fond of saying. When Don saw her for the first time in a Business Law class, he changed his plans: he went home and broke off his engagement so he could ask Vivienne out. They were happily married from 1953 until his death in 1981.

She was active civically as a member of the First United Methodist Church, Planned Parenthood (board member), the Junior League, the Jewel Charity Ball (treasurer), River Crest Country Club, Delta Delta Delta sorority, Ft. Worth Woman’s Club, the Lecture Foundation, and the Sewing Club.

Although Vivienne was a perfect lady and exemplary citizen,, she wasn’t above having some fun. At fourteen, she and her friend Joan Richardson asked Mr. Osborne, a milkman for Boswell Dairies, if they could borrow his dairy truck for a quick spin around the block. Gaining his assent, they hopped in and spent all afternoon driving around town and even “picked up a few people along the way.” Upon returning the truck to a flustered milkman and their even more-than-flustered parents, their cheerful explanation was “we needed to see our friends!” This adventurous spirit, combined with her deep love for New Mexico, helped her summit Wheeler Peak, NM’s tallest mountain at 13,000 ft., not once, but twice.

She was just as smart in life as she was in school. She knew to always pack a high-wattage light bulb for bedside reading when driving through west Texas years before chain motels arrived, because those overnight accommodations could be chintzy (looking at you, Nurse-a-Nickel Inn.) She knew to always keep tiny scissors and her little silver Tiffany measuring tape in her purse, because invariably those things were needed. She raised four children armed with a calm demeanor and a seemingly never ending supply of small, thin-lined spiral notebooks and medium point blue Bic pens with missing caps. She kept her cool and sense of humor whether she was putting out a kitchen fire, corralling high schoolers at the family cabin in New Mexico, or dealing with shrieking flight attendants during sudden drops in air pressure.

Like her parents, she had an enormous heart, a natural graciousness, and a knowing generosity. She lived her faith by the way she treated others—with thoughtfulness, kindness, and respect. She wore the hideous jewelry her children made not just around the house but also out the door and into Junior League and Jewel Charity Ball meetings. That is some real love right there. And like her parents, she knew, more than anything, that when people are the least lovable is when they need the most love.

Although small in stature, her nickname to many was “Big Viv” because she was mighty in all other ways. Vivienne Boswell Williams was singular and exceptional and vital to all of us. How fortunate and grateful we are that she was ours, and that she loved us.

The family would like to thank her doctors and caregivers for their considerable expertise and loving attention, especially Dr. Janice Knebl and Ms. Ricondria Ferrell.

Survived by her son, Don Williams, Jr. (Buffy); daughters, Lisa Williams Diffley (David), Leslie Williams Summers (Bill), and Lynn Williams; grandchildren, William Summers, Michael Diffley, Matthew Summers, Phillip Diffley, and Vivienne McCone; nephew and nieces, John Boswell (Elizabeth), Vivienne Boswell Mays (Bobby), Elise Boswell, and Edie Boswell; sister-in-law, Pat Dean Boswell McCall (Clyde); and numerous great nieces and nephews.

Preceded in death by her husband, Donald Earle Williams, Sr.; her parents, Edith and V.W. Boswell; her brother, Bruce Lowell Boswell; and her cousins, Lorin Boswell and Gayle Boswell Gordon.

Memorials: Contributions may be made to First United Methodist Church of Ft. Worth (fumcfw.org), First Street Methodist Mission (fumcfw.org/mission), Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas (plannedparenthood.org), or to a charity of one’s choice.

Private service and burial. Celebration of life to follow at a later date.