December 1, 1911-
September 5, 2012
Vivian Pace, a long-time resident of Los Altos, passed away on September 5, 2012.
Vivian was born December 1, 1911, and was raised in the Mission District of San Francisco by Frederick and Clementina Struven. She was a 4th generation Californian. Vivian was a star athlete and graduated from Mission High School in 1929 and went on to attend San Francisco State University (then San Francisco State Teacher’s College).
Her grandparents’ home in San Jose stood on the site of what is now the Center for Performing Arts. Vivian saw many changes between San Francisco and San Jose where each of her grandparents lived and she spent much time. She was a descendant of the Murphy family, early California pioneers, who settled Murphy Station, now called Sunnyvale. She often told her grandchildren stories of the history of the Santa Clara Valley and its sea of white blossoms and its beauty. She remembered the large canneries, riding around the valley in a buggy with her grandfather, checking on the family orchards, and enjoying her fill of prunes and apricots. Vivian’s parents were in the furniture business in San Francisco from 1906 to 1954. Her father, Fred, founded Struven Furniture Company at 16th and Valencia after the 1906 earthquake.
Vivian loved community service and civic engagement. She was a past Queen of Job’s Daughters, and past Matron of Eastern Star with the Peninsula Chapter in Burlingame. She drove a forklift during World War II. She served as Brownie and Scout leader for not only her own daughters, but also for one of her granddaughters. Vivian was active in two PTAs, in which she received an honorary Life Membership. She learned to snow ski at age 59, she rode on her grandson-in-law’s motorcycle when she was in her 80s, and attended California history and exercise classes at Foothill College and Cubberley Community Center into her 90s. She was a member of Welcome Wagon and Garden House Seniors of Los Altos. She was a volunteer at St. Simon’s School for many years. She drove until her 98th birthday. Vivian enjoyed a full 100 years and maintained her independence until the end.
Vivian was preceded in death by her husband and life-long love, Rear Admiral James R. Pace, USN. They lived in many places, including TsingTao, China, and raised their family in Burlingame. Vivian is survived by 3 daughters: Carol Covarrubias of Folsom, Margo McKay of Arlington VA, and Jamie Reynolds of Los Altos; 6 grandchildren: Michael and Bryant Scofield, Eileen Mack, Daniel Farren, Lisa Lavering, and Stephanie Flores; 13 great-grandchildren, and her beloved Schnauzer, Morgen.
She will be buried with her husband in Golden Gate National Cemetery in San Bruno.
A Celebration of Life Service will be held in her honor on Saturday, October 6, 2012, at 1:00 pm, at Los Altos Lutheran Church, with a reception immediately following.
In lieu of flowers, donations in Vivian’s memory may be made to Canine Companions
for Independence, 2965 Dutton Avenue, Santa Rosa, CA 95407, or online at www.cci.org.