Cover photo for Vivian Ellen (Heiser) Stiff's Obituary
Vivian Ellen (Heiser) Stiff Profile Photo
1926 Vivian 2020

Vivian Ellen (Heiser) Stiff

June 14, 1926 — October 13, 2020

We will miss her surprises . . . When first asked she said her obituary should read, "Vivian Ellen (Heiser) Stiff died suddenly, screaming and fighting all the way, having run through all her money." She laughed at our reaction.

We miss watching her live . . . Vivian Ellen Heiser was born in Helena in 1926 to Henry G. and Nonie Nahrgang Heiser. She spent most of her adult life with her husband Al Stiff, the love of her life, in Bozeman where Al kept busy with his accounting business and serving the community as a city commissioner and Mayor.

She kept VERY busy: Raising their ten kids; cooking and cleaning and keeping our home; leading a Campfire Girls' troop; playing the piano and organ at the First Baptist Church, Gallatin Rest Home, Bozeman Lodge, Rotary, weddings and funerals, and Soldiers' Chapel; working on church committees; volunteering at the hospital as a pink lady; serving on the Bozeman School Board; taking respite in handcrafts and books; attending numerous children's activities and sports. She was a great fan.

She said that her favorite parts of her life were laughter, humor, music, faith and her family. (Her kids say they loved her empathy.) Throughout her life she was a good listener, and therefore always a wonderful friend, most recently to the Red Hats, the Golden Girls and her adult children.

Vivian is survived by eight children, some of whom were able to be with her when she died of congestive heart failure: Kathleen Weiss (John); Sue Humphrey (Chuck); Tim; Greg (Gina); Dan (Kim); Becky Cox (Phil); Tony; Penelope Watkins (Jack). She also had nineteen grand children, one step-grandson, four step-grand daughters, and eighteen great-grand children.

Her husband and their two sons, Robin and Mack, predeceased her.

We will miss her loving us and watching her love our children and our children's children.

We will miss her wisdom . . . our favorite sayings of hers included these: Go play outside (Go figure!); Watch what you say because you can never take it back (she hated to apologize); You will feel better after you eat (her mom, Nonie Heiser, had also used this same cure); Wait until after dinner to show your dad your new clothes (he would be in a better mood); Give people the benefit of the doubt (your teacher is probably having a bad morning); Don't worry, pray (she said she didn't have to worry because Dad worried for both of them); You can outlast them (her best insight into raising kids).

We will miss sharing her faith . . . She lived by following her favorite chapter from the Bible: Love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.

Love is patient and kind; Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away . . .

So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love. —Taken from 1 Corinthians 13

We will miss sharing her adventures . . . The day Mom died she said that she'd need the winter coats, and that we had to change the oil and gas up the car. When asked where she was going, she said, "Somewhere, I'm going somewhere."

We pray you are there, Mom, at peace, reunited with Dad and Rob and Mack and so many others who have loved you.

We love you so much. Thank you for loving us. We miss you, Mom.

In lieu of flowers, please send a donation to Bozeman Friends of Music, Kimmelin Hull, President, BFOM, PO Box 536, Bozeman, MT 59771; or the Bozeman Public Library Foundation, BPLF, 626 E Main, Bozeman, MT 59715; or Hospice of Bozeman, 931 Highland Blvd., Suite 3200, Bozeman, MT 59715. Thank you for your generosity.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Vivian Ellen (Heiser) Stiff, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Friday, August 20, 2021

2:30 - 5:00 pm (Mountain (no DST) time)

Vivian’s family would like to invite family and friends to gather at a drop-in open house for a celebration of Vivian’s life. The reception will be held according to the Covid health regulations of the State of Montana at the time.

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