Vivian Irene Pilgrim – Manchester

Vivian Irene Pilgrim, 90, of Manchester, Iowa, passed away peacefully on April 27, 2019. She was born on June 7, 1928, to Lennie and Ora (Buckingham) Smithson in Virden, Illinois. She moved to Dundee in her teens and graduated from Dundee High School in 1946 as valedictorian.

On December 31, 1949, she married Eldo Johnson at the Little Brown Church in Nashua. They were blessed with two children. While raising her family, Vivian also worked as office manager for Dr Burrows’ dental practice. The couple farmed until retiring to Manchester in 1983. Eldo died in December 2000.

Later, Vivian again found happiness when in 2003 she married Robert Pilgrim at the First Lutheran Church of Manchester. They resided together in Manchester until Robert passed away in October 2013.

Vivian was a loving person who valued her family and friends above all.  She enjoyed working at the Manchester Camp Courageous store, volunteering at the First Lutheran Church, caring for her flowers and lawn, attending card club, and baking.

Vivian is survived by her children, Gary (Pat) Johnson and Connie (Kevin) Quass; Robert’s children, Dennis (Donna) Pilgrim, Dave (Marilyn) Pilgrim, Susie (Kent) Salow, and Mary White; and many loving grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to the First Lutheran Church of Manchester or Camp Courageous of Iowa.

Online condolences may be sent to

Funeral Services: 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, May 1, 2019, at First Lutheran Church in Manchester, with Reverend Tony D. Ede officiating.

Visitation: 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, April 30, 2019, at Leonard-Muller Funeral Home in Manchester. Friends may also call one hour before the service on Wednesday at the church.

Interment: Oakland Cemetery – Manchester, Iowa