Vivian Crose Obituary

Vivian Kay Crose
Vivian Kay Crose

August 24, 1937 - January 15, 2023
Born in Waterloo, IA
Resided in Des Moines, IA
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Vivian “Kay” Crose, 85, passed away peacefully at Iowa Jewish Life Center on January 15, 2023. A memorial service will be held at The Thoreau Center on March 5, 2023 beginning at 1:00pm. Of course, there will be Kay’s favorite cake.

Kay was born on August 24, 1937, in Waterloo, IA and spent most of her formative years in Jefferson, IA. She was one of four children born to Harold and Naomi (Blanshan) Harper. After forming great and lasting connections with her school friends and dancing the jitterbug as often as possible, she graduated from Jefferson High School and moved to Des Moines to attend business school at AIB. From there she worked at Farm Bureau and met two women who along with their spouses and families became dear lifelong friends.

Kay settled in Des Moines and raised her kids, Scott and Marcy, in Beaverdale, her favorite Des Moines neighborhood. She formed great relationships with the Ashby women and then the ladies from the Trees group over on Urbandale. She also enjoyed volunteering for Wellspring Community Church where she and a supportive group of friends found their church home.

Kay was a nurturing and attentive mother, grandmother, sister, and friend. Her greatest joy was spending time with her children, grandchildren, and friends. She taught her granddaughters to play a mean game of Yahtzee, to love crunchy fudge sandwiches, Tic Tac mints, and Werther’s. Her thoughtful birthday and Christmas presents will remind us all of her kind heart for years to come.

She had a lot of spunk and a strong desire to see friends, attend her Saturday morning breakfast group, old neighbors and to engage with her church friends. She was feisty and witty and often spoke her mind - you always knew where Kay stood on any given subject and where Kay was, there was usually laughter. She was true to herself and lived her values often offering kind gestures (along with cookies, spaghetti, or cake) to her family, friends, and strangers. While Kay had two children and four granddaughters, she thoughtfully mentored many other young girls throughout her life.

During the last few years of Kay’s life, she met her health challenges head on with grace, determination, and resilience. During the Covid lockdowns she often made doctor’s appointments just so she could get out of her apartment. She looked for any opportunity to escape with her friend Mary to roam Target, Kohl’s, the Olive Garden, or DQ. When she moved to The Iowa Jewish Life Center she always wanted to “help” the staff by asking for odd jobs and in the end believed she ran the place even requiring staff to attend her meetings! We felt lucky to have the staff at Iowa Jewish Life by her side for her last few months. Kay received loving attention from many wonderful caregivers who provided her with great dignity at a time when dignity was hard to come by.

Kay is survived by her son, Scott (Linda) Crose; daughter, Marcy (Tom LaForge) Suntken; granddaughters, Sholly (Alan) Parvis, Cassie (Patrick) Bartoski, Jamie and Abby Suntken; and five great grandchildren, Adeline, Grant, Jake and Andrew Parvis, Brooks Bartoski, as well as several nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents, brothers, and sister.

Memorial contributions may be directed to The Iowa Jewish Life Center, Wellspring Community Church or the Mind & Spirit Counseling Center (formerly Des Moines Pastoral Counseling Center).

A celebration of Kay’s life will be held on March 5, 2023, at 1:00pm at The Thoreau Center 3500 Kingman Boulevard, Des Moines, IA. Please feel free to honor her by wearing her favorite color purple (pink or other pastels will suffice as well). A private burial will take place at a later date.




Thoreau Center
3500 Kingman Blvd.
Des Moines, Iowa USA 50311
Sunday, March 5, 2023
1:00 PM