Vivian Marie Hapeman Obern

Date of Birth

May 20, 1921

Date of Death

June 21, 2015

Vivian, ‘Vie,’ passed away peacefully on June 21, 2015 at the age of 94. Vivian was born in Park Ridge, Illinois on May 20, 1921, where she had a wonderful childhood as the youngest of four children. She attended Principia College in Illinois, where she graduated with a B.A. in political science in 1942 with her classmate George Obern. She and George were married at her family home after he joined the Navy during World War II.

With their young son Vaughn, Vivian and George moved to Santa Barbara in 1947 when George was hired by USCB as Public Information Manager. Vie and George became active in community affairs. She was a dedicated volunteer, serving on many historical and land-preservation organization boards.

Vivian received many recognitions in her lifetime. Among them: two PTA Honorary Service Awards, Santa Barbara’s Woman of the Year (1989), SB National Horse Show dedication (1994), Distinguished Alumni Award from Principia College (1996), Pearl Chase Historic Preservation and Conservation Award (1998), the SB Trust for Historic Preservation created the George and Vivian Obern Preservation Stewardship Award in their honor. Vie was a founding member of the SB Trails Council but one of her major achievements was initiating and helping raise the millions of dollars needed for the construction of the seven-mile Goleta bikeway, which was named The Obern Trail.

Vie is survived by her children, Vaughn Obern, Dale Obern Hoeffliger, and Reade Obern, son-in-law Greg Hoeffliger, and daughter-in-law Nancy Obern, as well as her four granddaughters, Aimee Hoeffliger Pier, Natalie Hoeffliger Goodwin, Allison Hoeffliger, and Megan Hoeffliger, and grandsons-in-law Stacy Pier and Kevin Goodwin. Vie has six great-grandchildren — Thatcher and Porter Pier, Ashlin and Westin Goodwin, and Addison and Levi Hoeffliger — as well as many nieces and nephews.

Thank you to the Care Committee of the First Church of Christ Scientist for the dedicated visits to Vie and Abundant Care staff for their care. Vivian appreciated the many others who came to see her and keep her up-to-date on activities.

In lieu of flowers, please make donations in Vivian’s name to: the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation 123 E. Canon Perdido, Santa Barbara, CA 93101; the Santa Barbara Trails Council, P.O. Box 22352, Santa Barbara, 93121 (or; the Principia, Annual Fund Office, 13201 Clayton Road, St. Louis, MO, 63131 (or; and the Care Committee of the First Church of Christ Scientist, 120 E. Valerio, Santa Barbara, 93101.

A celebration of Vivian’s life will be held on Saturday, August 1, 2015, from 2:00 – 4:00, at the Unitarian Society of Santa Barbara, 1535 Santa Barbara Street.

Guests are invited to wear attire suitable to their affiliation with Vie in such organizations as Fiesta, Trails, de Anza, DUV, Sage Hens, and so on.


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