First Memorial Funeral Services

1211 Sutherland Ave, Kelowna, BC


Vivian Elizabeth Assels

June 23, 1935November 26, 2019

Vivian Elizabeth Assels passed away peacefully at The Kelowna Hospice House on Tuesday, November 26, 2019 at the age of 84 years.

Vivian was born in Grahamdale, Manitoba to parents Jacob and Grace Schmautz. She grew up in Grahamdale, Winnipeg and Atikokan (Ontario) with her two sisters (Helen and Evelyn) and brother (Gordon). She married Eugene Desmeules in 1954 and lived in northwestern Ontario until 1970. During her time in Ear Falls, she raised her three sons, did volunteer work with the Catholic Women’s League and worked part-time in the local store. She then moved to Winnipeg and met her second husband, Clifford Assels. Vivian and Cliff moved from Winnipeg to Kelowna in 1972 where they bought their home in Rutland and The Shoe Cove store nearby which they operated for many years.

Vivian is survived by her children and stepchildren, Frank Desmeules (Anne), Dave Desmeules (Mary Anne), Steve Desmeules (Rosemary), Brian Assels (Lili) and Gary Assels (Rosemary); her eight grandchildren (Melanie, Jeffrey, Eric, Cody, Angela, Jennifer, Matthew and Andrew) and her four great-grandchildren (Quinn, Jones, Jacob and Tyler). Vivian is also survived by her dear sister Evelyn and numerous nieces and nephews.

What we will remember most is Vivian’s heart of gold. If you were in need, she couldn’t do enough for you. Although tiny in stature, she was a strong-willed person with a kind and caring soul. She had many dear friends including several life-long friends. Birthday cards and special occasion cards were always purchased in advance so that she would remember to get them out on time. Vivian had many interests and hobbies such as square dancing, gardening (she loved her rose bushes), reading her Harlequin Romances, playing cards, hosting great backyard parties and Christmas dinners, doing crafts with the grandkids and playing on her IPAD. She was an amazing seamstress that so enjoyed sewing for her family and friends. She was energetic and adventurous. It wasn’t uncommon to see her fixing things around the home or jumping in to help Cliff with the carpentry work. Even in her mid-70’s she learned how to use an IPAD so she could keep in touch with family and friends. She joined the YWCA to take up senior’s yoga, swim and get out with her sister to mingle with friends.

Her other great joy was travel – whether it meant hitting the road in their motorhome or travelling abroad with good friends Rita and Egon. She had a great sense of direction when driving the car or motorhome (and she would always chuckle that Cliff did not possess this skill). Even in her early 80’s, Vivian and her sister Evelyn were adventurous enough to travel twice to Australia for the weddings of her two grandchildren.

Vivian’s famous “Wall of Fame” in her dining room was a true testament to her greatest joy – her boys and their families. In later years, she would sit at the table staring at the pictures cherishing all the fond memories. She looked so forward to the visits from her kids and would light up just talking about them. She loved being a Gramma and a Great Gramma (and a great Gramma she was).

When Vivian’s health deteriorated, she and Evelyn moved into Kelowna’s Fernbrae Manor in 2018. Throughout the battles with her health, she possessed incredible strength and determination. Vivian was a wonderful Mother, Grandmother, Great Grandmother, Sister, Aunt, Cousin and Friend. We will miss her beautiful and kind spirit. We will cherish the memories and love you forever.

The family wishes to thank the doctors and staff at the Kelowna General Hospital. A special thank you to The Kelowna Hospice House for the care and compassion given to Vivian and her family during her stay.

A very special thank you goes out to Evelyn (sister), Gary (nephew), John Paul (nephew) and Trish and Gary (long-time neighbours) for all the support and care you provided to Vivian over the past several years.

In honor of Vivian’s wishes, she will be cremated and placed to rest at Lakeview Memorial Gardens in Kelowna where she will join her husband Cliff (who predeceased her in 2003).

In lieu of flowers, a donation can be made to the Central Okanagan Hospice Association in Vivian’s name. A Celebration of Vivian’s Life will be held in early spring 2020. Details will be provided at a later date. Condolences may be sent to the family by visiting www.firstmemorialfuneralkelowna.com. Arrangements entrusted with First Memorial Funeral Services, Kelowna, BC 250-762-2299


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Vivian Elizabeth Assels

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Pat Jankowski

December 6, 2019

Our sincere condolences for the loss of your loving mom , grandma,great-grandma....she was always a very kind and generous person to all of us.Desmeules clan from Red Lake areas Rest peacefully, Aunt Vi ♥️

Corky Karen Goldberg-Schmautz

December 2, 2019

Auntie Viv, you were a sweet soul. There are few like you. The times that we saw each other, I will always treasure those memories. Your kind words and soothing thoughts that you always seem to generate just by listening.

Norm and I will forever miss you! Be well now and say hello to those who have gone before us. Until we all meet again on the other side of the rainbow!
Love always, Norm and Corky Schmautz