Richard R. Vivian

HARVEY, MI. – Richard R. Vivian, age 86, of Harvey, entered eternal life Friday morning, January 31, 2014, at his home, in the loving, comforting care of his family and UP Home Health and Hospice.

Born October 14, 1927 in Detroit, a son of Fredrick G. and Ida D. (Secor) Vivian, Dick was raised in Ferndale and graduated from Lincoln High School. He entered the U.S. Marine Corps and graduated from boot camp just as World War II was ending. Following his honorable discharge, he returned to Detroit where he married Maxine Betts on October 22, 1948. The couple made their first home in Ferndale where he began his career with Michigan Bell Telephone, first as a lineman and installer. The family moved to Pontiac in 1957 and then to Marquette in 1965. Locally, Dick served as a salesman with Michigan Bell, handling all communication sales with the military installations in the U.P., namely Kincheloe, K.I. Sawyer, and the radar station in the Copper Country. He retired in the mid-80’s with over 30 years of service to the company. In retirement, and in his mid-50’s, Dick started playing hockey and continued with his long enjoyment of playing softball. When circumstances dictated that he slow down, he committed himself to volunteering. Throughout the years he volunteered with many organizations including Easter Seals where he worked telethons, participated in walks, assisted at wheelchair clinics, and solicited donations. As “Honky” the Keystone Cop clown with the Ahmed Shrine Clowns, Dick was a familiar sight at Shrine Circuses and parades, traveling all over the U.P. and performing for over 40 years. As “Honky”, he also participated in dropping the puck at Pigs and Heat events, often played Santa Claus, and was actively involved for many years with the Telephone Pioneers as they traveled to Bay Cliff to help open the camp for the season and do needed repairs. Since his home was located near the Welcome to Marquette sign near the Rock Cut, he volunteered his time in caring for the sign and its garden for the Marquette Beautification Committee and was honored for his lifetime service. In retirement, Dick and Maxine enjoyed traveling to Hawaii and Jamaica, and spent many winters on South Padre Island, Texas. Dick attended Redeemer Lutheran Church and went on many mission trips to Honduras, making balloon animals for the children and assisting on construction projects.

Dick was a man of many facets and his interests included a love of golf, watching the Golf Channel all day and every day if he could. He was interested in every aspect of the event, often calling the children, remarking on the beautiful homes and gardens surrounding the courses.

Dick was a life member of Marquette Masonic Lodge 101 and was selected their Mason of the Year in 1995, life member of the Scottish Rite Masons, life member of Ahmed Shriners and chosen Shriner of Year in 2003, member of Ahmed Shrine Clown Troop and was known as “Honky” the clown, member of Royal Order of Jesters Court 180, member of Ahmed Temple Purveyors, Tri-City Shrine Club, Masonic Golf League, and a member of the Thin Skins Coffee Group. He was also a member of the Telephone Pioneers of America.

Survivors include his children, Deborah (Anthony) Vicario of Green Bay, WI, Cindy (Max) Engle of Marquette, Dana Payne of Rockwall, TX, and Daniel (Helen) Vivian of Lansing; grandchildren, Ryan (Pam) Engle, Barrett (Amanda) Engle, Trisha Vicario, Stacey (Jade) Freeman; great- grandchildren, Hailee Engle, Dylan Vicario, Rocco Freeman, Leighton Engle; a brother, Thomas (Bev) Vivian of West Olive; many nieces and nephews; his caregiver, Jodi; and his canine “girls”, Sugar and Spice.

Dick was preceded in death by his parents and his beloved wife, Maxine in 2002.

A service for family, friends, and the public will be held in the spring.

Memorials may be directed to the charitable causes of the Ahmed Shrine Clowns, 128 W. Washington Street, Marquette, MI 49855 or Bay Cliff Health Camp, P.O. Box 310, Big Bay, MI 49808.

The Swanson-Lundquist Funeral Home is serving the family, where condolences may be expressed online at