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Vivien Tolton
In Memory of

Vivien Tolton

February 23, 2023

Death Notice of Vivien Tolton

TOLTON, Vivien Diane (Thaler)

April 24, 1942 – February 23, 2023


Once described by her grand-daughter as the funniest person she knew, Vivien Tolton always marched to her own drummer. An incredibly pragmatic person, she provided a sense of strength and consistency for all who knew her. It is hard to imagine life without Vivien.

Vivien died on February 23, 2023, at the age of 80, at University Hospital in London, after a stroke and complications. Loving mom of daughter Janet of Rockwood, and special Gran to grand-daughter Alice, and her father Alan of Toronto. Predeceased by husband Barry, daughter Sarah, and sister Elaine Haney and Aunt Margaret (Pollock) Rehse. Dear sister of Merle Haney-Drudge of Waterloo and Marilynn Davies (Arnold) of Markdale, and sister-in-law of Janice McCray (David) of Walkerton, Lori (Jack) Black of Waterloo, and Jamie Tolton (Randall predeceased) of Walkerton.  Aunt Vivien leaves behind many nieces and nephews which she was very proud of and loved to share a laugh with. She will also be missed by many people in the local church, craft, choir and curling communities.

Born in Walkerton, Vivien was raised in Hanover, daughter of Dr. August (Frank) Thaler and Janet Pollock. As the youngest of the “Thaler Girls”, she embraced an independent spirit which continued until the day she died. With the Doctor’s practice operating out the family home, Vivien would sometimes assist with certain tasks.  Striking off for nursing school, Vivien realized that was not the career for her and pivoted to become trained in secretarial work. Upon Barry and Vivien’s move to Markdale in 1970, she started her career as a United Church Secretary, “training” many Ministers, and continued to work on a part time basis until the day she died. Annesley United Church was truly a second home.

Vivien’s other roles were as a farmhand (for Barry) which she did begrudgingly, and as a mother to Sarah and Janet, which she did with ease. Vivien served as a chauffeur to the girls, driving to, and taking a keen interest in, many activities. She also chauffeured many of her curling friends after a late night to various points in Grey Highlands. Vivien’s toughest assignment was as a support to Sarah through her recovery from a car accident in 1990. 

Possessing a strong sense of community, Vivien participated in many organizations including the Markdale Curling Club, Rug Hooking Guilds, Knitting and Craft Groups, Church and Community Choirs, often taking on an administrative role in each.

Vivien’s beautiful rug hooked pieces leave behind a lasting legacy. She will be missed for unique sense of humour and her keen interest she took in her loved ones and her community.

A memorial service honouring Vivien’s life will be held at Annesley United Church, Markdale on Friday, March 3, 2023 at 11 a.m., with fellowship to follow. Spring inurnment in Markdale Cemetery.

As expression of sympathy, donations to Centre Grey Health Services Foundation, Annesley United Church, or a charity of your choice would be appreciated.

Video tribute honouring the life of Vivien Tolton


Vivien was such a lovely lady with a positive attitude and a great smile. She loved Alice and was always telling me about her. I will miss chatting with her at the rug hooking get-togethers. My condolences to her family.

— Louise Watson, March 6, 2023

Janet - our sincerest sympathy on the loss of your Mom.....treasure all the memories.
Hugh & Fran
George St. neighbours

— Hugh & Fran McCallum, March 3, 2023

Dear Janet, Alice and Alan...please accept our deepest condolences on the passing of Vivien. The loss of your lovely mother and grandmother is a great one. We knew Vivien through many different ways, and her involvement in the community will be truly missed, as all the tributes to her have expressed. I, personally, will miss our shared greetings of "Hello Mrs. Tolton" each time we met ❤️. Vivien treasured her granddaughter and the rest of her family and I'm sure your many memories will help you through this difficult time.

— Brian and Carol Anne Tolton, March 2, 2023

Janet, my sincere sympathy on the death of your Mom. I remember how much Paul enjoyed working with her at Annesley between 1977 and 1989. She was competent secretary and always willing to help with whatever task needed to be done. I loved being part of the Tuesday afternoon ladies' group with her and was always amazed at her artistic skills. I will be thinking of you as you cope with this loss.
Fern Dempsey

— Fern Dempsey, March 1, 2023

Myself and Lauralee send our deep condolences

— Ted Hall, March 1, 2023

Our heartfelt condolences go out to Vivien's family. The church and the groups that she belonged to as well as her many, many friends have lost a very important link.

— Hillis & Korleen Halbert, March 1, 2023

Janet, Alice, Allan,
and Viviens Family,

Our sincerest sympathies are with each of you during this difficult time.
Vivien was a wonderful lady, full of strength and goodness. She was always on the go in our Community, whether at Church, choir, curling, hooking, knitting, walking around the neighbourhood, the list goes on. She will be missed in so many ways. Know that lasting love and precious memories will help comfort your grief.
Our Friend, we will miss your smiles and laughter, and our little chats.
Rest in peace.

— Terry and Gail McCauley, February 28, 2023

Dear Janet , our thoughts & expression of sadness to you , Allen & Alice . Your mother was such an inspiration . I had to ask her again “ you mean you venture out ALONE on the Bruce Trail to tick off the hiking assignment they had posted . That was “our” Vivien. She was “the gal” for sure in many ways . Her devotion in so many ways . It was a joy to read this written composition of her Life , many places in it bringing smiles . She truly is an icon .
May you all continue to feel the blessings she brought to each of you . Bless Alice 💗
Don Karen Adam Luke ( Stanley )

— Karen Stanley, February 28, 2023

Dear Janet, Alice and Alan, We’re deeply saddened to learn of the Passing of your loving mother, grandmother and mother-in-law, Vivien. Heaven gained another Angel.
Being a relatively new neighbour, we were honoured to have met and chatted with Vivien, as we did Barry, and we were touched by their warm welcoming personalities. We will cherish these warm memories for years to come.
Isabel and David Lopes

— Isabel and David Lopes, February 28, 2023

Vivian will be missed throughout the rughooking community. Always loved a joke. A constant member of events dealing with knitting and rughooking. A community minded lady.

— Cathy North, February 28, 2023

My sincere condolences go to Vivien’s family at this sad time!She will be truly missed in the rug hooking community!Rest in peace.

— Marge Bruin, February 28, 2023

My sincere sympathy on the loss of your mom. Thank you so much Janet for the pictures you sent of my mom with Vivien!! She worked for Dr. Thaler in her younger years and I can remember her talking often of Vivien.

— Darlene Rhody (Pries), February 28, 2023

I will miss Vivien's friendship and sense of humour. My sincere condolences to Janet and the family. She will be missed.

— Cheryl Harnack, February 28, 2023

My sincere condolences to the whole family. I met Vivian at QBQGuild and what a joy she was. Always a smile and encouragement for everyone. Such an example of spreading joy. She will indeed be missed, forever to be remembered. Vivian's seeds of friendship and love were planted everywhere her ĺife touched!

— Wanda Sparling, February 27, 2023

Dear Janet, Alice and Alan - sincere sympathy to you in the passing of you mother, grandmother and mother-in-law. What a super great lady Vivian was and it was our pleasure to know both her and Barry - they will both be missed.

— Donna and Ken Russell, February 27, 2023

So very sorry to hear of Vivian’s passing. My deepest sympathies to you and your family.

— Cheryl Rahn, February 27, 2023

To Vivien's family and friends my sincere condolences.

— Joan Cochlin, February 27, 2023

So sorry to hear of Vivien's passing. She will be missed by everyone in the community. I always enjoyed our roadside chats and catch upon our families. The memories of the good times will always be with you.

— Lisa Wilson, February 27, 2023

My condolences to Vivien’s family and friends. She was a classy lady. Vivien will be greatly missed throughout the rug hooking community.

— Suzanne Chaddock, February 26, 2023

We met Vivian 22 years ago when we first joined the Markdale Community Choir. What a wonderful lady….she kept the choir together and we just showed up every year for rehearsals. All the paperwork done, music packages compiled and everyone threatened with immediate retribution should we lose things! We took her warnings to heart. Last favourite memory of her on a delightful day outside at The Roost Winery for a wine tasting event this past summer. A real pleasure to know her.

— David and Pat Watson, February 26, 2023

Dear Janet...words fail us in expressing how sorry we are to hear of your mom's passing. In my time at the Golf and Curling club, I always enjoyed the stories of your family get-togethers - I hope those wonderful memories will help you cope in these oh-so-hard days. Ron and I thought highly of both your parents and can only imagine the difficult days you face ahead. Our thoughts are with you.
Ron and Connie Shaw

— Ron and Connie Shaw, February 26, 2023

My condolences to the family. I was proud to call Vivien a friend. She will truly be missed.

— Debbie Brown, February 26, 2023

Our heartfelt sympathy to all the family at this time !

— Susan and Bill Tolton, February 26, 2023

Deepest sympathies to Vivian family at this time.

— Dale and Tim Tolton, February 26, 2023

So sorry to hear of Vivien's passing. Our thoughts and prayers are with you at this sad time.

— Patrick and Anne Mullen, February 26, 2023

Sending deepest sympathy and condolences to all Vivien's family.
One of my favorite members of the QBQ quilt guild.
You will be missed.
Love Tricia Selbie

— Tricia Selbie, February 26, 2023

Thoughts and prayers goes out to Vivian’s family. She will be missed in the community.
Wayne and Brenda Edwards

— Wayne and Brenda, February 26, 2023

To the family,
So very sorry to hear,,,
Vivien will be missed,,,
Enjoyed her sense of humor,,,
Elaine and eric allerton

— elaine allerton, February 26, 2023

What a wonderful woman Vivien was! She has left us all with a lot of great memories. My condolences to you Janet and to Alice and Alan and the rest of her family.

— Nancy Edwards, February 26, 2023

So sorry to hear of Viven’s passing, she had a great sense of humour, loved her family and her community, Sincere condolences to all of the family, we will remember her and smile.

— Dave and Gayle Milliner, February 26, 2023

Thinking of you all in this tough time. Vivian was a great lady getting to know her through the curling club in Markdale. She was a great community lady and surely will be missed.
Bob , Janice & family

— Bob & Janice Mason, February 25, 2023

Dear Janet,
My thoughts, prayers and condolences are with you--
Vivienne will be greatly missed by you as well as the community in which she was a gracious volunteer.
May wonderful memories help you during this sad time.
Anne Griffin

— Anne Griffin, February 25, 2023

We are saddened to hear the news of Vivien's passing. We have spent many good times within the hooking and curling communities.
She will be missed, our thoughts are with you at this time.

— Sybil Mercer / Vicky Pickup Chantry School of Rug Hooking, February 25, 2023

My deepest sympathies to you Janet. I have many fond memories of Vivien and will be thinking of you at this difficult time.

— Jamie Tolton, February 25, 2023

Our condolences to Janet, Alice and Allan. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family at this time. We all loved Vivian and
had great respect for her generous volunteering and her opinions. We will miss her.

— Paul and Donna Hutton, February 25, 2023

My condolences to the family, she will certainly be missed by the community.

— Carolyn Leith, February 25, 2023

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