Vicki Blum Vigil, age 74, passed away on November 9, 2019 in Chapel Hill, NC.
She is survived by Kiva Vigil, Rachel Vigil, and Ariana Vigil, and granddaughter, Eliana.
Vicki was a social worker for 22 years with Euclid City Schools. She earned two master’s degrees and began a second career as a genealogist and author.
Vicki was a self-assured, independent, and determined person. She was successful according to mainstream standards - the first in her family to attend college, raising three children in the suburbs. She very much pushed the boundaries for women of her age and time. She earned two graduate degrees, an MSW from Yeshiva University and an MPH from UC-Berkeley. By the time she met her husband she had back-packed through South America on her own and owned a home in the Mission district of San Francisco.
Vicki appreciated the flexibility that her job as a school social worker gave her, but also was always pursuing new interests. In her 50s she embarked on a second career as a genealogist and writer. She published three books about Cleveland cemeteries and conducting family research in Northeast Ohio. She is the author of Cleveland Cemeteries: Stones, Symbols and Stories; Finding Your Family History in Northeast Ohio, and Cemeteries of Northeast Ohio: Stones, Symbols and Stories.
Vicki’s compassion for others was great as well. Amazingly, she insisted on volunteering for Meals on Wheels in her new home of North Carolina even as her disease reached a more advanced stage. She was always one to be involved and active. Vicki took great interest in reading stories and local obituaries of other Clevelanders and the legacies they left behind. This fueled her fascination with local cemeteries and her study of genealogy.
Vicki’s love of Judaism and insistence that her children receive a Jewish education are a testament to the faith she valued so highly. Her daughter Rachel’s favorite recent memory was of attending Friday night services together at a local synagogue in Chapel Hill. Mom loved attending synagogue — she mumbled along, although the Sh’ma Yisral came out strong and clear, but truly believed she knew every prayer and word. Fortunately, she was able to enjoy the Kiddush while schmoozing with other congregants afterwards.
In recent months, her children have really appreciated hearing from people who knew her from that work and we welcome your thoughts and memories of our magnificent and resilient mother.
The aides at her facility were so sweet and careful about doing her hair, and the ribbon they wrapped around her head gave her a young and girlish glow.
Her children are grateful for the ambition and drive Vicki instilled in them. Their lives are a working demonstration of their mother’s adventurous spirit and pursuit of knowledge.
Funeral services will be held at BERKOWITZ-KUMIN-BOOKATZ MEMORIAL CHAPEL, 1985 S TAYLOR RD, CLEVELAND HTS on Tuesday, November 12 at 12 noon.
The family will receive friends FOLLOWING BURIAL FROM 3 UNTIL 8 PM at the residence of Sharon Goelman, Victorian Condominiums in the Community Room, 3701 Mayfield Rd, Cleveland Hts. Parking may be found in the back of the building and on the street.