The South Dakota Health Care Association’s Century Club is pleased to announce Vivian Grover as the 2020 Centenarian of the Year! Born in February of 1911, Vivian is 109 years old, and the oldest member of the Century Club! This marks the third year Vivian has been recognized as the current oldest living South Dakotan!
“Congratulations to Vivian on being honored as our Centenarian of the Year,” said LuAnn Severson, Century Club Coordinator. “Her lifetime of experience is an inspiration for all of us.”
Vivian grew up on a farm outside of Dover, Minnesota, getting up early every morning to milk cows and do other chores, before walking a mile to school. She moved into town and lived with her aunt to attend high school.
She met the man who would become her husband, Harry Grover, while visiting her brother in Rapid City. They were married November 30, 1931. Together, they worked a ranch, then later owned Grover’s store in Keystone, and worked for Donaldson’s department store in Rapid City. Vivian also was a deputy clerk for the magistrate court, an especially notable achievement because Vivian’s formal education ended after two years of high school. She remains very proud of her service with the court. Vivian’s husband passed away in 1987. She currently lives at Fountain Springs Healthcare Center in Rapid City.
Vivian helped raise her husband’s three children in a blended family, and has 10 grandchildren, 25 great-grandchildren, 57 great-great-grandchildren, and 14 great-great-great grandchildren.
Throughout her life, Vivian has loved to travel, including visits to England and France, as well as bus trips around the country, cruises, and fishing trips. She went whitewater rafting in Colorado when she was 83 and hiked Black Elk Peak every year until she was 84 years old. She believes that her active lifestyle has been one of the reasons she has lived so long.
“Do what you want to do,” is Vivian’s advice to others. “I’m just thankful I am here today, and that I can drink coffee, eat, and have a good night’s sleep.”
The Century Club was created by the South Dakota Health Care Association to recognize South Dakotans age 100 or older, both for their longevity and their contributions to our state. Over 1,300 South Dakotans have been inducted into the Century Club since its founding in 1997. The Century Club is, as its name states, a club. Therefore, there may be older people in the state that have not yet been inducted by a family member or loved one into the Century Club.
The Century Club is open to any resident of South Dakota upon the celebration of his or her 100th birthday. There are no dues and each inductee receives a specially designed certificate and membership card. Once a year, the current oldest living Century Club Member is recognized as the “Centenarian of the Year.” Submit names for the Century Club by visiting www.sdhca.org and downloading a Century Club application or call LuAnn Severson, Century Club Coordinator, at 1-800-952-3052.