Viola M. Kiklis SOMERVILLE – Viola Marie (Nelson) Kiklis, 83, of Somerville, MA died Thursday May 26, 2021, in the Sancta Maria Nursing Facility, Cambridge, MA due to complications from vascular dementia following a long illness.
Affectionately known as Vivi, she was born in Worcester, MA on October 31, 1937, the daughter of the late John C. and Ebba (Nylen) Nelson of Petersham, MA and grew up in a loving household with her two sisters. Though Vivi was moderately developmentally disabled, she graduated from Petersham High School where she did well in spelling and penmanship.
After high school, she was admitted to the Fernald State School in Belmont, MA and was there from 1960 to 1973. She enjoyed regular visits to her home in Petersham throughout each year.
She had a wonderful sense of humor and an equally strong sentimentality; even in her last years, she remembered everyone in the family past and present.
At Fernald, Vivi worked in the occupational therapy shop, at the schoolhouse, and as a house maid at East Nurses. It was at Fernald that she met her future husband, Peter Kiklis. She left Fernald in 1973 and three days later married Peter in Petersham. They moved to an apartment in Somerville where they both found employment.
After Peter’s death in 2004, she continued to live on her own in Somerville.
Vivi always worked. She was a telephone operator in Petersham, worked at F.W. Woolworth’s in Watertown (1972), was an assistant dietician at Heritage Hill Nursing Home (1973), and worked as an assembler/order packer at Instrumentation Laboratory in Lexington (1973-1990).
She enjoyed knitting, the Red Sox, listening to the police scanner, and traveling. She enjoyed bus tours to many places in the northeast including a memorable trip to Niagara Falls.
She was a committed volunteer in hospitals in Somerville and Cambridge.
In 2007, she was recognized for her years of service by the Cambridge Senior Volunteer Clearinghouse. The award was presented by Cambridge Mayor Kenneth Reeves. That same year she completed 50 years of service to the National Grange.
Vivi is survived by her nephews Curtis Coolidge and his wife Katherine of Belchertown, MA, Garrett Ahlstrom and his wife Deborah of Madbury, NH, Brett Ahlstrom and his wife Eowyn of Orange, MA; her niece, Lisa Ahlstrom of Petersham, MA, and many cousins.
She was predeceased by her husband, Peter J. Kiklis who died in 2004, and her sisters, Doris N. Coolidge who died in 2012, and Lois N. Valley who died in 1999.
Family and friends are invited to gather on Saturday, September 18 at 2:00 pm, East Street Cemetery, Petersham, MA, followed by a reception at the First Congregational Parish, Unitarian church, On the Common, Petersham, MA.
Witty’s Funeral Home, 158 South Main Street, Orange, is assisting the family.
Guest book and directions online at WWW.WITTYFUNERALHOME.COM
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