Mourning Delridge community advocate Vivian McLean

Just four months after a well-attended community celebration in honor of her 90th birthday, legendary Delridge community activist Vivian McLean has died. That’s according to Brita Long, new chair of the Pigeon Point Neighborhood Council, who announced it to PP neighbors a short time ago and gave us permission to report it here. She says Ms. McLean’s family is asking for privacy right now, and will announce memorial details when arrangements are finalized. Ms. McLean’s legacies are many; we mentioned a few in our report on last November’s celebration, including her role as a co-founder of Delridge Neighborhoods Development Association. And Vivian McLean Place at 5423 Delridge Way SW, which includes housing as well as the Delridge Library, was named in her honor.

23 Replies to "Mourning Delridge community advocate Vivian McLean"

  • rose March 24, 2011 (2:20 pm)

    Vivian, you will be missed. I feel fortunate that I was able to meet you and learn from you. Rest in Peace Vivian.

  • Cathy March 24, 2011 (2:52 pm)

    An amazing woman that I had the pleasure of meeting and getting to know. She will be missed.

  • kumalavula March 24, 2011 (3:35 pm)

    vivian was a pillar of this community. i lived directly behind her house for many years and had the lovely experiences of walking my dog in our neighborhood and seeing her work in her garden, oftentimes stopping to chat or just exchange hellos. with each and everything she did, she did it with gusto! vivian’s legacy will certainly live on through the people and issues she advocated for in and around west seattle. her contributions are so vast but on this day, it doesn’t seem to lessen the great sense of loss i’m sure many of us will feel. we’ve lost a wonderful role model.

  • brittany March 24, 2011 (4:18 pm)

    an amazing lady with a huge heart. she will be missed.

  • Mike March 24, 2011 (5:29 pm)

    Neat lady.

  • vlado March 24, 2011 (5:34 pm)

    We’ve lost a West Seattle giant. Vivian will live on in all of the great things she did for our community, and all of the people she mentored in how to take charge of our neighborhoods.

  • Magpie March 24, 2011 (6:00 pm)

    She will be greatly missed. A pillar of the community and a lovely woman who touched so many lives in a positive way. I first crossed paths with her in 1976 at the presidential caucus and then many times over the years. She was a good friend to the community and all of her neighbors. RIP to a truly lovely woman.

  • kgdlg March 24, 2011 (6:03 pm)

    I remember when I first moved to seattle and arranged for vivian to be on a panel at the evans school on community engagement. She was an absolute pleasure to work with and know, freely sharing her wisdom with all involved. What a lovley lady and asset to the community. She will be missed dearly.

  • Been There March 24, 2011 (7:48 pm)

    An inspiring and fiesty woman who gave so much to West Seattle. RIP Vivian.

  • Bonnie Gautreaux March 24, 2011 (8:02 pm)

    Our Apartment Building is named after Vivian, and She is the amazing Lady that we have to thank for being able to grow our own food here on a roof top in West Seattle. On a personal note, I got to meet this wonderful, generous lady when she offered to let me use her own Garden this coming Season… I was only waiting for the weather to warm up before I could go over and get her garden done for her to see from her window… We have named our Deck here at the Vivian Mclean Apartment building Vivian’s View Garden. I hope she is looking down on it and enjoying the View.

  • Pete March 24, 2011 (9:17 pm)

    One of the first people that I met when we moved to Pigeon Point was Vivian McLean. In the years since that first meeting I have had the honor of having many discussions about various issues with Vivian. During my days as the chair of the Pigeon Point Neighborhood Council I rarely went a week that I did not have voicemail or a note taped to my door from Vivian telling me about an issue that she was interested in solving and since I was the chair she had decided that it was now my issue as well.
    The other thing that I will always remember when I think of Vivian is the unique dinner parties that she would throw. She would invite folks that she figured they did not know each other but she thought that by these different folks from the community gettign to know each other Delridge would be a better place.

    Now I figure she is in heaven and already figuring out how to get her new community organized so it too can be a better place for its inhabitants.


    Rest in peace Vivian for you will forever be in our hearts.

  • chas redmond March 24, 2011 (10:27 pm)

    I have been inspired, touched, moved by and honored to have spent time with Vivian. In so many ways she is a most powerful role model – in that regard Vivian McLean will continue to be an influence. And how many thousands of others did she touch – a truly great person.

  • howie in seattle March 25, 2011 (6:48 am)

    West Seattle was fortunate to have Vivian with us and I hope she has inspired some future leaders to step forward. But she will never be replaced.

  • Margo March 25, 2011 (7:11 am)

    I too would see Vivian (and her bird) when walking my dogs past her house. She was a lovely, friendly woman and I will miss seeing her smiling face.

  • Nulu March 25, 2011 (9:05 am)

    Vivian was that classic type of community activist that is going extinct.
    May her generous soul rest in peace.

  • Steve Zemke March 25, 2011 (11:47 am)

    Vivian was a West Seattle fixture, active for any years in her community and politics. She will be missed.

  • Ivan Weiss March 26, 2011 (5:47 am)

    Vivian lent a touch of class to everything she took part in. It was my great pleasure to work with her on several projects.

    Vivian’s unstinting approach to responsible citizenship and public participation ran in the family. Her late sister, Marian Calhoun, was a political activist on Vashon for many years.

  • Francis D'Addario March 26, 2011 (2:40 pm)

    Vivian was a giant amongst us. She gently touched and influenced the greater good of community in an increasingly troubling world. Her exemplary conduct and moral compass ought to guide aspiring leaders for generations to come. You still make us smile Vivian.

  • stu March 26, 2011 (4:20 pm)

    Vivian accomplished a lot in a very expanded lifetime. It was great to be her neighbor and friend. She really taught me to smile at everyone I met on the street. Her legacy is going to live on a long time as long as we try to follow in her footsteps.

  • Gina Kaukola March 27, 2011 (6:45 pm)

    I will miss her strong presence, her leadership and her sincere ability to connect with everyone as a neighbor,a citizen and human being. She was one of the gems of Seattle.
    We will miss you dearly, Vivian. Thank you for your teachings.

  • Melinda March 27, 2011 (7:10 pm)

    I echo the sentiments of Francis D’Addario. I always called her my “Political Mother”. She encouraged John and I when we first built our house in Youngstown 32 years ago to get involved and to make our neighborhood a better place. I will name my parking strip garden in Vivian’s honor. She truly was an inspiration for making change for the good happen.

  • Pat Ingram March 29, 2011 (3:07 pm)

    I live a few houses down from Vivian, we would always say hi when walking our dog, usually she would be out in her garden with her parrot. I will always remember with a smile her always giving my daughter veggies from her garden, I think she thought my daughter didn’t get enough to eat because she was so skinny. She will be missed.

  • Joan Cooley April 4, 2011 (3:54 pm)

    Vivian was a dear friend and an amazing catalyst for change and for improving our community. She was involved in a myriad of causes and projects over the 30+ years that I knew her and was tireless in recruiting me and everyone else she met in the most delightful way. I will truly miss her as wil everyone whose lives she improved through her involvement in our neighborhoods.

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