Vivianne L. Gary Baskins, 86, the eldest daughter of O.W. and Mary (Moman) Gary, passed away Nov. 12, 2020 in Gaithersburg, MD. Vivianne was born in Abilene, KS, on July 24, 1934.
Vivianne graduated from Abilene High School in 1952 and attended Wichita State University. While there, she met Ted Baskins, USAF, and they were married in 1954. They had two children, Michael and Michelle. The family later moved to Ted’s hometown, Providence, RI, where Vivianne began working as a stenographer for a local physician. Later they relocated to Washington, DC ,where Vivianne began working for the US Government. She later moved to Gaithersburg where she lived out her life.
At age four, Vivianne showed an aptitude for playing the piano when she began tapping out tunes. Her parents immediately enrolled her in piano lessons, which set the trajectory for her life’s passion. At the age of twelve, she was deemed the first female child prodigy.
She ultimately became an accomplished classical pianist. Throughout her life, she continued taking piano lessons, providing lessons for numerous students, serving as the accompanist for dance studios, weddings, funerals, operas, and churches.
Her longest tenure was as the pianist at her beloved Goshen United Methodist Church in Gaithersburg, MD, where she served for over 25 years. She served as the pianist and organist for the Young People’s Singing Group, the Gospel Chorus and the Mass Choir. Vivianne was also one of the pianists for the National Symphony Orchestra Youth Fellowship.
Always wanting to improve and further hone her musical skills, Vivianne continued taking lessons well into adulthood. Several years ago, she performed at her own recital, devoting many hours to memorizing the most difficult of classical pieces. Along with her lifelong pursuit of perfection, she returned to school and received a Masters from the University of Maryland.
Ms. Vivianne, the family matriarch for numerous years, was definitely the rock of the family. She was a strong-willed, determined perfectionist. Family members revered her (although secretly feared her), but knew that if they ever needed anything, she would find a way to provide it.
Vivianne was preceded in death by her parents, daughter Michelle, four brothers and one sister.
She leaves to mourn her loss, her devoted and loving son Michael Baskins of Urbana, MD, and granddaughters whom she raised and are the love of her life: Shawn Baskins Clarke (Marc), Laurel, MD and Dawn Baskins Smith (Jeremy) of Gaithersburg.
Her surviving great-grandchildren who brought her tremendous joy are Elisa Johnson of New York City, David Garey, Michael Clarke, Michelle Smith and Autumn Smith and she is also survived by her sister Janice Gary Davis (Richard) of Wichita, Kansas. Other survivors include a host of nieces and nephews.
A Celebration of Life will be held with only family in attendance on Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2020 at 2 p.m. EST in the Chapel at Snowden Funeral Home, 246 N. Washington Street, Rockville, MD. The service will be livestreamed and can be accessed at www.snowdencares.com.
A memorial has been established at Goshen United Methodist Church, 19615 Goshen Road, Gaithersburg, MD 20879.