Obituary of Richard Alfred Vivone
VIVONE, RICHARD ALFRED
Our hearts are broken to announce the passing of Richard “Rich” Vivone on Friday May 6, 2022 at Kingston General Hospital in Kingston, Ontario. Rich was born in 1941 in Port Arthur (Thunder Bay) Ontario. He has been retired for 17 years.
Rich is survived by his wife Pat, the love of his life, and his loving son Christopher (Sarah) of Ottawa and his grandchildren Michael and Ella. He is also survived by his stepchildren Christopher (Josie), Adam, Allison, Lindsay (Andrew), and Jennifer (Tim) as well as his step-grandchildren Bailey, Stephanie, Freya, Mikayla, Grayson, Mackenzie, Parker, Hunter and Harrison. Rich was Papa to 11 amazing grandchildren whom he always held close to his heart.
Rich is survived by his sister Barbara Armstrong (Al) of Belle River, Ontario. His mother Mary, father Alfred and his sister Sandy, all of Nipigon, Ontario, predecease him.
Rich was raised in Nipigon, Ontario a northern town at the top of Lake Superior. Rich’s parents owned and operated a small busy restaurant on the Trans Canada highway. As a young man he worked in his parent’s restaurant, held summer jobs in pulp and paper mills and with companies laying new pipelines to connect the west and north to the rest of the country. He loved to play hockey, travelling across the shores of Lake Superior in stormy weather to compete with other communities. In his spare time he would write articles on local sports events for the Port Arthur newspaper. Rich always credited this life in Nipigon with his strong work ethic and his determination.
Rich attended first year university at the University of North Dakota at Grand Forks. He then moved on to complete his degree in Honours Mathematics at the University of Alberta in Edmonton. While at the University of Alberta he joined the staff of The Gateway, the student newspaper. Rich was enthusiastic about writing and served as Sports Editor, Carousel Editor and was eventually elected to the position of Editor-in-Chief. His love for creating the written word remained for life.
Upon graduation Rich pursued work as a journalist with the Edmonton Journal and The Red Deer Advocate and then with the Edmonton Catholic School Board as Director of Communication. What really set his life in a new and exciting direction was his work as Executive Assistant to David King, the Minister of Education in the Lougheed and Getty governments. It was in this position that Rich developed a passion for politics.
Rich combined his two careers, political assistant and journalist. He was the founder and publisher of Insight into Government, Alberta’s premier independent political newsletter for 19 years. Rich always felt blessed to be covering politics in Alberta. He had many exciting experiences, met many interesting people and was able to share his thoughts and words with Albertans. In retirement, Rich wrote a book culminating his career in political journalism. The book Ralph Could Have Been a Superstar: Tales of the Ralph Klein Era was published in 2009 and was on Alberta’s Bestseller list.
Rich and Pat retired to Kingston in 2006. Rich loved Kingston and made many new friends here. He was lovingly called “Sir Rich” by neighbours and friends. Rich knew how to enjoy the good things in life and a glass of red wine was often seen in his hand. A quality cigar was another fine pleasure of life. It could be enjoyed with very dear friends along with a sip of scotch.
Rich’s retirement projects included time with his family, travel to distant lands, and reading, reading and more reading. Rich was a true blue St. Louis Cardinals baseball fan all his life. Retirement meant he could spend more time cheering for his beloved Cardinals and watching as many games as he possibly could.
Spending time with his 11 grandchildren always brought joy to his heart. He loved to read with them, go to baseball games together, take them to the theatre, dance silly dances, watch endless hours of sports on TV and cry together watching soppy movies. Every second with them brought him happiness.
Rich loved to travel and sought new adventures around the world. He was never a tourist but always a “traveller” enjoying the differences in cultures and people. Rich’s house overflowed with books on every topic imaginable. He read them all.
Rich’s family sends heartfelt thanks to the doctors and nursing staff from the Kingston General Hospital who cared for Rich and supported his wife and family throughout his illness. Thanks also to Dr. John Erb of Lansdowne Ontario, Rich’s family physician.
It was Rich’s wish that no funeral be held. For those who wish, donations in Rich’s memory can be made to the Canadian Cancer Society or to the University Hospitals Kingston Foundation.