After a long struggle, she passed from this life quietly and peacefully, with her loving son and daughter holding her hands and singing hymns of praise softly in her ear.
She was born July 20, 1930, in Blytheville, Ark., to Grover C. (“Cleve”) and Charlene Harrison Tankersley. She was the second of four daughters.
A shy country girl, she gave her heart to the Lord as a teenager and began playing piano at the small Church of God across the road.
In 1948, a young evangelist came for a revival meeting and was smitten by this beautiful, shy pianist. She married Amos Ledford the following summer, and together they embarked upon an incredible journey of faith and love. They labored side by side for over 60 years in God’s kingdom, all the while raising four children, teaching them to love and serve Him.
The family moved to Cleveland in 1980 when the Rev. A. A. Ledford was named national evangelist for the church, and Vivian served faithfully for 25 years in its World Missions department.
They were members of the North Cleveland Church of God.
She was described by almost everyone who knew her as a “woman of prayer,” with an unshakable devotion to God. Perhaps the most significant testament to her unwavering faith is that she clung tenaciously to God’s promises for her family to be reunited in heaven someday. A significant piece of that puzzle was put in place earlier this very week, when her youngest son Randy was unexpectedly taken from this life.
After years of prayers for her son, Vivian had been struggling for the last six months, and no one was quite sure of God’s purpose for leaving her so long in such a precarious state. But upon his death, after hearing confirmation from many people of Randy’s recently renewed trust in God, she was finally able to let go of the last of her earthly cares and enter the wonderful presence of her Savior and the loved ones who have gone before her. Now she is truly at peace.
She is survived by her devoted son, Joel (Patsy) of Richmond, Va.; loving daughter, Darla Prater (Dale) of Cleveland; her sisters: Joanne Cassidy of Blytheville and Linda Honeycutt of Piney Flats; grandsons: Shane Waters (Michelle) and Shae Waters (Sarah), both of Florida; granddaughters: Davi Idemudia (Emmanuel) of Nigeria and Victoria (“Tori”) Ledford, of Memphis; three great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her faithful and loving husband, Amos A. Ledford; their oldest daughter, Sharmin Ledford Waters; their youngest son, Mark Randall (Randy) Ledford; and her youngest sister, Debra Moore Harper.
A memorial celebration will be held at 1 p.m. on Tuesday, July 9, 2013, at North Cleveland Church of God with Pastor Mitch Maloney and the Rev. James Cossey officiating.
The family will receive friends from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the church prior to the service.
There will be a private family interment.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to Emma’s Kids Ministry Project, c/o Church of God World Missions, PO Box 8016, Cleveland, TN 37320-8016.
Arrangements are being handled by Grissom Funeral Home, Mark S. Grissom, funeral director.
Online condolences may be sent to www.grissomfh.net