Vivian Elizabeth Garbak

April 5, 1918 ~ April 27, 2021 (age 103)


April 5, 1918 – April 27, 2021

Mrs. Vivian “Vi” E. (Anders) Garbak was born in Elkhart, IN & peacefully passed away in Walnut Creek, CA on April 27, 2021 at the amazing age of 103. She was the daughter of Roy and Gladys Anders of Inwood, IN.

After attending Mishawaka, H.S., she put herself through nursing school. In 1940 Vivian Graduated from St. Joseph Hospital School of Nursing as Valedictorian. Upon graduation, she was a supervisor/head nurse in the school obstetrics program. She worked at Wabash and Rochester Hospitals before enlisting in the Navy Nurse Corps and serving from 1942 to 1947 and honorably discharged. During her service in WWII, she was assigned to many Bay Area Naval stations, one of which was the US Naval Receiving hospital in San Francisco, CA where she cared for hundreds of injured servicemen coming home from Pacific Theatre. Ships would bring in over 300 injured service members at a time to be evaluated and cared for once back on US soil.

Vi met her husband Commander Albert “Al” C. Garbak, while stationed at Great Lakes, IL. She was the head Labor and Delivery Nurse at the large base Naval Hospital. Vi and Al were married in 1947 until his passing in 2003. During their marriage they were at the following duty stations: Great Lakes, IL, Oxford, OH, Saipan, Guam, Philadelphia, PA, San Diego, CA, Norfolk, VA, Yokosuka, Japan and San Francisco & Oakland, CA. Once Al retired, they traveled and cruised extensively through Europe and the Americas.

Her secret for living so long was finding the joy and humor in life with a little spiciness! Ever the practical person from living through the depression, nothing ever got her down.

She is survived by her sister Wanda & brother-in-law Ray Zentz of Goshen, IN; Doris Anders, sister-in-law of Niles, MI; daughter Beth & son-in-law John Schroeder of Shell Beach, CA; son John Garbak & daughter-in-law Ann of Lancaster, VA; daughter Judy & son-in-law Ken Ottaviano of Gardnerville, NV; grandchildren Bryan (wife Jennifer); Alan (wife Claudia); Kevin (wife Tiffany) Schroeder; Jim (wife Jennifer) Garbak; Helen (husband Dave) Price; Mary (husband Chris) Tietjen; Claire (husband Harrison) Russell, 18 beloved great grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.

The family is eternally grateful to: the Tiffany Court staff in Walnut Creek, CA especially Patti Baird – Director, for their love and care for Vi; and to Dr. Elise Hughes-Watkins, who is more than her doctor, a person who cared for her and is the most thoughtful individual who gave the family so many years to be with and love Vi.
Burial will be at Arlington National Cemetery with Military Honors.
Remembrances may be made to Catholic Charities or Hospice of the East Bay

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