Vivian Ottinger passed away peacefully at her home in St. Pete Beach on July 2, 2020 at age 98.

Born March 24, 1922 in the village of Kathleen in Polk County, she was a third-generation Floridian and the only child of J.B. and Lois Hampton. Her father was a self-taught civil engineer who spent his entire career in the Florida road building industry. By the mid-1920’s, Florida’s land boom was bringing thousands of persons into Florida daily creating demand for major roadbuilding. For years Vivian and her mother lived a nomadic life traveling with her father throughout the state for his road projects that included the original Tamiami Trail and US Highway 98 through the Florida panhandle. During construction of the Tamiami Trail, Vivian and her mother rode out the deadly 1926 hurricane in an asphalt truck when their temporary housing west of Miami was deemed unable to withstand the storm. Home schooled during those years, Vivian’s family finally settled in a permanent home in Lakeland when Vivian entered seventh grade.

She graduated from Lakeland High School and attended Florida State College for Women earning her bachelor’s degree in education. She was a member of Zeta Tau Alpha Sorority. Vivian taught at Winter Haven High School prior to her marriage and then at Mulberry Elementary School in the 1970’s. She served as past president of the Woman’s Club of Lakeland and remained involved in Lakeland Panhellenic and the Heritage Antique Club. She especially loved to play bridge and spend time with her longtime Lakeland friends.

She was preceded in death by her husband Guy E. Ottinger. She is survived by daughter, Lois Gonzalez (Michael) of Temple Terrace, son, David Ottinger (Malinda) of St. Pete Beach, grandchildren Michael A. Gonzalez, Mary Ottinger (Tom Herron), and Leah Kelly (Ryan) and three great-grandchildren.

The family extends its grateful thanks to the care provided by Bianca, Terri, Susan and Virginia, who enabled Vivian to live out her life at home.

A private burial is planned. To honor her memory, donations may be made to the Salvation Army or Suncoast Hospice.

Condolences may be sent to the family at Heath Funeral Chapel.

Keep Up With Lakeland

Each Thursday, we’ll send you the latest news, including a preview of weekend events

SEND CORRECTIONS, questions, feedback or news tips:

Leave a comment

Your Thoughts On This? (Comments are moderated; first and last name are required.) Cancel reply