‘Remarkable’ Vivien mourned by many

Vivien Rizk
Vivien Rizk
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A much respected Rugby woman who dedicated her life to others has died.

Vivien Rizk, 90, a former Rugbeian of the Year, passed away after having a stroke.

Her daughter, Meri, said her mother lived a full life to the end and will be missed by all who knew her.

She said: “My mother was a remarkable woman.

“She was dedicated to putting her family first but also had a very strong social conscience and wanted to be useful whatever her age. She was full of life and never thought of herself as superior to anyone.”

Vivien moved to the town in 1954 and after graduating from Girton College, Cambridge, in Natural Sciences in 1944, she worked in biochemistry research.

Vivien worked at Cambridge University and London until her first child was born in 1953.

She married Dr Waheeb Rizk and they moved to Rugby in 1954.

Once her three children Imogen, Meri and Martin, were at secondary school, she developed a second career in the voluntary sector.

Sadly Imogen died at the age of 28, but Vivien went on to be a grandmother of five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Her long line of voluntary work included being a member of Rugby Health Authority, Community Health Council, League of Friends of Rugby Hospital from 1968-2005 including secretary, vice chairman and chairman, non-executive director of Rugby NHS Trust, committee member of Rugby Group Homes for Young People , governor of Ashlawn School and chairman of the Research Ethics Committee.

She received a long service award from Rugby NHS Trust in 1993 and was named Rugbeian of the Year in 1985.

Tony Cousins, vice president of the Friends of St Cross, said: “I have known Vivien since I came to Rugby in 1974.

“Her contribution to the town is simply immense. She was a member of the old League of Friends and held office as secretary, chairperson and vice president at various times. The present-day charity owes a great deal to the solid foundation which was established in those days.

“Vivien was one of those nice quiet people who simply got on with the job.”

Mike Graveney, vice chairman of the Local Research Ethics Committee and consultant in public health, said: “Vivien has always extended friendship, humanity and an abundance of intelligence and kindness in equal proportions.”

A service of remembrance will be held at St George’s Church in Rugby on Monday, at 2pm. All welcome. No flowers but any donations to Friends of St Cross.