Vivian Kitchkumme-Gonzales 1924-2023
Vivacious and full of life, Vivian Dora “P-quo-tah” Kitchkumme-Gonzales left this world on Sept. 11, 2023, at the age of 99.
She was born July 23, 1924, on the Potawatomi Reservation near Mayetta, and brought joy to those around her from the very beginning.
P-quo-tah is preceded in death by her parents, Francis “Wab-shaw” Kitchkumme and Dora “P-quo-tah” Nah-quah-be; siblings, Jacob Willard, Francis Leroy, Joseph Alfred, Ernestine Virginia Robedeaux, Bernadette Cecila Miranda and Ellen Imogene Gokey-Hernandez-Harris; and sons, Rudolph “Sah-gee-ka” Gonzales and Daniel Mario “Na-gon-kouck” Gonzales.
Vivian was a woman with an infectious zest for life and an unwavering love for her community. Her warm smile and contagious laughter brightened countless days, making her a beloved figure in Chicago, southern California, Topeka, and the Potawatomi Reservation. Whether she was working full-time until her retirement at age 75 volunteering, attending community events or selling her breakfast burritos, Vivian’s dedication to helping and feeding others was an inspiration to all.
A passionate lover of nature, Vivian could often be found exploring the rolling hills surrounding Mayetta, enjoying the picturesque landscapes that Kansas had to offer. She nurtured with love and care in her own backyard, which she proudly called her Hummingbird Sanctuary.
Known for her radiant aura, Vivian was the epitome of happiness and hopefulness. Her friends and family would often seek her advice on spiritual and life matters.
Vivian had a heart full of love, and her family was her pride and joy. She leaves behind her four loving children, daughter Mary Campos and husband Ruben and their three children, John, Joseph and Jennifer Dambrose; son Luis Gonzales; son Francis Gonzales, wife Brenda and their five children, Veronica Strange, Charles Gonzales, David Gonzales (Naomi), Amber Griffiths and Angelo Gonzales (Gladys); and son Rey Kitchkumme. The late Daniel “Na-gon-kouck” Gonzales, daughter-in-law Peggy Gonzales and three children, Gina Roxas, Jessica Gonzales and Daniel Gonzales Jr.
She is a devoted mother and cherished every moment spent with her children, 11 grandchildren, 31 great-grandchildren and three great-great-grandchildren, creating treasured memories that will forever be held close.
Vivian retired from the wardrobe department at Harrah’s Prairie Band Casino at age 75. In her retirement she traveled, visiting her children, went to annual Potawatomi Gatherings, Vatican City Italy, swam in the Dead Sea and even rode a camel.
In her free time, Vivian enjoyed indulging in her favorite hobbies, which included sewing, baking mouthwatering treats and sharing them with her friends and neighbors. Her famous burritos were highly sought after, and lucky recipients considered themselves truly blessed to taste a piece of her culinary magic.
Though Vivian’s departure has left a void in the hearts of those who knew her, her spirit remains alive in our memories. She will forever be remembered for her vivacity, her kindness and her ability to bring laughter and joy to even the darkest of days.
Mass of Christian burial will be held at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 16 at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church, 301 E. James St., Mayetta. Tt-ba-kwe will be held Saturday evening at the Dance Ground. Burial will be held at a later date in the Komisnan Family Cemetery.
All friends, family and members of the community whose life she touched are welcome to attend and share their fond memories of this exceptional woman.
In lieu of flowers, the family kindly requests plant donations for her sunroom and garden, a place where she spent quality time playing table games with friends and family.
Rest in eternal peace, dear Vivian “P-quo-tah.” We Love You Mom.