October 31, 1911 — February 2, 2019
HUDSON FALLS — Vivian Mitchell Prindl, 107, a longtime resident of Hudson Falls, passed away peacefully on Feb. 2, 2019 at her home, surrounded by loving friends and family.
Born on Oct. 31, 1911 in Detroit, Michigan, she was the second of three children born to the late Mildred (Hotchkiss) and Robert Mitchell.
After graduating from high school in 1930, she attended a business high school, studying shorthand and typing, earning money for tuition to attend Kalamazoo College, graduating in 1935.
She met her future husband on a train traveling to Arizona. She was living and working there and he was working on his master’s degree at the University of Arizona. They married in August of 1938 in Detroit, Michigan.
Vivian and Frank then settled in Decatur, Illinois, where they started their family. They welcomed a son, Andreas, in 1939 and a daughter, Patricia, in 1941.
In 1944, they moved to Lexington, Kentucky, where Frank taught at the university and Vivian became an elementary school teacher. They lived in Germany from 1957-59, where her husband was Cultural Affairs Officer at the U.S. Embassy and she taught kindergarten.
In 1961, the Prindls moved to Hudson Falls after Frank was chosen to be one of the founders of Adirondack Community College. Vivian soon accepted a position at Sanford Street School in Glens Falls, where she taught third grade for 16 years, retired and then returned as a part-time volunteer for an additional 25 years, taking time off to travel.
In 1999, at the age of 88, she inquired about becoming a volunteer teacher and resident grandmother at the Kurn Hattin School in Westminster, Vermont. In exchange for housing and meals, she taught reading and crafts to students in grades 1st to 8th for several weeks in the spring and fall for the next 16 years, officially retiring in 2015. In the 70-plus years of teaching, she has enriched the lives of thousands of children.
In 2004, in recognition of years of volunteer work, she received Yankee Magazine’s Barn Raiser Award. In 2009, she was recognized as the most senior volunteer in the Northeast and was awarded with the Community MVP Award sponsored by the New England Patriots football team. Tom Brady, Patriot quarterback, personally awarded the engraved wooden football trophy and a $1500 check for Kurn Hattin School to her.
Every year, since 1950, she has spent her summers at the family cottage in Sutton Bay, Michigan. This past summer, she was invited to speak at the Traverse City District Library to a group interested in her secrets of living a long and productive life. It was well-attended and covered by the local TV station, and the Traverse City Mayor presented her with the key to the city in recognition her lifelong volunteerism and dedication to teaching.
In addition to teaching, she enjoyed reading and traveling. She traveled all over the world, visiting her family and friends in England, California, Japan and taking a 105-day cruise around the world, volunteering in the ship’s library. She was especially proud of her trips to Indonesia and the Philippines under the auspices of the International Book Project. She also visited Brunei, where she stayed with an influential Muslim family learning about their culture and beliefs.
She was an avid Scrabble player and would usually win every game.
Always willing to learn and give of herself, she recently was accepted to participate in a longevity study (for those over the age of 105), sponsored by the Boston University Medical Center in Boston, Massachusetts.
She is survived by her son, Andreas Prindl of Princeton, New Jersey and Angouleme, France; granddaughter, Karin Prindl of San Francisco, California; grandson, Chris Prindl and his wife, Susie and their children, Meaghan, Joseph, Martha and Elspeth of Truro, England; and many, many friends, both near and far.
The Vivian Prindl Outreach Prize is awarded annually by the Trinity College of Music in London, England, and a scholarship fund has been established in her name at Wayne State University in Michigan.
Friends may call from 3 to 5 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 6, at Carleton Funeral Home, Inc., 68 Main St., Hudson Falls.
Her funeral Mass will be celebrated 11 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 7, at St. Michael the Archangel Church in South Glens Falls.
Burial with be in the spring at St. Michael’s Cemetery, Suttons Bay, Michigan.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations be made to New England Kurn Hattin Home, Box 127, Westminster, VT 05158.
Online condolences may be left by visiting www.carletonfuneralhome.net.