A 108-year-old Rapid City woman is the oldest living South Dakotan, the South Dakota Health Care Association’s Century Club announced Tuesday.
Vivian Grover is also the 2019 Centenarian of the Year, according to a news release. It's her second year receiving the honor.
Grover was born in February 1911 and grew up on a farm outside of Dover, Minnesota. She met the man who would become her husband, Harry Grover, while visiting her brother in Rapid City. They were married Nov. 30, 1931.
Together, they worked a ranch, then later owned Grover’s store in Keystone, and worked for Donaldson’s department store in Rapid City. Vivian also was a deputy clerk for magistrate court, an especially notable achievement because her formal education ended after two years of high school.
Grover's husband died in 1987. She now resides at Fountain Springs Healthcare in Rapid City.
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Grover helped raise her husband’s three children in a blended family. She has 10 grandchildren, 25 great-grandchildren, 57 great-great-grandchildren and 12 great-great-great grandchildren.
Grover went whitewater rafting in Colorado when she was 83 and hiked Black Elk Peak every year until she was 84 years old. She believes that her active lifestyle has been one of the reasons she has lived so long.
“Do what you want to do,” she said when asked for longevity advice. “I’m just thankful I am here today, and that I can drink coffee, eat and have a good night’s sleep.”
The Century Club was created by the South Dakota Health Care Association to recognize South Dakotans age 100 or older, both for their longevity and their contributions to the state. Over 1,300 South Dakotans have been inducted into the Century Club since its founding in 1997.
The Century Club is open to any resident of South Dakota upon the celebration of his or her 100th birthday. There are no dues and each inductee receives a specially designed certificate and membership card. Once a year, the current oldest living Century Club Member is recognized as the “Centenarian of the Year.”