Vivian Southerland

Monday, February 10, 2020
Article Image Alt Text

Vivian Southerland, 78, passed away peacefully on January 16th, 2020. She was born near White Plains, Georgia, on July 19th, 1941, the daughter of William Hoke and Faye Copelan (Hulsey) Cantrell.

Vivian was an avid reader, master gardener, quick-witted crossword puzzle solver and she dedicated her time volunteering at her church and in her community. However, quite arguably, her most cherished role was that of a wife, mother, and grandmother. Vivian met the love of her life, Robert (Bob) Southerland, and together they raised 3 beautiful children; Blake, Vernon, DeeDee and later their grand-daughter, Tanya. 

A Southern lady of dedicated Christian faith, grace, grit, beauty and disposition, Vivian was loved by all who knew her. A true Southern hostess, Vivian had a keen ability to make every person in the room feel welcome, important and loved. There was always enough food for an unexpected guest around her table, a pot of tea on standby for a friend needing a loving and listening ear to bend and a fixin’ of something warm, comforting and ready to go for a neighbor in need. 

Vivian could talk a mile a minute in her sweet Southern drawl, and her favorite pastime was recounting the memories she so dearly cherished making with her children, grandchildren, family and friends. Warm summer nights were spent snapping sweet peas and green beans or shucking corn from the garden while drinking sweet tea. Cold winter days were spent with a good book or baking yummy desserts. Mississippi Mud Cake, Aunt Ella’s Mud Pie, and Texas Sheet Cake were Vivian’s specialties. Photographs adorned every spare inch of her home, and she never missed an opportunity to sit a spell and talk about her children and grandchildren. Never bragging, no, in her words it was simply “just telling the truth.” 

A laugh so infectious you couldn’t help but join in, blue eyes sparkling with the perfect blend of sass and charm, and hugs that could dissolve even the deepest of worries, Vivian was a true gift of love and light to all those encountered. She was the heartbeat of the family, a true anchor of strength, hope, faith, and wonderment. 

Vivian is survived by her sons, Blake of Las Vegas, Nevada and Vernon (Susan) of Long Beach, California; daughter DeeDee Southerland of San Gabriel, California; grandchildren Tanya Southerland, Nina Southerland, and Kai Praditbatuga; three great-grandchildren, Zack, Tre’ and Lillian James and loved by many other family members and friends. 

Vivian was preceded in death by her loving and devoted husband of over 36 years, Bob, in November 1997, one sister Joan Roberson and one brother, James William Cantrell, Sr. 

Honoring her wishes, a celebration of life will be held later this summer and committal will be in the Moccasin Cemetery with her beloved husband. The Cloyd Funeral Home is assisting the family.

Friends are asked to make memorials to the Fisher Center for Alzheimer's Research Foundation or the charity of their choice and they may be left with the Cloyd Funeral Home. Condolences for the family may be posted online at


The Laurel Outlook


You can find the historic archives of our paper here:


We use Google cookies to determine our demographic of visitors to our site. You can opt out here.

We also use Twitter Analytics to track clicks from our twitter feed.