Vivian was born in Joseph City, Arizona to Emil Pooley and Clara Loretta Leman Pooley. She was the 6th of 7 children born to Emil and Clara and was a firecracker from that October day in 1953.
She grew up in Joseph City and Greasewood, Arizona. She lived in the dormitories in Holbrook, Arizona during elementary school. After elementary school, Vivian went on the placement program in Provo, Utah, and attended Farrer Junior High and Provo High School. In 1974, she attended Brigham Young University in Provo where she was a part of “Lamanite Generation (Living Legends)” music and dance group.
After being a stay-at-home mom for 16 years, she graduated from Utah College of Massage Therapy in 1994. Vivian moved to Las Vegas Nevada where she met Gene Luikart. The two were married on August 26th, 2000. She later moved to Provo, Utah to be with family and friends.
Vivian worked in the Brigham Young University athletic program as a massage therapist for more than 20 years. She also worked at Lone Star Chiropractic and at various other opportunities to help people recover from injury. In the BYU Athletic program, she knew and loved everyone. The boys she treated became her beloved sons, sons she never had on her own. If there was someone with sore muscles, pain, or physical distress, she was anxious to get them fixed and back on the field or court to compete. On her massage table, Vivian could make a tough, angry, 300lb lineman cry like a baby. As was told to one of Vivian’s daughters recently, “countless professional athletes owe their careers to Vivian Luikart.”
Vivian loved to garden and was always known to have plenty of strawberries, raspberries, tomatoes and green chilis for everyone. To her family and friends, Vivian was nothing short of a hero. At just 5’2” she was larger than life. Many of her relationships with friends and associates are many decades old. Her smile, her personal sacrifice, her love for those nearest her, will be greatly missed.
On Tuesday September 29th, Vivian was admitted to UVRMC with Pneumonia which was complicated by Covid-19. She went into cardiac arrest on Saturday evening, October 3. Doctors and medical staff were unable to revive her and she passed away just after 9pm.
Vivian was preceded in death by her father Emil Pooley, her mother Clara Pooley, and brothers Raymond and George. She is survived by her husband Gene Luikart, Brothers Al Pooley (Julia), Lee Pooley (Yolanda), sisters Grace Browning (Kimball), Esther Stant (Mac), daughters Verona Koenig (Jeff), Kristina Stewart (Robert), Stephanie Gagliardo (Carlo), and 8 grandchildren (Brandon, Raegan, Brianne, Adam, Sam, Mya, Ben, and Nico).
A public viewing will be held Thursday evening at Nelson Family Mortuary located at 4780 N University Ave in Provo, Utah from 6pm-8pm. A private graveside service will be held at 10am Friday morning at the Provo Cemetery. A live webcast will be available starting at 10am here: Graveside Services
. A recording of the service will also be available later at that website