Vivian Cosgriff

Vivian Darnitia (née Stevenson) Cosgriff was born Feb. 27, 1956, and died Feb. 22, 2020. She was born at Shaw Air Force Base in Sumter, South Carolina, the first of seven children born to Edd and Bernice Stevenson. She was named after her paternal grandmother and a maternal aunt.

After graduating from Lancaster High School, Lancaster South Carolina, in 1974, Vivian joined her family in California where she attended classes at the University of California, Berkeley, and California State University, Hayward.

Vivian worked from the age of 16, first in retail, then in customer service at Kirsch, PSE, Praxair and Matheson Trigas. She excelled at customer service, doing her best to make sure everyone got what they needed, in business and in life. She had a warm smile for everyone she encountered.

In 1981, she married Edward “Jay” Cosgriff, and they welcomed their son, Julian, the following year. Vivian doted on her son and supported him in all his academic and sporting endeavors. She also became a de facto mother to Julian’s friends, often offering advice or just a friendly ear or shoulder. The same pride she felt for Julian, she felt for his friends, as if they were her own.

Years later, the addition of daughter-in-law, Monique, and the arrival of two granddaughters, Jae and Devin, made Vivian’s life complete. "Bama," as her granddaughters called her, took pride in watching them grow and even moved to be closer to them. The same enthusiasm she shared with Julian, she relived with her granddaughters when they began to play sports. Sometimes she cheered too loudly, as she had for Julian, but her energy was infectious, and it endeared her to the other parents and coaches. She would often phone her family to recount a particularly amazing play, catch, throw, or shot.

Vivian loved to dance and was often the life of the party. If a song came on that moved her, she would break into dance, often out dancing the youngsters who dared to challenge her.

Predeceased by her parents, her husband, Jay, and sister Sandy, Vivian is survived by her son, Julian, and daughter-in-law, Monique; granddaughters Jae and Devin; sisters Linda, Bernice and Bridgette, brothers Wendell (Malinda), Edd, Dana, Thomas and Andre; and many nieces, nephews, friends and colleagues to cherish her memory.

There will be a Celebration of Life at 11 a.m., Friday, March 20, at Crosswinds Church in Livermore. Callaghan Mortuary is handling arrangements and an online guestbook is available for condolences at