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Vivian Bliss Distler
  • In lieu of flowers, donations in Vivian's memory may be sent to: <a href="http://www.lls.org/">Leukemia and Lymphoma Society</a>, <a href="http://www.teamintraining.org/">Leukemia and Lymphoma Team in Training</a> or the <a href="http://www.paloaltojc

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“Vivian was a huge influence on me during our four years at Boston University. She was a strong and confident woman, compassionate, funny and wise....Read More »
1 of 9 | Posted by: Karen Baitch Rosenberg - MD

“VIvian, I will be in shock for a long time, my friend. You were a strong, fighter. I will try to remember to, "Act Differently." You allowed me...Read More »
2 of 9 | Posted by: Mary Wahle - Mountain View, CA

“Vivian was a rare breed. She managed to combine one of the most can-do spirits of anyone I know with a down-to-earth attitude that made her...Read More »
3 of 9 | Posted by: Anuj Desai - Madison, WI

“In the many conversations that have taken place since your passing, you have amazed me at the many people you have touched from so many different...Read More »
4 of 9 | Posted by: Kim Lawrence - Palo Alto, CA

“Thinking of you today, Vivian, and hoping that you rest well. I admired all that you embraced and accomplished in your life. While it is barely...Read More »
5 of 9 | Posted by: Anthony Weeks - San Francisco, CA

“Loved Vivian on our softball team!! You were an awesome Catcher!!! ”
6 of 9 | Posted by: Kathy Seddiqui - CA

“Dear Vivian. loved your spirit and strong will. I will always remember you fondly and loved your care and love you gave to "mans best friend". I was...Read More »
7 of 9 | Posted by: Kathy Seddiqui - Palo Alto , CA

“I was so very, very sorry to hear of Vivian's passing. We were classmates in law school and worked together on law review. Vivian was so fun and...Read More »
8 of 9 | Posted by: Nancy Combs - Williamsburg, VA

“I got to know Vivian walking dogs in our Palo Alto neighborhood. She was always happy to indulge Buddy, sometimes to the park, sometimes just a few...Read More »
9 of 9 | Posted by: John Emmel - Palo Alto, CA


Vivian Distler, long-time resident of Palo Alto and a leader in the Jewish community there, passed away on December 6, 2011.

Vivian was born in Montreal, Canada in 1965 and took great pride in both her Canadian and Jewish heritage. She moved to Palo Alto, CA in 1996 and became an active member of the Jewish community. She served on the board of the Palo Alto JCC, overseeing the construction of the new Oshman Family Jewish Community Center. She also served on the board of the Kehillah Jewish High School, and the Jewish Community Federation South Peninsula Council. She chaired the 2007 To Life! Jewish Cultural Street Festival and was a board member of New Bridges to Jewish Community. She trained in emergency preparedness and ran marathons and triathlons, to raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society "Team in Training" program.

Vivian graduated from Boston University with a BS in broadcasting and film and a BA in history in 1987. She earned a JD from UC Berkeley School of Law in 1994, where she was managing editor of the California Law Review. She was a law clerk at the U.S. District Court, District of Nevada. Her early career was in Television production, first in New York, and then in Los Angeles. Later, she practiced Law at Wilson Sonsini in Palo Alto. In 2007, she joined the Institute for the Future and became Director of Research and Collaborative Networks for the Health Horizons Program.

Always accompanied by her cherished canine companions, Vivian shared her love for them with everyone. Her keen intelligence, compassion, wisdom, loyalty and generous nature were evident in all she did. We remember her irreverent sense of humor and wonderful, hearty laugh. Vivian adored children but doted on her niece and nephew in particular, dedicating herself to being their "subversive aunt". Vivian overcame many adversities in her life, including breast cancer in 2005. But, even in the darkest moments, her generosity and humor shone through.

Vivian is survived by her brother Jacques Distler; sister-in-law Suzanne Fremont; beloved niece and nephew, Lauren and Avi; her many friends; and her dog, Buddy.

Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m., Monday December 12, at Weed-Corley-Fish Chapel, 3125 N. Lamar Blvd. Interment will follow at Austin Memorial Park, Agudas Achim Section.

In lieu of flowers, donations in Vivian's memory may be sent to:
Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, Leukemia and Lymphoma Team in Training or the Oshman Family Palo Alto Jewish Community Center.