(We were sorry to learn of the passing of Vivian Paladin,
I had the distinct pleasure of visiting with this
fine lady and she will be missed. glt)
Vivian A. Paladin was born to Hans G. and Clara Marie Haugen Hilden
in Glasgow, Mont., on Aug. 4, 1918, the second of six daughters, Vivian
spent most of her childhood in Glasgow, graduating from Glasgow High
School in 1935. While still in high school, Vivian took a work study
job setting type for the "Glasgow Times." After attending
the University of Montana School of Journalism in 1937, she became the
first woman typesetter to work on the "Kaimin," the student
Vivian left the university for a job at the "Cut Bank Pioneer Press,"
where she quickly moved into the editorial department, fulfilling her
goal of becoming a working journalist. A tremendously talented woman
and a self-described "workhorse," Vivian honed her editorial
skills on several newspapers along the Hi-Line, including stints in
Conrad, Shelby and Havre. It was in Shelby in 1941 that Vivian met Jack
Paladin, then an immigration border patrol inspector. The two married
in 1946 after Jack returned from the South Pacific, where he fought
with the Marines during World War II.
After her marriage, Vivian continued to work on various newspapers as
a typesetter and a reporter. She and Jack moved to Helena in 1956, where
he continued to work for the Immigration Service, and in 1958, Vivian
joined the staff of the Montana Historical Society as associate editor
of the "Montana The Magazine of Western History." She became
the magazine's editor in 1966 and served in that position until 1978,
when she retired in order to spend more time with Jack, whose health
had begun to fail. Vivian and Jack shared several good years before
his death in 1987. Together they enjoyed boating and fishing at the
Gates of the Mountains and spending time with their grandchildren.
Vivian was largely responsible for the popularity of the Montana Historical
Society's magazine, "Montana The Magazine of Western History."
During her tenure as editor, the magazine's circulation grew from 6,000
to 12,000 subscribers and set the standard for other historical society
journals across the country. Upon her retirement, Montana historian
K. Ross Toole listed the ingredients of Vivian's success: a "critical
editorial eye ... a distaste for pomposity; ... an enormous capacity
for hard work; ... infinite patience."
The significance of her work was widely recognized, as numerous awards
from the National Press Woman's Association, the National Cowboy Hall
of Fame, the American Association for State and Local History, and other
organizations attest. She was active in several professional organizations,
including the Montana Press Woman's Association and the Western History
Association. In 1969 she became the first woman and the first Montanan
to be elected to the Western History Association's governing council.
Vivian A. Paladin died on May 21, 2002, in Fort Worth, Texas after a
nine month struggle with cancer.