Alma Biviano Tillapaugh VanWieren
Alma Biviano Tillapaugh VanWieren
  • April 13, 1932 - November 20, 2016
  • New York

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NORWICH - Alma Biviano Tillapaugh VanWieren passed away peacefully with her family by her side on Sunday, Nov. 20, 2016, at the age of 84.

Alma was born in Oxford to Fitzhugh Christian and Mary Davis on April 13, 1932. She was a graduate of the Oxford Class of 1949. Following high school, she spent three years working as a secretary at Smith Ford in Norwich. Alma happily and proudly raised six children, five sons and a daughter. Her love of people and her social nature led her to begin a career as a waitress at Taylor's Country House in 1965. Alma also worked at Hands Inn and Fred's Inn in Norwich.

In 1968, Alma married her love, confidante, friend and faithful companion Fred Tillapaugh of Norwich who passed away in 1988. She was also predeceased by son David Biviano of Portland, Maine; and brother Gary Christian of Wisconsin.
In 1987, Alma first became a grandmother, a title which brought her pride and allowed even more sunshine into her life.
In 1995, Alma married William VanWieren, who survives. Alma and Bill spent some years living in West Winfield together before returning to Norwich. They enjoyed vacationing in Florida. Alma was a long-time member of the American Legion Auxiliary.

Alma is survived by five children, James (Linda) Biviano of Norwich; Paul Biviano of Fort Worth, Texas; Nancy Biviano of Binghamton; Richard Biviano of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, and Stephen (Lori) Biviano of Norwich. Alma is also survived by brothers Linn (Marie) Christian of Oxford; Grant (Kathy) Christian of Norwich; and Allan (Marilyn) Christian of Wisconsin; widow of Gary, Ann Christian, of Wisconsin; sister, Sandra Carlin of Richfield Springs and sister-in-law Jacobi Yess of Ocala, Florida. Alma also leaves her legacy in her grandchildren: Brittany (Matthew) Bonner of Pinebluff, North Carolina; Ashley (Scott) Babbitt of North Norwich; Nathan Biviano of Saratoga Springs; Andrew Biviano of Rochester; and Larissa Kays of Albany.Alma was elated to become a great-grandmother to Natalie Mae Bonner and Lydia Adele Bonner, daughters of Brittany and Matthew. Additionally, Alma leaves behind several step-children, step-grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and step-greatgrandchildren.

Alma was a woman who could run in high heels - backwards - while making sure her family had anything they needed. Her smile was distinguished and bright. Alma saw the world through the underside of a glass bottom boat and knew that the world is made out of sugar, and was not afraid to stick her tongue out and taste it. She lived like she had a pocket full of tokens and nothing to do but everything. She made strong look invincible. She walked with the universe on her shoulders and made it look like a pair of wings.

Ma, Grandma, Mema, Great-Grandma, Wife, Friend - all titles she took the utmost pride in, and every breath she took or move she made was for those she loved the most.

Alma: Runner of the tight shift. Taker of the temperature. Leaver of the light on. Lover of the underdog. Mover of the mountain. Winner of the good life.

Friends and family are invited to call from 5-8 p.m., Tuesday, November 22, 2016 at the R.J. Fahy Funeral Home in Norwich. Funeral services for Alma will be held at 10 a.m. Wednesday, November 23, 2016 at the R.J. Fahy Funeral Home with Joe Connolly, Pastor and Teacher at the United Church of Christ officiating. Interment will follow at Mt. Hope Cemetery in Norwich.

Memorial Contributions can be made to Catholic Charities of Chenango County, 3 O'Hara Drive, Norwich, NY, or by visiting

Arrangements under the direction of R. J. Fahy Funeral Home, Norwich, New York.