Viola “Vi” M. Graf, age 98, of Fairfield, died September 17, 2021 at the Jefferson County Health Center, Fairfield, Iowa.
Funeral services will be Saturday, September 25, at 2:00 p.m. at Word of Life Lutheran Church, 2092 Libertyville Road, Fairfield, Iowa. Open visitation will precede the service beginning at 1:00 p.m. with the family present. The family kindly requests that masks be worn at the visitation and the funeral.
Viola Mae Turner Graf was born October 28, 1922, in Madrid, Iowa, the daughter of Graham Thomas Turner and Martha Estella Frey Turner.
Viola attended elementary and high school at Madrid, graduating as valedictorian with the class of 1939, after which she attended Simpson College, Indianola, for two years.
She taught elementary grades at Dawson and Slater, Iowa, one year each, before returning full time to Simpson, from which she received her B.A. degree in 1944.
While at Simpson College, Viola was affiliated with Alpha Chi Omega social sorority, Epsilon Sigma honorary scholastic fraternity, Sigma Tau Delta honorary English and Pi Gamma Mu honorary social science fraternities.
The following two years she taught English and Social Studies at Amos Hiatt Junior High School in Des Moines.
A love of journalism manifested itself early in her life. After editing her high school paper, she worked for the Indianola Record and Tribune part-time while in college and full-time the summer after graduation. While teaching in Des Moines she sponsored the school paper and worked as a reporter in the summer for the Des Moines Register.
Eventually journalism became a full-time career when, in 1946 she was appointed Assistant Editor of the Journal of the Iowa State Medical Society, a position she held until her marriage.
On December 22, 1948, Viola married Lewis Everett Graf at the First United Methodist Church in Des Moines. The couple first lived in Ann Arbor, Michigan, while Lewis completed his M.B.A. degree, and Viola taught fourth grade in the Ann Arbor public schools.
Upon their return to Iowa, Viola served for two years as Secretary of Personnel for the Des Moines Public Schools. She moved to Fairfield in January, 1951, to join her husband who was establishing a C.P.A. practice. She first worked in the office of the Jefferson County Assessor, and later, in the accounting office of Lewis E. Graf, C.P.A.
Viola was a 12-year member and past president of the Fairfield Library Board; a charter member and past president of Bonnifield Chapter of Questers; and a past president and 70-year member of P.E.O, first of Chapter HA, and currently of Chapter OO. She was a member of the American Cut Glass Association, R.S. Prussia Collectors of America, and also a founding member of Word of Life Lutheran Church.
Vi enjoyed bridge, bowling, traveling, reading and hosting family and friends in her home. She especially enjoyed spending time with her daughters and their families and her many friends.
Viola was able to live in her home until 2019, at which time she become a resident of Sunnybrook Living Care Center.
Viola was preceded in death by her husband, Lewis Everett Graf, in 1993; one sister Ethel Turner, in 1929; her father in 1966; her mother in 1981; and one grandson, Joseph Turner Graf Hove, in 2003.
She is survived by three daughters and their husbands: Kathryn L. and Harlo D. Hove of Solon; Mary Lou and David Schildroth of Waverly; and Marcia and Philip Gevock of Fairfield; and ten grandchildren: Joshua Hove of Solon; Abigail Hove of Marion, IN; Brian (Kathleen) Schildroth of Madison, WI; Mark (Liz) Schildroth of Prairie City; Daniel (Amanda) Schildroth of Altoona; Ann (Brian) Lachowsky of Bryant, AR; Rachel Gevock of Fairfield; Elizabeth Gevock of Fairfield; Adam Gevock of Knoxville; and Aaron Gevock of North Liberty. Viola’s six great-grandchildren are Aubrey and Kaleigh Schildroth, Colton and Hazel Schildroth, and George and Joseph Lachowsky.
Memorials may be made to Word of Life Lutheran Church, the Fairfield Public Library, or Shriners Hospitals for Children, Chicago, IL. Cards and memorials may be mailed to Marcia Gevock, 2417 Hwy. 1, Fairfield, Iowa 52556.
The family deeply appreciates those who gave loving care to Viola in her later years.
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