Viola “Vi” Lucille (Frodin) Voeller, 96, of Portland, OR passed away on June 18, 2019 with her family by her side at a local care facility. She had been receiving Hospice care following a hospital stay in late February for the Influenza A virus which took a toll on her fragile body.
Vi was born July 24th, 1922 in St. Francis, Kansas to Edwin and Margaretha Frodin. She only attended school through the 8th grade because she needed to go to work to help support her family. She married Phillip Ellsworth Voeller on September 25th, 1940 in Goodland, Kansas and they had one daughter Geraldine “Gerri” in 1943. The couple farmed mostly wheat and raised some livestock on land SE of Wheeler, Kansas for the first nine years of their marriage before moving to Fort Morgan, Colorado in 1950. Vi then went to work for the Fort Morgan School District in food services as a cook for 20 years. In 1970 they moved to Troutdale, OR to be close to their daughter Gerri and her family. She found employment with the Parkrose School District in food services once again as a cook for 6 years, and later assisted her daughter Geraldine in the kitchen at Harris Wine Cellars in NW Portland before officially retiring in 1982.
Vi and Phil were married 65 ½ wonderful years. The family celebrated their 50th Wedding Anniversary at the Gateway Elks Lodge in 1990 and again their 60th Anniversary at The Lake House at Blue Lake. Many family and friends came to town to honor and congratulate the happy couple.
Vi and her husband Phil were ardent square dancers and belonged to Skirts and Shirts Square Dance Club in Fort Morgan, Colorado and The Rose City Squares in Portland, Oregon. They traveled all over the state and beyond including the British Columbia Square Dance Jamboree in Canada in August 1975. Vi had many colorful dresses that she twirled over the years to the dance steps “Do-si-do and Promenade” with her partner Phil. She also enjoyed bowling into her 80's and won many awards over the years. She loved gardening and had the most beautiful flowers every year that everyone was always envious of. I guess you could say she definitely had a green thumb! She especially loved Fuschia's. Another of her great talents was cooking and baking. She always hosted family dinners and made sure no one ever left hungry, while providing plenty of left overs to send home with her guests. To her family she was the “hostess with the mostest” and never wanted anything in return. That's just who she was. Vi adored spending time with all her grandkids, and always managed to have that special grandma touch when it came to rocking those babies to sleep.
Vi lived in her mobile home for 41 years before staying with her granddaughter Kim for a year in 2012 following an illness which left her needing a little extra help. In 2013 she moved into Parkrose Chateau Retirement Community and enjoyed the company of new friends and going on various bus trips to a variety of locations. She loved going to the casino and spending her small change in the slots. In 2016 she had to give up her independence and move into Portland Health and Rehabilitation Center where she lived her last few years. She had a dear roommate “Nona” just a few months older than her, and they enjoyed each others company for the remainder of there time there. Sadly, Nona passed away one month before Vi. The two of them shared a special bond that was witnessed by those who knew them.
Vi gave so much of her life to caring for her family and loved ones. She was there for support when her son-in-law Tom passed away in 1990 from cancer, and also over the years caring for her daughter Geraldine, who lost her battle with Multiple Sclerosis in 2004. Vi's beloved husband Phil passed 2 years later at the age of 89 in 2006. Her family and friends will always remember and dearly miss the unconditional love, encouragement and lasting memories they shared with her over the 96 years she walked beside us.
Vi is predeceased by her husband Phillip, daughter Geraldine Witham, and son-in-law Thomas “Tom” Witham. She is survived by two grandchildren, Mark Witham (Betsy Witham) and Kimberly Rowley of Portland; six great grandchildren, Thomas Rowley, Cody Rowley, Mitch Rowley, Katie Witham, Rebekah Witham, Chris Witham; four great-great grandchildren, James Witham, Ethan Witham, Nash Rowley, Violet Rowley; one great-great-great grandchild Madylynn Snider.
A service will be held at 11:30 a.m., Friday, June 28, 2019, at Rose City Cemetery & Funeral Home. Interment at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Gresham to follow at 1:30 p.m.
Donations can be made in her memory to Mt. Hood Hospice PO Box 1269, Sandy, Oregon 97055