Viola Mae Ashton Brown, 99, of Idaho Falls, died October 30, 2022 in the Lincoln Court Retirement Community.
On May 31, 1923, Viola was born in Adalaide, Idaho, a small town north of Rupert, which she claimed was just a point by the railroad tracks. She was the daughter of Edward and Elizabeth Klebe Ashton, who lived through years of depression in newly developing Idaho.
She graduated from PaulHigh School, where she was the president of the student organization for two years. She played main string basketball for four years. She worked for Comstock in Paul for five years and looked after children for many families while attending school.
She married the love of her life, Keith Brown, in 1942 and immediately became a wartime bride. They have traveled from coast to coast many times.
They moved to Kimberly, Idaho in 1951, where Keith was employed at Arrington Farms and Viola was doing various jobs. She wore many hats, including as a clerk, cleaner, florist, and long hours in the fields. She was a postwoman in the countryside for 21 years. She belonged to local and state Granges for 30 years and held many offices. Viola was a member of the Kimberly and PaulMethodist Churchs and WaterSprings in Idaho Falls.
The only achievement she had made for a better humanity, for which she was most grateful and proud, was starting a school in Twin Falls, Idaho for the underdeveloped. Mrs. Alta Hill and Mrs. Louise Williams of Buhl, Idaho and Viola met and founded the “Council for Retarded Children” in 1961. After two years of hard work, a class was finally acquired at HarrisonSchool in Twin Falls, Idaho. Mrs. Coxen was their first teacher. This has proved to be a precursor to helping all developmentally disabled people in today’s MagicValley. The election of President John F. Kennedy in 1963, who had a disabled sister, helped people understand the possibilities of these wonderful people.
During her 99-year trek, she has witnessed everything from sage scrubs to the green fields and humanity’s landing on the moon to handheld phones and electric cars. She had an inquisitive mind and was always interested in learning about the wonders of the world.
Viola and Keith have moved to their “Acre of Sunshine” in Hansen, which has brought them many years of happiness. So many blessings have come with this home and subsequent adventures. Family visits, games, canned food, long rides that included deviating off the main road to see where this new road would take them and what they might discover. There was gardening, fishing, smoking, hunting, traveling south in winter and hunting arrowheads in the deserts. Viola loved reading and learning everything she could, especially about history. She liked daily newspaper crosswords. Her daughters believed it helped her keep her mental sharpness! She liked sewing quilts with her mother and giving them to her daughters. She made bridesmaid dresses for her daughters as well as all their floral decorations. She loved the craftsmanship that included wood carving birds and birdhouses, painting them with a personal finish.
She was a fantastic, extraordinary cook! She could prepare a feast worthy of a king with nothing left in the refrigerator. And talk about the best divinity and peanut crunchiness with coconut!
She was so proud of her five daughters, Gaynl, Shirlene, Linda, Kathy, and Karla. She loved teaching us canning, cooking, cleaning, churning butter. Yes . . . churning butter! Mom was a great supporter of saving money and managing money for rainy day. She taught us the importance of family and being there for each other.
Viola left daughters, Shirlene (Bob) Messner, Linda (Burt) Black, Kathy (Rob) Sherman, Karla Scott (Greg); eight grandchildren; 18 great-grandchildren; and one great-great-grandson; and sister Betty Trabert.
Her parents preceded her death; Keith’s husband; daughter of Gaynl; grandson of Aaron; great-great-granddaughter of Regan; brother Lester; and four younger brothers and one sister.
We send her in the belief that her ride to heaven will be wonderful!
Services were held on Saturday, November 5, 2022 at Wood Funeral Home East Side, 963 South Ammon Road.
The funeral service will take place on Saturday, November 12, 2022 at the Paul Cemetery.
Condolences can be sent to the family at www.woodfuneralhome.com