For 100½ years Viola Jean Wilson lived life to the fullest. Born June 28, 1922, to Raymond and Loretta (Jammer) Schutz, she grew up in Rock Valley IA, playing the violin, tap dancing, winning typing contests and spending summers at Lake Okoboji, sometimes dancing the night away at the Roof Garden with high school friends.

In 1940 Viola headed off to Iowa State University making lifetime friends at Pi Beta Phi Sorority. There too she met and fell in love with ROTC candidate Robert C. Wilson. In October of 1942 they married, just before Bob headed off to serve in WWII. Viola’s and Bob’s loyalty to ISU continued with Alumni Association travels and even a license plate sporting Bob’s graduation year, “ISU 42.”

Hospitality was Viola’s gift. She entertained family and friends far and wide with great flair and ease. She was full of style and a gifted seamstress. Her faith was essential to her, praying at daily mass and serving at the food kitchen, even leaving meals under the viaduct for the homeless. She was a bright spot in the lives of all who knew her, including especially those who served her at the local bank, the dry cleaners, the grocery deli and those who served her well in her last years.

On February 7, 2023, Viola’s children were by her side as she let go of life. She and Bob had nurtured and supported them in so many ways.

She is survived by her brother, Terry Schutz (Marilyn); Children Suzanne VanDyne (Van), Mary Kay Vogel (Bill), Peggy Paddock (Fred) and Raymond Wilson (Katy). Viola had 14 grandchildren, 26 great grandchildren and 3 great-great grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, her brother, Raymond Schutz, her son, Robert Wilson, and her grandson, Chris Ferkenhoff.

Funeral Services will be held Fri, Feb 17, at St. Ann Catholic Church, 7231 Mission Rd., Prairie Village, Kansas 66208. A 9:45 a.m. Rosary will be followed by a 10 a.m. Visitation. A Catholic Mass will be said at 11 a.m., with a reception following at the Church. Burial will be a private service.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to or St. Ann Endowment Fund.


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