Viola Marie Barnes
Viola was born in Mott, North Dakota, September 17, 1916, while her parents were en route to Montana by covered wagon. The family returned to Iowa where her mother died in 1920. Viola was raised by her grandmother in Ottumwa, Iowa. Vi met the love of her life, Burdette J. Barnes (Barney) at Sunny Slope, at a tuberculosis clinic in Des Moines, Iowa where she was working at the time. During the depression, Barney went to Boise, Idaho to find work. He sent for Viola, and they were wed there on July 23, 1937. Like many other depression survivors, they followed work across the country ending up in San Luis Obispo, California, where their first child was born. After a few years they moved to Arcata, California, to work in the Barrel Factory. They then went into dairy farming in Arcata, Orick, and Klamath. In 1949, they moved to McKinleyville and then back to Arcata in 1954. Viola then went to Humboldt State to become a teacher. She graduated with highest honors while raising a family of four and working part-time. She first taught all eight grades at Bald Mountain School. She then taught at the following elementary schools in the McKinleyville School District: Airport School, Dows Prairie Elementary and Morris School where she retired in 1977. Vi was very active at the Arcata Senior Center as a volunteer. She helped out regularly until 2007 when declining health forced her to limit her work there to three days a week. She enjoyed her many friends at the center, and always had something good to report after being there. Vi was a very spiritual person and found great comfort in her Bible after losing Barney in 1964. She loved her country, gardening, reading and the ocean. She passed on her love of growing things to her children and grandchildren. She loved a house full of family, and she will always be remembered for her homemade noodles, peanut butter fudge and cinnamon rolls (Boy, they were good!). Her beloved husband, Barney, her treasured grandson, Matt, her sister Helen Oiler, and her nephew, Jim Oiler, preceded her in death. She is survived by her children: Pete Barnes (Ida Marie) of Medford, OR, Jennie Barnes, Sue Barnes-Hoaas (Dennis) and mike Barnes (Marcia) of Arcata, her grandchildren: Dawn Sisk, Stirling Barnes, Jim Barnes, Chris Barnes, Loren Harwood, Natalie Anderson, and Megan Dyke, and her 14 great grandchildren. She absolutely loved being a grandmother, and her whole family loved her and will miss her greatly. Viola was an extraordinary woman. She took life's challenges and prevailed. She never shirked her duty, and tried to be ethical in all of her dealings with others. She set a standard and expected it to be followed by her children. Their mutual success in life attests to her values. We will miss Mom, but we know she will be joining Barney now, and that makes us all happy, as we know that is what she wanted. She peacefully stated that she was ready to go home to be with her Lord, and we take comfort in knowing that we will see her again in Heaven. At Viola's request, there will be no public memorial. Her wish is for all who knew her to go to the beach (which she loved) and find a white stone. As you throw it into the ocean, say a remembrance of her. As summer comes, the family will choose a sunny day, just as Viola did, and gather at the ocean together in remembrance of Mom, also. In the meantime, we will be looking for the perfect white stone for her. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that you may make a donation either through Humboldt Area Foundation to the Matt Barnes Memorial Scholarship for 4-H, or to Hospice of Humboldt. We wish to thank the many nurses and doctors that took such good care of Viola at St. Joseph's. We particularly want to thank the Hospice staff who were such a blessing to our family for the excellent care and comfort they provided to our mother. Arrangements under the direction of Paul's Chapel, Arcata, CA 707-822-2445, www.paulschapel.com.
Published in Eureka Times-Standard from November 9 to November 14, 2010