Violet Marie Casady, 88, formerly of Des Moines and West Des Moines, died in Scottsdale, AZ, from multiple causes after a long illness. For over a year prior to her death on Thursday, April 11, 2013, she was lovingly cared for by her youngest daughter Marilyn and son-in-law, Frank Catalano.
After cremation in Arizona, a service will be held on Thursday, May 16, at Sacred Heart Catholic Church (1627 Grand Avenue, West Des Moines). A visitation will be held at 11:30 a.m. at the church with a mass following at 12:30 p.m. Interment will take place at Resthaven Cemetery in West Des Moines, with a light meal and social gathering afterward at the church.
Violet was born in St. Paul, MN, on October 7, 1924. She graduated from Humboldt High School in St. Paul in 1942. During World War II, she worked for U.S. Army Intelligence in Minneapolis. There she met her "boss" for the next six decades of her life-Harold Casady. They were married on December 2, 1944. After the birth of their first daughter, Mary, they moved to Des Moines in 1945.
Their middle daughter, Martha, was born in 1947. When the girls were little, Violet won an advertising contest by submitting a winning slogan for a national toothpaste brand. The prize was her kitchen being filled with all the latest appliances including a stand mixer and floor buffer.
When not winning contests, Violet worked at home typing labels for Look magazine. With no car, the job involved carrying heavy metal files on the bus downtown and back. In tow, were two little girls who often were more interested in dawdling and who, occasionally, sat down on the sidewalk, refusing to take even one more step.
In 1955, the third "M" was born-Marilyn. While the girls were growing up, Violet was active at St. John's Catholic Church. She volunteered for yearly church bazaars and other functions. She and her husband joined the local Catholic Family Movement. Violet also became a member of the St. John's Mother's Club, whose four remaining members were still meeting when she left for Arizona.
She served as a Brownie and Girl Scout leader, helping her young charges earn badges in such diverse areas as camping and drama. As a result, the church was blessed with such productions as "Father's Darling Daughter" and an original play where Brownies sang such ditties as "That Good Ole Mountain Music." With a flair for poetry, in 1962 she started writing a yearly humorous and informative Christmas letter. She continued writing and printing it for the next 50 years.
Violet worked alongside her business manager husband at Lozier Florist for many years when he wasn't teaching. With all three daughters gone, she went to work fulltime for the Acme Employment Agency. Later, she began working for the U.S. Farmers Home Administration, staying until her first retirement in 1987. She and Harold planned to continue traveling, eventually visiting 48 states.
Not one to sit still for long, she soon returned to part-time work. Employers included the Iowa Pork Producers Association, Iowa Soybean Association, March of Dimes, and the Blood Bank of Central Iowa. Her 15 minutes of fame came at WHO Radio where listeners of the Van and Connie Show knew her as Fluffy Croissant (for her bouffant hairdo and for the many delicious baked goods she brought to the station).
After the death of Harold at age 88 in April of 2003-a few months short of their 59th wedding anniversary--Violet moved to Crestview Acres in West Des Moines. Soon her writing and dramatic skills were in demand. Production satires such as "Snow White and the Seven Senior Dwarfs" were presented to residents.
Violet was preceded in death by her parents, David and Mary Peterson; her beloved husband of 58 years--Harold; her oldest brother, Harold Peterson (wife Frances still living); and brother, Edward Peterson (wife Madge deceased, and long-term companion Florence Hinz still living).
Survivors include her three daughters: Mary (Ken) Ptak of West Palm Beach, FL, Martha Perry of Des Moines, and Marilyn (Frank) Catalano of Mesa, AZ; her sister, Gladys (Edward) Ramsay of West St. Paul, MN; two cousins; 12 grandchildren; 13 great grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Iowa Hospice, or
in Phoenix, AZ.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
EVEN THOUGH MOM HAS GONE AWAY
IN EACH OF US YOU'LL FIND,
A LITTLE SOMETHING SPECIAL
THAT VIOLET LEFT BEHIND.
SHE SHOWERED US WITH LOVE AND CARE,
HER STAY WITH US TOO BRIEF.
HER LEGACY ~ HER FAMILY,
WHOSE HEARTS ARE FULL OF GRIEF.
A SONG, A WITTY POEM,
A WORD, HER SMILE, A GLOW;
FOND THINGS WE WILL REMEMBER,
WILL LIGHT OUR PATH WE KNOW.
WE THANK YOU ALL FOR TOUCHING
HER LIFE IN MANY WAYS.
YOUR TOUGHTS AND PRAYERS WILL COMFORT US
ON MANY LONELY DAYS.
SO IF YOU SEE A BLINKING STAR
WHEN GAZING IN NIGHT'S SKY,
JUST WAVE YOUR HAND OR BLOW A KISS,
IT JUST MIGHT BE ~ "OUR VI"!!
THE CASADY GIRLS
MARY, MARTHA AND MARILYN