October 20, 2013

Viola E. (Johnson) Moffitt

Viola Johnson Moffitt was born on September 1, 1918 on a homestead near Burlington, Colorado.  Her parents were Anna and Carl Johnson, Swedish immigrants who homesteaded in Colorado.  In 1921 her family moved to the Davey, Nebraska area where they farmed.  Viola often spoke of her happy childhood on the farm with her six siblings.  She was confirmed in the Bethlehem Covenant Church and graduated from Davey High School.  After graduation she moved to Lincoln and worked at Smith Dorsey Labs.  She married Evan Moffitt, traveled with Evan across the country while he completed his pilot’s training in the Army Air Corps.  Evan was stationed in Italy during World War II.  Their son, Jerry was born in March 1945, the same day Evan flew his first combat mission in Italy.  Vi and Jerry lived with Evan’s family in Detroit, Michigan until the War was over.  Vi, Evan and Jerry moved to the Lincoln area, living in Huskerville and in 1948 their daughter Katherine was born.  While living in Huskerville they met Nancy and Dick Hubbard who became their lifetime friends.  The family moved to North 65th street in 1954 and in 1956 the family moved to the Philippine Islands, where Evan worked as the purchasing agent at the new Gooodyear Tire and Rubber Plant.  The family returned to the USA in 1958 and lived in Ohio, eventually returning to Lincoln.  Vi and Evan lived on York Lane for several years until Evan’s death in 1985.  In 2005, when her eyesight began to fail and she could no longer drive, Vi moved to the Legacy retirement community where she lived until her death on October 18, 2013.

Vi loved to travel, play cards and to visit with family and friends.  Her greatest joy was being a grandmother to Megan and Margaret.  She followed their interests and growth and was always there for their many activities, birthday parties and coffee on Sunday mornings.  Christmas was always very special, celebrated with her siblings and their families with many Swedish traditions.  She was a true Swede and never turned down Lutefish.  The time and effort she and her sisters devoted to Christmas Eve was astonishing and always resulted in a true family feast.  She and her sisters always recited the Christmas Eve prayer in Swedish before the feast began.  Family always came first with Vi.  Birthday celebrations, travels and card playing always included family.  She loved to travel and friends and relatives said many times she was a good traveler, always ready for new adventures whether it be catching fish or playing “horrible fourable”.  She had the amazing ability to find the fun in life and not dwell on the hard times.  She was a true member of the “greatest generation”, surviving the 1918 flu pandemic, two world wars, and the great depression.

In September of this year, many of you joined us at Vi’s 95th birthday celebration.  Although her health had declined considerably, she savored each moment of her party somehow knowing that this would be the last time we were all together.  She was very appreciative of the expressions of kindness from friends and family and enjoyed the flowers, notes and cards sent by many.  Her final journey was swift but she was able to be with her sister Maxine, her niece Joyce and her granddaughters.  She will be missed by many.  Her life was long and she made the most of each challenge and opportunity.

Vi was preceded in death by her parents; her husband Evan; her sisters Alice Pike and Helen Cook; her brother Harry Johnson, and nieces Gloria Jean, Vernell, and Peggy.  She is survived by her daughter Katherine and son-in-law John Milligan, and their daughters Megan and Margaret Milligan; her son Jerry and his wife Jane; sister Esther Root; sisters and brothers-in-law Maxine and Omar Jensen, and Edith and Dwaine Hartman; and many nieces and nephews. 

Celebration of Life service will be held on Wednesday, October 23, 2013 at 10:00 A.M. at The Legacy, 5600 Pioneers Blvd.  Private interment at Wyuka cemetery.  Memorials may be given to the Food Bank of Lincoln.

1 Comment

  1. Jerry and Family,

    So sorry to read about your Mother’s passing.
    Our thoughts and prayers are with you and yours.

    All our sympathy,
    Don & Doris Sandell


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