Viola Mary Ollila age 87 of Menahga, MN died Sunday, September 26, 2010 at Green Pine Acres Nursing Home in Menahga, attended by her daughter-in-law Joyce Ollila.
Viola was born April 24, 1923, in Red Eye Township, near Sebeka, MN, daughter of Gust and Emma (nee Luukkonen) Heikkila. After attending Sebeka High School, she worked in Waukegan, Illinois, at Victoria Memorial Hospital as a nurse's aide and at the Great Lakes Naval Training Station as a photo technician. In 1944 she joined the Women's Army Air Corps where she served as a photo lithographer and was honorably discharged in 1947 with the rank of sergeant. In 1948, she graduated from the New York Hairdressing Academy in Fargo, ND, as a licensed beauty operator. In 1948, she was united in marriage to Herbert William Ollila with whom she would have two sons. In 1951, she graduated from the Minnesota School of Business with certificates in private secretarial and business administration. At the time of the death of her husband in 1957, she settled in Menahga and on her own raised her two sons. From 1961 to 1972, she owned and operated the Happy Hour in Menahga. Viola was a member of the Minnesota Finnish Historical Society, Sebeka American Legion, and the Menahga VFW Auxiliary and a long time member of First English Lutheran Church. After retirement, she did volunteer work for a number of organizations including the Sebeka DAC, Green Pine Acres Nursing Home, and the Menahga Area Historical Society and Museum. Viola had a passion for working crossword puzzles and loved painting landscapes for which she received numerous awards. She also enjoyed crocheting and reading, but most of all she loved spending time with her family.
Viola is survived by her two sons: Herb (and wife Gayle) of Brainerd, MN; Stewart (and wife Joyce) of Fergus Falls, MN; six grandchildren: Seth, Jamie, Eli, Kaija, Thor and Erik, eight great grandchildren: Carter, Jaydon, Chandler, Cedrik, Atlas, Hedvig, Isaak, Ebba; one brother and one sister: Art Heikkila of Wadena and Gertrude (Sironen) of Duluth. Viola was preceded in death by her parents: Gust and Emma Heikkila; her husband Herbert William Ollila; and her brothers: Arvo, Owen and Archie.
Visitation will be one hour prior to the service at the church. Funeral Services will be held 1:00 PM Thursday, September 30, 2010 at First English Lutheran Church in Menahga, with Pastor Steven A. Bruer officiating and singing “The Lord’s Prayer.” Barbara Ahl will serve as organist. Congregational hymns are “Shall we gather at the River,” “Amazing Grace” and “How Great Thou Art.” Honorary Pallbearers are all of her grandchildren and great grandchildren. Active Casketbearers will be Stewart Ollila, Herb Ollila, Jamie Wilson, Kaija Mills, Seth Ollila and Eli Ollila. Guy L. McDermeit VFW Post 6206 of Menahga will provide Military Honors. Interment will be at Red Eye Cemetery.