A memorial service will be held on Thursday, July 16, 2015, at 11:00 a.m. at the Trinity United Methodist Church, Cavalier for Viola Adeline (Anderson) (Stenberg) Thoelke, 92.
Posted on 6/12/15
She died May 23, 2015 at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Jacksonville, Fla.
Interment will be held at the Fairview Cemetery in White, S.D. on Sunday, July 19.
Viola was born September 28, 1922, in Hendricks, Minn. to Lloyd and Anna (Eggen) Anderson. She was the second of four girls: Doris, Vi, Gloria, and Gayle. She attended elementary school at the Lincoln County country school and Hendricks High School, graduating in 1940 with honors. She married DeVere Stenberg, a test pilot for the US Air Force, in 1942 and traveled with him to California and Arizona during the war years. They were parents to two sons: Gary Dean Stenberg born and died in 1943 and buried at Forest Lawn, Calif. and Curtis Lee Stenberg born in March 1945. DeVere was killed during a test flight and buried in Coleman, S.D. She and her special needs son, Curtis, lived in Sioux Falls, S.D. following his death. She was one of the organizers of the first special education classes in Sioux Falls with her son, Curtis, and three other students who came to school there with volunteer teachers (herself and the three other mothers) and a supervisor teacher at the time. She later married a high school sweetheart (King Thoelke) on October 30, 1960. His two sons, Frederick and Dennis, became a part of the family, and they lived in White, S.D. for three years. Their daughter Lori Lynn was born September 1961. They owned and operated The Farmer’s Store in White and moved to Cavalier in 1963 where they purchased and operated Thoelke’s Dept. Store and Kings Shoe Castle until 1989. In Cavalier she was a part of a committee that helped start the meals-on-wheels program. She was a homemaker and loved having coffee time with her friends and preparing meals for the family gatherings at Christmas and the major holidays. She was skilled in sewing and crocheting, and traveled extensively with King to most states in the United States, all the provinces of Canada except one and several other countries on tours during their retirement years. In their retirement, they lived in Florida six months out of the year where she enjoyed the visits of her Florida daughter, Lori, and grandchildren, Brianna and Gydeon (Geddy), and more recently, Brianna’s daughter, Lilleigh. She liked her rose garden, cooking, baking, playing cards with their friends and traveling. She is remembered for her key lime pies, home-made baked beans, sweet rolls, foot massages and preparing for picnics at Icelandic State Park when family came to visit. She loved her son, Curtis, and made sure he came home to visit every month in White, S.D. and Cavalier until illness made it no longer possible. He was able to visit her in Florida with the care of Friendship staff just last year. She made donations to the annual fundraisers at Friendship, Inc. and received a mother of the year award from Friendship Inc. as a very supportive mom of a special needs individual in North Dakota. After King’s death in 2013, she moved to Florida to live with her daughter, Lori. She received loving care at every moment, with Lori and grandson Geddy and her caregiver, Sarah. Granddaughter Brianna took time to stop and see her every week and made sure her little great-granddaughter, Lilleigh, got to know her great-gramma. She was a member of the United Methodist Church in Cavalier.
She was our beloved mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, sister, aunt, great aunt, sister-in-law, mother-in-law, and friend. May she rest in peace.
Survivors include her son, Curtis Lee Stenberg; daughter: Lori (Fernandez) Thoelke and family; granddaughter Brianna and great-granddaughter Lilleigh; grandson Gydeon (Geddy) Fernandez; stepson and wife and family, Fred and Mary Thoelke, Nathan, Adam, and Laura; stepdaughter-in-law and family, Betty and Dr. Geoff Johnson, Jennifer and Troy Olson and children, Jonah and Gavin, Dr. Chris and Dr. Annie Harris and children: Jay, Katie, Ty, and Max, Dr. Paul and Molly Johnson; sister and brother-in-law Gloria and Allen Abrahamson (deceased) and their families, brother and sister-in-law, Bryce and Marge Thoelke and their families, her sister, Gayle Tomaszewski, and her childen; nephew Darwin (Dan Thomas) and daughter Beth; nephew Brian and Janey Tomaszewski and children; April, Jason, Mark, Sara, Emily; nephew Joel Tomaszewski and children, Shonda, Tiffany, Kendra, Bethany; niece Carla Duis and children Carissa, Shaylee, Jordan, Joshua, niece, Dawn and James Haack and children: Ashley,Kayla, Karlee.
Preceding her in death were her husband, King Thoelke; parents Lloyd and Anna Anderson; grandparents Ole and Dorothy (Mathiason) Eggen and Anton and Nina Anderson; first husband DeVere Stenberg; infant son Gary Dean Stenberg; sisters Doris Marczak and Gloria; and brother-in-law Bill Reckoff; stepson Dennis Thoelke; and numerous aunts, uncles, cousins, and great nieces and nephews.
Memorials in honor of Vi Thoelke for Friendship Inc., Grafton or Faith in Action, Cavalier, may be sent to Fred and Mary Thoelke at P.O. Box 6, Crystal, ND 58222.
Online guestbook at www.askewfuneralhome.com.