Viola A. Nelson, 99, Kenmare, formerly of Flaxton, passed away Thursday, Jan. 31, 2013, at the Kenmare Community Hospital.
Viola Andrea Carlson was born April 8, 1913, the daughter of Jens and Margaret Johanna (Winquist) Carlson, in Norma. She was raised and educated in Norma, and graduated from Kenmare High School in 1931.
In 1935, she attended Christy's Beauty School in Bismarck. She moved to Flaxton in June of 1937, where she worked as a beautician until 1942. During this time she also worked as a cook at the Flaxton Hotel.
Viola married Neil Potter June 1, 1941, in Norma. They made their home in Flaxton where they raised their family. They were divorced in 1952. She then worked as a cook at the Country Boy Truck Stop, where she cooked a meal for Merle Haggard.
Viola married Victor Nelson on Dec. 19, 1968, in Flaxton. They made their home in Flaxton, where she continued to work at the Country Boy Truck Stop.
During this time, she wrote several news articles for the Burke County Tribune and Divide County Journal.
Victor passed away June 8, 1981. Following her husband's death, she continued to reside in Flaxton until moving to the Kenmare Baptist Home in May 2006. She was very active with all the activities there and continued to reside there until July 2012, when she moved to the Kenmare Skilled Nursing Unit at the Kenmare Community Hospital. She enjoyed it when many members of the Baptist Home and Hospital staff called her "Grandma."
She was a member of the United Lutheran Church Ladies Aid of Flaxton, the Flaxton Senior Citizens, the Pulltogether Homemakers Club of Flaxton for 37 years, and the Flaxton American Legion Auxiliary for more than 50 years. She served as an officer in some capacity in all of these groups.
Viola enjoyed music, and was able to practice with the Dakota Playboys on several occasions. She also enjoyed baking and decorating wedding cakes for many years. One of the other things she was well known for were her doughnuts. Viola also enjoyed doing artwork and craftwork, as she won many prizes at the Burke County Fair and the North Dakota State Fair. She was active with the Burke County Fair as an exhibit hall hostess.
Surviving family includes: children, James (Linda) Potter, Kenmare, Marilyn Carter, Wahpeton, Gene (Jane) Potter, Minot, and Mark (Brenda) Potter, Fairfax, Okla.; grandsons, Jeff, Justin, Kurt, Jerry, Bruce, Anthony and Harry; granddaughters, Renee, Michele, Kim, Tammy, Teresa, Tara, Tiphanie, Tanya, Kaylee, Ann, Tabitha and Jennifer; 39 great-grandchildren; seven great-great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Viola was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Victor; grandson, Troy Holliday; great-grandson, John Holliday; brothers, Andrew (Elda) Carlson and Arthur (Hazel) Carlson; and sister, Edith (Regner) Hansen.
Funeral: Tuesday, Feb. 5, at 2 p.m. at Bethlehem Lutheran Church, Bowbells.
Interment: Flaxton Cemetery, Flaxton.
Visitation: Monday from 3 to 7 p.m. at Thompson-Larson Funeral Home, Kenmare.
Prayer Service: Tuesday at 1 p.m. at Bethlehem Lutheran Church, Bowbells.
Those wishing to sign the online register and share memories may access the online obituaries section at (www.thompsonlarson.com).