Viola Leslie, 99, Lime Springs

Viola Mildred Leslie, age 99, of LeRoy, Minnesota, died Saturday, April 30, 2011, at the Adams Health Care Center.

Viola was born December 19, 1911 in Howard County, Iowa to John and Olga (Prochaska) Souhrada. She attended Beaver Township, Minnesota District 106 elementary school and Chester, Iowa High School. Following graduation in 1928, she matriculated at the Chatfield, Minnesota Normal Teachers School, after which she taught at the rural elementary shool she had previously attended.

On June 14, 1933, Viola was united in marriage to Carl Leslie at the Methodist Church in Chester. She left teaching to become a full-time farm wife, homemaker, and mother when son Loren was born. However her interest in learning and education continued through her volunteer activities as a Sunday School teacher, 4-H club leader, and home extension service coordinator.

After her second son, Richard, left for college, Viola returned to her teaching profession becoming recertified as an elementary school teacher. Once again she taught at the nearby country school until it became a part of the consolidated LeRoy-Ostrander school system. As a result, Viola frequently served as a substitute teacher in the LeRoy-Ostrander elementary school and provided tutorial lessons in mathematics and reading for students needing more individual attention.

Following the death of Carl on June 8, 1979, Viola continued to operate the farm but in 1984 moved to Lime Springs, Iowa, living there for 19 years until physical limitations necessitated her residence at an assisted living facility at Wildwood Grove in LeRoy.

Viola’s life was one of love – love of God, love of family and love of teaching. Her devout Christian faith and pursuit of knowledge influenced everyone who knew her whether in the classroom, Bible Study groups or discussion forums of current events and past history. People enjoyed her stories and she was the star of the “Good Old Days” programs at the nursing home.

Viola is survived by her sons, Dr. Loren (Arlene) Leslie of Lutsen, Minn. and Richard (Arleen) Leslie of Marysville, Ohio; three grandchildren, Jennifer Leslie-Bukowski (Frank) of Chicago, Ill., Magnus (Amy) Leslie of Minneapolis, Minn., and Barton Leslie of Seattle, Wa.; and her sister-in-law Ardis Souhrada of Lanesboro, Minn. She was preceded in death by her husband; parents; brothers, John, Emil and Richard; and sister, Helen.

Visitation will be held from 5:00-8:00 p.m. on Thursday, May 5, 2011 at the Hindt Funeral Home in LeRoy with a celebration of life at 11:00 a.m. Friday, May 6, 2011 at the Chester United Methodist Church. Rev. Candraeah Carey officiating. Bria will be at the Chester Hill Cemetery. Memorials may be directed to the Chester United Methodist Church or a charitable organization of the donor’s choice.

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