Viola M. Olson

July 26, 1926 - June 1, 2015

    Viola May Olson, age 88, passed away on June 1, 2015, at the Hans P. Peterson Memorial Hospital in Philip, S.D., shortly after contracting pneumonia and with her husband of 62 years by her side.
    Viola May Fisher was born on July 26, 1926, to Kenard D. Fisher, Sr. and Elsie (Enders) Fisher at the Fairview Ranch, eight miles south of Kadoka. A lifetime member of the Wells community and Kadoka area, she attended grade school at the Wells Community School. After finishing the eighth grade, Viola continued to live and work on the ranch with her parents and siblings.
    On Friday, April 13, 1953, she married Lloyd Olson, whom she met when she was a toddler and he was six years old. A wise neighbor and friend told Lloyd he should marry that pretty, blue-eyed, black-haired girl one day. When Lloyd returned to the farm after a stint in the Navy and got a job hauling fuel, he felt the time had come. They made their home on his farm, affectionately known as Olson Acres, which was only a quarter of a mile south of Viola’s birthplace. In the following years, two daughters were born to this union, Rita and Susan. Viola nurtured her family with a twinkle in her eyes, a strong hand and a giving heart. She continued to reside on the farm with her husband until August 2013, when a broken arm waylaid her independent living. She then moved into the Kadoka Nursing Home where she lived until her death.
    Viola was a tireless worker who loved the outdoors and spent most of her time outside with her animals, mowing, weeding or tending her garden and the vast array of flowers that she planted each spring around the home. She was never without her trademark “straw katy” sunhat when outside. She took great pride in raising her baby pigs and laying hens. She was known to nurse the runts and wounded as well as adopt any stray cat or dog that wandered onto the farm. She always had a beloved four-legged best friend close at her heels and she pampered them to no end with cookie treats.
    Viola was an avid square dancer and attended dances in the area for many years with Lloyd and her sister, Eileen. She had a gift for sewing and crocheting. She sewed many clothes for her daughters, square dance dresses for every occasion and later many beautiful quilts. She crocheted intricate doilies and many colorful afghans for family and friends. Viola enjoyed playing cards with the neighbors and family. She was known for hosting family holiday dinners and making a place at the table for those in need, who became family for the day.
    Viola was a member of the American Legion Auxiliary.
    Grateful for having shared her life are her husband, Lloyd; two daughters, Rita Thomas, Medford, Ore., and Susan Olson of Phoenix, Ariz.; two granddaughters, Becky (Jason) Horvat, Portland, Ore., and Melanie (Ryan) Ilten, Beaverton, Ore.; four great-grandchildren, Ella and Logan Horvat, Portland, Ore., and CJ and Avery Ilten, Beaverton, Ore.; three nephews, Dan Brown of Puyallup, Wash., and Eddie and Corey Fisher of Kadoka; and a host of other relatives and friends.
    Viola was preceded in death by her parents, Kenard and Elsie Fisher; her siblings, Dora Brown, Kenard and Fred Fisher, and Eileen Heinsohn; her brothers-in-law, Max Brown and Rollin Heinsohn; a nephew, Milton Brown; and her most recent four-legged faithful companions, Rufus and Jiggs.
    Services will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Monday, June 8, at the Presbyterian Church in Kadoka with visitation one hour prior to the service.
    Interment will be at 2:30 p.m. in the Black Hills National Cemetery near Sturgis.
    Rush Funeral Home of Kadoka is in charge of the arrangements. Additional information can be found at the website,
    In lieu of flowers, the family requests that a donation be made to the Kadoka Nursing Home or Kadoka Volunteer Fire Department in Viola’s memory.

The Pioneer Review

221 E. Oak Street
Philip, SD 57567
Telephone: (605) 859-2516
E Mail:

Sign Up For Breaking News

Stay informed on our latest news!

Manage my subscriptions

Subscribe to Newsletter feed
Comment Here