Viola Margaret Bray

September 25, 1915November 11, 2018

Viola Margaret Bray, age 103, died peacefully on Sunday, November 11, 2018, in Carmel Village Memory Care Unit in Clovis, California, surrounded by family. She was born on September 25, 1915 in Burke, South Dakota to Charles and Eva (Raymond) Dion. Viola was born on the Rosebud Indian Reservation. She was of Native American descent and registered in the Sicangu Brule Lakota (Sioux) Tribe. She was the second eldest of 7 children.

She attended the Indian Mission School on the reservation until she could work. She always had a job from working at the hotel to cleaning homes. She stated that she did almost every job imaginable. She retired from Librascope ( part of Lockheed) where she worked with electronics after 17 years.

She married the love of her life, Robert Bray (Jonsey) in August of 1942 and they had one son, Dale, who died of a congenital heart defect at the age of 13 months. Since they had no other children, they were always part of their nieces and nephews lives.

For many years, Vi and Jonsey lived in Southern California. They lost their home in La Cresenta in 1975 to a brushfire. They lost all their possesions so Vi never had candles in her home and was very supportive when she heard of major brushfires affecting others. After the fire, they retired to Roseburg, Oregon where they had a very robust social life. They loved to travel in their RV and fish with friends and family. In 1999 they moved to Clovis and Vi was widowed that same year.

Vi loved to go out to lunch, play bingo, go to the Casinos to play the slots and enjoy Happy Hour.

She is preceded in death by her parents, her husband, her son, her brothers, Raymond, Charles, and Melvin Dion,and sisters, Eva Cheskey and Dorothy Dethloff. Two of her nieces, Sharon Haydel and Susan Loret de Mora died before her.

Left to honor her and remember her love are her sister, Frances Metzler (Carl), 24 nieces and nephews, numerous grand- nieces and nephews and many other family and friends made over her long life.

Vi’s family would like to extend our gratitude to all the staff at Carmel Village Assisted Living Facility and the Memory Care Unit. They would also like to thank the Hinds Home Hospice Team for all their loving support over Vi’s final months.

A Celebration of Life and burial will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Hinds Hospice, Fresno or your favorite charity.

Viola will be remembered as a fun-loving, generous, honest and trustworthy soul. She will be missed!


Viola Margaret Bray

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Nancy Dion Lancaster

November 23, 2018

How blessed we were to have Vi in our lives for so many years. Her sense of humor was a constant that brought enjoyment to each and every visit. We join all her family and friends in cherishing her memory.