Viola Ruth Boese
March 13, 1925 – March 6, 2019
Viola Ruth Boese was born near Lind, WA, on March 13, 1925, to Julius and Agatha Franz. She died on March 6, 2019, in Spokane, WA. She grew up in a close-knit family with her two brothers and five sisters on the family’s wheat farm west of Lind. Growing up during the Great Depression, Viola learned at a young age to enjoy contributing to the family by helping in the home and in the fields. Viola attended small rural elementary schools in Pleasant Valley and Schrag, WA. She enjoyed riding to school in a horse-drawn wagon with her brothers and sisters. Her family was active in the nearby Menno Mennonite Church. She learned from her father to love music. Viola graduated from Lind High School in 1942. Viola attended Bethel College in Kansas and graduated in 1946, then taught kindergarten in Pasco, Ritzville, and Lind.
Viola married Ralph Boese (also a graduate of Bethel College) on June 20, 1950. They started married life on a farm near Bellingham, WA. After a few years they moved closer to Viola’s extended family, where Ralph taught high school in Lind and Ritzville. During these years Ralph and Viola were active in the Menno Mennonite Church.
In 1964 Viola and her family moved to Spokane after Ralph was offered a position at Ferris HS. After their children all reached school age, Viola resumed her teaching career, teaching special education at Spokane Public Schools until her retirement in 1982. Ralph and Viola were active members of the Manito United Methodist Church. They loved to travel and regularly took their children on long road trips throughout the USA to visit extended family, historic places and national parks. After their children left home, they enjoyed numerous opportunities for international travel together. They especially loved traveling to visit their 13 grandchildren in California, Texas and Oregon, and hosting family in their home. Ralph and Viola moved to an apartment in Rockwood South Hill in 2011. There they received the help they needed as their health declined, while remaining in touch with friends and extended family. Ralph and Viola shared nearly 68 years of loving marriage until Ralph’s death in April 2018. Despite poor vision and other health problems, Viola remained mentally sharp and connected to friends and family in her final years. Throughout her life Viola blessed those who knew her with her friendliness and empathy for other people.
Viola is survived by five children: Ron (Lourdes); Reanette; Miriam (Terry Unruh); David (Jeannie); Ken (Anne Hebert), 13 grandchildren, and 8 great grandchildren.
Her memorial service will be Sunday, April 14, at 3 pm at Rockwood South Hill Event Center: 2903 E 25th Ave., Spokane, WA. In lieu of flowers, donations in Viola’s name may be made to the Mennonite Central Committee.
- Mennonite Central Committee
3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Rockwood South Hill Event Center
2903 E 25th Ave