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Viola May


October 31, 1914 ~ February 27, 2012


Viola Tackett May, was born in Grant County, Oklahoma on October 31, 1914 to James E. Tackett and Mamie (Mossman) Tackett, the only girl in the family of six children. Viola left this life on February 27, 2012 at the age of 97.


Viola graduated with the Caldwell High School Class of 1932. After graduation she worked locally, and then attended Wichita Business College. While working in Wichita she met Emmett Stow. On September 21, 1940, Viola left Caldwell on the Rocket, destination St. Louis, where she married Emmett that evening. Upon Emmett joining the Army during the war, they moved to Alamogordo, New Mexico, where they would see, what was later learned to be, the atomic bomb being tested.


Upon Emmett’s release from the service they moved back to St. Louis where the two of them built a home together, where first son John was born. Soon thereafter they bought a farm near Heber Springs, Arkansas, and welcomed their second son Jim. Five years later, daughter Barbara joined the family. The farm was bought by the Corp of Engineers when Greer’s Ferry Lake was built. The family lived in several cities in Arkansas and California with Emmett and Viola working together as real estate agents through United Farm Agency.


The family purchased Kansas Dry Goods, and moved to Caldwell in 1961. Viola was a talented seamstress, and was glad to lend a helping hand to her customers. The business was sold in 1975. Emmett passed away in 1978.


After Emmett’s death, Viola began clubbing (cards & Eastern Star) and was the designated driver for her widow friends on their adventures. Nine years later she was surprised when a friend from her youth, Claude May, asked her out on a date. They were married on January 23, 1987.


Claude and Viola enjoyed 21 years together, traveling extensively, and having a home on Lake Texoma where they fished daily and loved having family and friends visit, taking them to their fishing hot spots. They enjoyed playing pinochle, pitch, and dominos, and visiting with friends and family. Claude and Viola were truly blessed to have each other, enjoying the “Golden Years” to the fullest. Claude passed in 2009.


Viola was a talented lady in all aspects of her life. She was an excellent seamstress, and she loved sewing for her girls. She enjoyed all types of needle work. Everything she did, she did well, and was never intimidated to try something new. She was a wonderful cook, organized beyond belief, and being a child of the depression, nothing went to waste.


Viola’s strength in spirit was admired by those who knew her. She worked outside the home alongside her husband, long before it was the norm, while raising her family. She never uttered the words “I’m tired” and when faced with adversity, she accepted the situation without self-pity, and made the best of it. With her sparkling blue eyes, and sweet smile, she brought great joy to those who loved her. Viola was an avid baseball fan, being a St. Louis Cardinals fan in the early years, and later rooting for the Atlanta Braves. It was a tossup as to what was more entertaining to watch, the ballgame, or Viola watching the ballgame. Her excitement at the goods plays, and disgust at the bad, she expressed freely.


Viola’s health had declined greatly after suffering a stroke four years ago, and breaking her hip a year later. Even then, she fought with all she had to get better, never complaining, or indulging in self-pity. She remained living at home, with the help of the wonderful Gayle Struble, until January of this year, when she entered the local hospital. Her body wore out; the sweet smile almost gone; she finally admitted she was tired; and the sparkle in her eye finally went out


Viola was a member of the Central Christian Church and Order of the Eastern Star.


Viola was preceded in death by her parents, her five brothers, Ray, Dale, Merle, Forrest and Billie, husband Emmett and husband Claude.


She is survived and will be greatly missed by her children, John Stow, of Oklahoma City, OK; Jim (Shirley) Stow of Dillwyn, VA; Barb (Charlie) Schlottog of Corbin, KS. Step-sons Chet (Myrna) May of Wichita, KS; Raymond (Judy) May of Yakima, WA and Daughter-in-Law Linda Stow. Six grandchildren, Julie Caruthers, Jennie Karr; Melissa Johnston, Jim E. Stow, Joel Stow and Laura Stow. Five step-grandchildren, Christy Schlottog, Crystal Firestone, Brett May, Todd May, and Jason May. Eight great-grandchildren, Emily Karr, Ashton and Weston Eckermann, Kylee Johnston. Jude and Lola Stow, and Madison and Mya Simoneau. Ten step great-grand children Tucker Johnston, Jory and Talia Firestone, Mackenzy and Madison May, Derek and Samantha May, and Hayden, Grant and Grace May, and one step great-great grandchild, Jace Firestone. She also leaves a host of extended family and friends to morn her.


Funeral services will be held 10:30 a.m. Friday, March 2, 2012 at the Central Christian Church in Caldwell. Interment will be in the Caldwell City Cemetery.


Memorials may be given to the Border Queen Cruisers Cemetery Directory Project or to the Central Christian Church in Caldwell.


Leave Condolences

Condolences

O.V. & Lola Williams

Family and Friends - 02/28/2012

We are so very sorry about Viola's passing. We had some great times with Viola and Claude.


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Bob & Carolyn

Family and Friends - 02/28/2012

Barb so sorry for your loss, your mom was such a wonderful person, she will be missed so much by so many. Know you are in our thoughts & prayers during this time.


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Patsy Volk-Wesemann

Family and Friends - 02/28/2012

I was saddened to read of your loss. Mother's are hard to loose, especially one like yours. Know that she is welcomed on the other side by friends and family that she has only dreamed of for some time. Also know memories are marvelous companions, let them come, marvel in the experiences and allow them to comfort and console you.


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Jerry and Marilyn Houlden

Family and Friends - 02/28/2012

Viola always had a special smile and was a sweet lady. During the time that my dad, Ted Lungren, was in the south-end of the hospital I remember several good visits with Viola and Claude. Our thoughts and prayers are with you at this time. Memories are such a blessing.


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Debbie Beran

Family and Friends - 02/29/2012

Barb,

So sorry about Viola she was such a wonderful lady. You are in my thoughts. Love you


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Charles & Regina Stuart

Family and Friends - 02/29/2012

Sorry to hear of Viola's passing. Have many pleasant memories of visiting with her and Emmett in the 1940's and 50's. Listened to Harry Caray broadcasting the Cardinals baseball games with her -- she was a big Cardinal fan in those days. Always had a smile on her face.


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Glenice May Schraw

Family and Friends - 02/29/2012

Thinking of all the family. I have many wonderful memories of visiting Uncle Claude & Aunt Viola. I know she will be missed. Sorry I won't be able to be at the funeral.


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George, Frank and all of your Collinsville, OK, friends

Family and Friends - 03/01/2012

Just letting you know that we are thinking of you and are sorry to hear about your loss.


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Whitey & Cheryl Lawrence

Family and Friends - 03/01/2012

Barb & Family,

We are sorry for your loss, anyone that knew Viola and her family knows what a beautiful, kind,thoughtful person she was, her love of family and friends put a smile on everyones face. Always a pleasure to visit with her, she was a wonderful lady that will be missed by all, forever in our hearts, you are in our thoughts and prayers. God Bless !


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The Nurses at Caldwell Hospital

Family and Friends - 03/01/2012

Viola will always be in our hearts and thoughts. She will be greatly missed by us all. The thought of her smile can brighten all of our days. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family during this time.


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R . Clark...CNA

Family and Friends - 03/01/2012

Barb / Linda and loved ones .... I will greatly miss Viola. She is a very loved and special person...The Heaven's above has taken one of the most precious people to have. I am very happy to have been able to know her. Her hugs will be greatly missed..May God Bless each and every one of you in many memories of this sweet woman. Lighten your hearts and be their for you.God Bless , love you all and my prayers for you all.


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Dave and Peggy Ginn

Family and Friends - 03/02/2012

You are in our thoughts and prayers. When Dave and I were first married, I loved to visit with your Mom in the fabric shop. She was such a sweet, pretty lady.


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Jerry Sander

Family and Friends - 03/11/2012

Barb - So sorry to learn of Viola's passing. I will greatly miss going to visit her when I was in Caldwell. I didn't really get to know Viola until after she and Claude were married, as we moved to Colorado in 1961. My late husband (Merle) and Claude were real good friends. Viola was a lovely, sweet lady and will be greatly missed. With love and Sympathy, Jerry

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