Viola Barnett passed away peacefully Friday, May 31, 2013 in New Hope, Minn., at the age of 90. Viola was born March 23, 1923 in Palisades Park, N.J. She was preceded in death by her husband of 60 years, Arthur Barnett M.D. She is survived by her children, Mary Abeln (Ken), Daniel Barnett (Laurie), Peter Barnett, Julie Olson (Randy), Aimee Barnett, and Irene Simeck (Jim); grandchildren, Molly Abeln (Emily), Matt Abeln (Andrea), Nick Barnett (Heidi), Aimee Barnett, Joe Barnett, Alina Hopkins, Nathan Hopkins, Sean Semick, and Drew Semick; and great-grandchildren Levi and Simon Abeln and Ben and Josiah Barnett.
Viola married her husband Arthur November 10, 1945. They lived many different places during their marriage including Washington DC, Monahans, Texas, St. Cloud, Minn., Spokane, Wash., Medford, Ore., Reno, Nev., and Portland, Ore. After Arthur's death in 2005, Viola moved to New Hope, Minn. to be closer to her daughter Mary and her family.
Viola was a lifelong learner, attending college at the same time as her children, and graduating from Southern Oregon State College in 1979.
Viola's greatest passion in life besides her family was painting. She didn't have the opportunity to study and develop her talent until after her children were grown. Her preferred medium was watercolor and she captured the varied patterns both in nature and in manmade objects, which allowed for a wide choice of subject matter. Viola was a member of the Southern Oregon Society of Artists, the Artists Workshop, and The Watercolor Society of Oregon, where she was a juried artist and selected into their bi-annual shows. Her work can be seen in her children's and grandchildren's homes.
Viola worked as a volunteer for 20 years for the Rogue Valley Community Works help line. Her hobbies included fishing, square dancing with her husband, camping, and golf.
A Memorial Service will be held at 11:00 a.m. Sunday, June 30, 2013 at Daniel Funeral Home in St. Cloud, Minn., to celebrate Viola's life. Guestbook at: danielfuneralhome.com.
Donations are asked to be made to Ambassador Good Samaritan, New Hope, Minn., or The Alzheimer's Association.
Interment will take place at a future date at Willamette National V.A. Cemetery, Portland, Oregon.