Viola Harriot Baum was born on March 29, 1928 in Alliance, Nebraska to Della (Ellsworth) and Melvin E. Weldin. She had 2 older sisters, Donna and Dorothy, and a younger brother, Melvin. Her parents were divorced when Viola was 9 years old. Viola and her 2 sisters went to live with their Grandmother Ellsworth in Litchfield, NE and her brother, Mel, stayed in Alliance, NE and lived with their Grandmother Weldin.
Viola’s Mother married Alvin Brandt about 1939. That following Christmas, the children went to live with him and their mother. Alvin loved those 4 children as his own. The family lived on farms from Nebraska to Utah where they enjoyed riding horses and raising cows. Her new dad worked as a mechanic from noon to midnight and was on the road a lot and her mother worked at a restaurant. It was a must to always have a garden because that was their grocery store. While in Utah, Vi did baby sitting and house cleaning for .10 cents an hour. She would give her dad the dimes she made so he could have his coffee. She worked at a cleaners where she “spotted clothes”. She got a job at a golf course as a cook and put on banquets for the Pro golfers. Vi was the only one who could fry eggs with “lace curtains” and was happy to play golf for free. In the middle of her Sr. Year of high school, the family moved to Emmett, Idaho. She immediately got a job at a packing shed washing carrots and picking cherries for .34 cents a lb. She worked at Bob’s café, waited tables at another restaurant, and hopped cars at Doris’ Drive In.
In 1948, shortly after graduating from High school, Viola married Max W. Beals who worked as a barber at Sanford’s Barber Shop in Emmett. They later moved to Caldwell, Idaho where Max opened his own barber shop. Viola went to work at The Canyon Drug Store in the soda fountain and sold cosmetics there. Vi was the first woman to ever be voted as the “Employee of the week” by the Caldwell Businessmen Association. She was honored to have her picture in the paper for that recognition.
After 7 years of marriage, Max passed away from a heart attack on Jan 24, 1955 at the age of 37. After Max’s death, Viola became very lonely, so she loaded up her car and traveled the country visiting family for a short time. She returned to Caldwell where she lived out of her car and stayed with a friend for a about a year until Vi found a place to rent. Vi went back to work at the Drug store and also worked at Caxton’s printing in Caldwell as a “pagebinder”.
After 8 years of being single, her Aunt Minnie introduced her to Carl P. Watson who worked for Idaho Power. Carl and Vi were married on May 23, 1963 in Emmett, Idaho. Carl had 4 boys: Kenny, Leroy, Larry and Len. To this Union, Lyle was born in 1964. Vi was able to stay home and not work after having Lyle. Carl passed away on Sept 16, 1967 after only 4 years of marriage.Two years after Carl passed, Viola married Delbert A. Baum, a farmer from Nampa on Nov. 8, 1969 at the Episcopal Church in Emmett. Vi and Delbert knew of each other through mutual friend’s years before starting their relationship. Delbert had 3 grown boys, Frank, Jerry and Dave.
The morning that Viola and Delbert got married, Delbert and 5-year-old Lyle took the last load of beets of the season to the beet dump. Vi and Delbert honeymooned in Jackpot, NV for 2 nights then had to hurry back home so Delbert could plow. After the fall farm work was complete, they flew to Lansing, Michigan to bring their new car home from the factory.
Vi was a helpmate to Delbert on the farm. Until his retirement in 1982, she helped by working in the fields, moving equipment, changing water, and delivering meals so the farm work could continue and making a comfortable home for him and Lyle to enjoy. Vi enjoyed bowling, boating, attending Boise State Football games and more recently watching them on TV. Traveling to Reno or Pendelton to meet up with her sister, Donna, and brother, Mel and their spouses was a yearly adventure. Vi and Delbert also enjoyed traveling to the Oregon Coast to visit Vi’s other sister, Dorothy and her family. Lyle, Delbert and Vi spent many Thanksgivings in Seattle with Vi’s family. During Lyle’s school years, she was involved in his activities. She was the room mother, she helped with carnivals, PTA, 4H, and cub scouts to name a few. She enjoyed camping and traveling in the motorhome. She tried snowmobiling but decided that it was not her favorite sport.
The things that brought her joy, were not things. Her joy came from spending time with her family and friends. She enjoyed sitting on the patio with her husband where they could watch the crops grow and watch their world change before their eyes as the city started growing up around them. She rarely missed any activity her grandchildren were in. Her grandchildren’s friends thought of her as “grandma” and many of Lyle’s friends thought of her as a second mom. She touched more lives by her kindness and love than she ever knew. Over the past few months, a highlight of Vi’s week was to be able to “attend church” and partake in Communion via Zoom. For 28 years, she and Delbert attended Canyon Hill Church of the Nazarene until they could not physically go any more. Vi was a member of the First Christian Church in Caldwell for many years. Life was exceedingly difficult for Vi after Delbert’s passing on January 12, 2021, just 4 months and 1 day before she joined him in Heaven. They were married 51 years. By the Grace of God and because of the love for her family, she fought for the strength to make it through the long days and even longer nights without him. She yearned to see and talk to him daily. Because of her faith and her commitment to the Lord, she no longer yearns for any loved one. She is in the presence of the Almighty King where there is no sorrow, and no pain. She is standing at the River of Life that is flowing from His Throne.
Viola is survived by her son Lyle (Karen) Watson of Nampa. Frank (Gwen) Baum, Jerry Baum, David (Terri) Baum, all of Nampa, Idaho. Larry (Kathy) Watson of Vancouver, WA, Len Watson of Boise, Idaho. Grandchildren, Michael (Susie) Watson of Boise, Spencer Watson of Nampa, Stephanie (Kevin) Thompson of Eagle. Randy (Karen) Watson, Keith Watson, Carla (Ben) Compton, Kristina (Jeremy) Ferguson, Jason (Karrie) Watson, Rick (Sue Ellen) Montgomery, Terra (Brian) Brumpton, Tony (Joanne) Armolea, Sarah (Jordan) Wirkkala, Anna (Tommy) Holczer, Paula (Tyson) Bohlinger, and Sean Watson. 27 Great Grandchildren and 14 Great, Great Grandchildren and way too many nieces and nephews to count. Special Daughter in laws, Renova Armolea, Chris LeBlanc, and Arleen Watson. Viola was Preceded in death by her Parents; her 3 beloved husbands Max, Carl and Delbert; siblings Donna (Loren) Thrush, Dorothy (Larry) Morrison and Melvin (Jo) Weldin; sons Kenny Watson and Leroy Watson; Grandsons, Troy A. Baum and Kent Watson; and a special Niece Karen Morrison.
We would like to thank Dr. Jeffrey Hanson and his staff, St. Alphonsus Home Health, Treasure Valley Hospice, and Costco Pharmacy for the many visits and superb care that you gave to our mom.
With a grateful heart we want to thank the Best team of Amazing, Loving caregivers that any family could have. Katrice Lautenslager, Genni Machovsky, Becka Means, Robin Crawford and Mary Esparza. We Appreciate all of you So Much!
And most especially Kindra Lozano. You were the Anchor in our life that took a lot of the burden off us as you kept the day-to-day things running like a well-oiled machine. You Loved Viola and Delbert like your very own grandparents going as far as putting your life on hold and moving you and your family in with them for a year and a half, so they had care at night. The Loving care and Unconditional Love that you gave them was Phenomenal!! Even on your days off you were constantly interrupting your day to do things for them and in turn helping us also. We are So Very Thankful and Grateful for you and everything you have done!
Thank you to Karen, Terri, and Gwen, for your unconditional love and the countless hours of care you gave. Mom and Dad loved you so very much. The love you showed them never went unnoticed and made a HUGE difference in their lives.
A combined memorial service for Viola and Delbert will be held at 11:00am on Tuesday, May 25th, 2021 at the Canyon Hill Church of the Nazarene, 903 N. Michigan Ave, Caldwell, Idaho. Lunch will be served. A private burial will be held later at Kohlerlawn Cemetery, Nampa. Arrangements are under the direction of the Nampa Funeral Home, Yraguen Chapel, 415 12th Ave. So. – 208-442-8171 where an online guest book is available at www.nampafuneralhome.com
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