She was born May 31, 1930 in Colburn, Idaho, the second child of John and Alene Oliver. The family moved to Thompson Falls in the fall of 1946. John and his brother, Earl Oliver, owned and operated Oliver and Oliver, a logging and road construction business. Viola and her husband, Ben, later acquired the company and successfully operated it until retiring in 1988.
At the age of 17, Ole (as she was known to friends) came home and told her dad, “I’ve met the man I want.” His reply was, “Grab him.” From that day forward, whenever you saw Ben Cox you could be sure Ole was nearby.
They were married Sept. 14, 1947. Together they had four children, Susan Cox of Selah, Wash., Janet (Doug) Shear of Thompson Falls, Jeanne Cox of Thompson Falls and Tony (Nanette) Cox of Thompson Falls.
Viola was a fierce protector of her children, an equal hard working partner, and a friend to many. If you told her a secret, it remained a secret.
Ole enjoyed camping, hunting, fishing, gardening, and card games. “Miss Lucky” won many poker pots and cashed out on many Keno machines.
Her greatest enjoyment came from caring for and spending time with her family. She taught us all that family is the most important thing. She would do anything for them and they affectionately referred to her as “The Fairy Lady” for making wishes come true.
Mom and Dad shared a very special and very real love for one another and after Dad passed away Jan. 20, 2014, mom’s heart was broken.
She is survived by her children, 13 grandchildren, 15 great-grandchildren, and one great-great-grandchild. She was preceded in death by her parents, a beloved sister, Opal Finney, a daughter who died at birth, and a grandson.
Cremation has taken place and our parents will be buried together at the Fraternal Cemetery in Thompson Falls with a private service.
A no-host celebration of Viola’s life will be held at the Thompson Falls Elk’s Lodge from 4 to 6 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 8.
In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to Thompson Falls Ambulance, Hospice of Sanders County or a charity of your choice.