Former longtime Yampa resident Viola Pearl LaDow Bird died Oct. 6, 2006. She was 96.
Viola was born June 24, 1910, to Harry and Olla (Perry) LaDow in Jewell County, Kan. At age four, her mother passed away, and her mother's best friend cared for the three children and became a loving stepmother. Three more children were born and became part of the family. Viola loved her stepmother but always missed her mother and said she looked forward to meeting her in heaven.
She completed the eighth grade and at the age of 16 came to Topanas to work for an aunt and uncle. She met John Bird there, and they were married Oct. 3, 1927.
To this union, two children were born: Phyllis Bird Virden and Gary Bird.
Viola followed her husband around the state where he worked on road construction, and they eventually bought his father's homestead ranch in Yampa and there raised their family. She helped with the working of the ranch. She raised a big garden and canned and froze vegetables. She loved her flowers and garden. She liked to fish, camp, sew, crochet and cook.
She was very active in the community and was a member of the Yampa Ladies Aid Society, Toponas Home Demonstration Club and Order of Eastern Star. She was a devout Christian; she attended the Yampa Bible Church and the Calvary Baptist Church.
They sold the ranch in 1964 and spent many winters in Mexico and Arizona. They moved to Craig in 1990, and John passed away in 1992. Viola continued to live in Yampa in the summer and had an apartment for several years at Sunset Meadows in the winter.
She has lived with her granddaughter, Vreta and her husband, Chad Sasges, for the past two years and spent a brief time at the Sandrock Ridge Care and Rehabilitation Center in Craig, where she died.
She is survived by her daughter, Phyllis, and her husband, Jack Virden, of Craig; son, Gary, and his wife, Lynne Bird, of Littleton; nine grandchildren; 22 great-grandchildren; sister, Ollie, and her husband, Chet Sander, of Lebanon, Kan., and sister-in-law, Margaret LaDow of Lebanon, Kan.
She was preceded in death by her parents; two sisters; two brothers; and her husband.
Services were Oct. 12, 2006, at the Yampa Bible Church. Interment of cremains was in the Yampa Cemetery. Memorial donations may be made to the Northwest Colorado VNA and Hospice in care of Grant Mortuary, 621 Yampa Ave., Craig, CO 81625.