Viola Yohe

Funeral services for Viola Yohe, age 91, of New Hope, MN, formerly of Bison, SD, were held Sunday, June 2, 2019 at the American Lutheran Church in Bison, SD. Pastor Tera Kossow officiated with burial following in the Bison Cemetery.
    Viola (Vi) Idell Swenson passed away peacefully May 27, 2019 due to complications of sepsis and dementia with her daughters Lazette and Yvette by her side. Vi was born on July 2, 1927 to Carl and Charlotte Swenson at home in Darling Springs, ND. She had lots of fun stories to share about her years on the farm.
     Vi graduated from high school in Hettinger, ND in 1945. After graduation, she earned her teaching certificate and taught school for a while. She married Lester (Bud) Vernon Yohe on September 29, 1946. They had five (5) children: Lance, Kent, Ryan, Lazette, and Yvette.
     They lived in Marmarth, ND, Bucyrus, ND, and Hettinger, ND before moving the family to Bison, SD in 1953, where Bud was the elevator manager. Vi was a homemaker until November 4,1964, when they bought the grocery store, Bud’s U-Save. Vi and Bud worked long hours at the store but loved every minute of it. They were active members of the Commercial Club. She enjoyed talking with the customers and was quick to give a hug to anyone who needed it. Vi continued working in the store after Bud’s death in 1987. She worked there until 1996 when she held an auction and later sold the land on August 27, 2003, to the hospital to build a new clinic.
     Vi loved life and people. People of all ages felt connected to her and special when around her. She had a strong faith and was very active in the American Lutheran Church, with bible study groups, choir, and women’s group. She enjoyed participating in many activities such as golfing, bowling, home extension, Legion Auxiliary, and the Red Hatters. Vi and Bud spent any free time they could doing things together especially dancing and teaching dance classes. She loved doing many fun activities with her family and friends including hunting, fishing, playing pinochle, and camping. Her grandchildren loved to visit, and each visit included a special “baby food party”. Vi enjoyed traveling when she could and visiting her children. She saw many places throughout the United States and a trip to the Caribbean. She remained active throughout her life and even walked with her son hunting, into her 80’s.
     In 2011, she sold her home of 50+ years and moved to Maple Grove, MN. Vi was such a people person, she made many friends. She started slowing down but enjoyed phone calls and visits from family and friends. They were the highlight of her days.
     She was preceded in death by her parents, Charlotte and Carl Swenson; her husband, Lester “Bud” Yohe; three brothers and their wives, Swen Eddie (Edna) Swenson, Orval (Pat) Swenson, and Gerald (Peggy) Swenson; two sisters and their husbands Lola (Harris) Bonhoff and Ida (Walter) Ford; and her sister-in-law Ernestine Yohe.
     She is survived by her children: Lance (Ramona) Yohe of Fargo, ND; Kent (Kathy) Yohe of Fargo, ND; Ryan (Nancy) Yohe of Spokane, WA; Lazette (Craig) Nowicki of Auburn, CA and Yvette (Jim) Zeece of Maple Grove, MN; grandchildren: Sophia (David Briggs) Yohe of St. Paul, MN, Luke (Robyn) Yohe of LaMoure, ND, Sara (Steve Gaik) Yohe of Houston, TX, Mark (Michelle) Yohe of Fargo, ND, Allison (Dave) Harmon of West Fargo, ND, Renae (Chris) Howat of Spokane, WA, Jennifer (Jason) Tate of Spokane, WA, Carleen Nowicki of Auburn, CA and Matthew Zeece of Maple Grove, MN; 17 Great grandchildren; two great, great grandchild and many nieces, nephews, and cousins.             Condolences may be sent through our website at

The Pioneer Review

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