Viola Holmberg-Rau, age 102, of Eau Claire (formerly of Willmar, Minnesota) died on Monday, August 11, 2014 at the Syverson Lutheran Home in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.
Viola was born on September 20, 1911 to the late Jesse and Bertha (Miller) Ward in Hutchinson, KS, the oldest of 5 children. On June 8, 1940, she married Tony Holmberg in Willmar, Minnesota. Viola's education included two years at Southwestern College in Winfield, KS; three years of nurses training at Wesley Hospital in Wichita, KS; and two years at the University of Minnesota where she graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Public Health Nursing in June of 1937.
After graduation from the U of M, she left for Willmar, Minnesota to begin her career as the first Kandiyohi County Public Health Nurse in 1937. She was forced to retire upon marriage and 14 years later returned to the position. After working 12 years with Kandiyohi County, she joined the public school system as a school nurse in September of 1966, retiring in 1974. During their retirement, Viola and Tony enjoyed many years of world travel. After Tony's death in 1990, Viola began volunteering throughout the community: at the hospital, Bethel Church, and being a "grandma" at Green Lake Bible Camp. On August 11, 1998 she married Erv Rau.
She is survived by her daughter, Toni (Owen) Wahlstrand; step-sons, Dean (Sarah Lund) and Doug (Kim) Rau; grandchildren, Katherine Sauls, Kevin (Nancy Franke) Wilson, Disa Wahlstrand, Matt (Linda) Wilson, and Ryan Wahlstrand; 9 great grandchildren; son-in-law, Ken Wilson; sister, Hazel Miller; brother, Bill Ward; many nieces, nephews and other relatives.
Viola was preceded in death by her husbands, Tony Holmberg and Erv Rau; daughter, Karen Wilson; twin sister,Violet Ward; and brother, Newton Ward.
Funeral service will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Monday, August 18, 2014 at Bethel Lutheran Church (411 Becker Avenue, Willmar, MN) with Reverend Mari Thorkelson officiating. Visitation will be 1 hour prior to service at the church. Interment will be in Bethel Church Cemetery. Evergreen Funeral Home is serving the family.
To send your condolence to the family, please visit our obituaries at www.evergreenfuneralhome.com.