Violet Olmstead (McGuire)
Violet May Olmstead was born in Spokane, Washington on June 25,1927. She was the fourth of five children to Melvin C and Inez Flossie (Haber) McGuire. Violet grew up on a family farm that included her father's parents, her uncle and his wife. She enjoyed gardening, tending the cows and chickens, and learning to cook. She also had fond memories of helping her father, a truck farmer, take cream and produce into town to sell. The evenings were filled with music. Her mother, even though totally blind, would play the pump organ, violin, or zither and her father, the cornet, while the family joined in song. As a young girl, she learned to play the guitar, her brother Howard played the saxophone and both sisters Grace and Amy played the piano. Music was an integral part of her life.
As an adult she continued her love of music. The hymns were her favorite. Many times you would hear her either singing or humming a tune. She participated in the church choir and even traveled with one of the senior choirs. During the last months, even with hearing and memory loss she would bless our hearts with music. When she couldn't find words to express her feelings, she could express herself through a song. Her favorites were songs of praise about Jesus Christ her Lord.
Living in the country, the nearby Montfort Community Center was a special place for Violet for many reasons. First, she completed her eight grade education in the old one room rural school. Later, after her children finished high school, she received her GED. Second, Montfort was the center for all the social gatherings, farmers market, and other local events. Third, and most important their church met in the center. One summer, during Vacation Bible School, Violet accepted Jesus as her Best Friend and Savior. That began a very real and lasting relationship with her Lord Jesus Christ.
Violet remembered her sisters teasing her about all her boyfriends, but she didn't mind. It was no surprise to the family that even though she was the fourth to be born, she was the first to marry, Violet and her older sister Grace like to double date. One night in November 1942, Grace arranged a blind date for Violet, who was 15 at the time. The blind date couldn't go at the last minute so asked his friend Ovle E. Olmstead to fill in. At first Violet was not impressed with Ovle, but it didn't take long to change her mind. Ovle was stationed in Spokane, Washington with the United States Army Air Corp, but his home was Malta Bend, Missouri. After a short two month courtship, Violet and Ovle, accompanied by her parents, since she was not of age yet, rode the train through a snow storm to Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, where they were married on January 20, 1943 by the Justice of the Peace. They lived in Spokane for one year before he was transferred to Colorado Springs, Colorado for six months. From there, Ovle was sent to India where he served for fourteen months. Upon his safe return and discharge, they moved to Missouri to find work. The Lord blessed Violet and Ovle with three children, Beverly Darlene, Dennis Allen and Pennie Lynn. Violet and Ovle had 65 beautiful years of marriage before Ovle preceded her in death on June 18th, 2008.
Upon moving to Missouri, Violet and Ovle first lived in Waverley. In 1951 they moved to Kansas City, Missouri, before finally building their home in Westwood Hills, Independence, Missouri. Thanksgiving Day 1954 the family moved into their new home. It was the family home for the next 59 years. The strong family ties Violet learned as a child became very important as she tried to build those same values in her children. She worked at many different jobs outside the home, however, always putting the home and family as priority.
She experienced a variety of jobs through her working years. In Washington she was a waitress at the Davenport Hotel and later worked at Western Union Telegraph Company, In Colorado Springs she was a messenger on base until Ovle shipped overseas. While raising the family in Missouri she worked at international Shoe Factory, Luces Luggage Company, Avon Company, Montgomery Ward, Remington Arms, Lake City Ammunition Plant, McAllen Jewelry, JCPenney, and, finally, at Walmart in the yard goods department. In each place of employment, Violet made many special friends that have followed her through the years.
Even though she worked outside the home, she planned her time and invested her efforts into making that house a home. Her neighbors often commented that she had the most beautiful yard in the neighborhood and with a name of the flower Violet it was to be expected. Therefore, many evenings were spent teaching the family to plant tulip bulbs, rake and burn leaves, weed the flower beds, care for the tomatoes and strawberries, as well as pick the apples and make apple butter. Whatever needed to be done, she involved the family and we worked together.
She enjoyed sewing, all types of crafts, ceramics, and cake decorating. Every holiday she would create a special meal, decorate a special cake, or have something special for the family to do together. For Christmas, Violet made it a habit to hand make gifts for the family. One year she went to great lengths to make a quilt for each of the three children. Violet also enjoyed sharing her love for each of her Sunday School class members by making some small ornament for their Christmas tree.
If you were a member of Violet's Church or Sunday School Department, you probably received a personalized card or letter from her. That was one way she could touch each life.
If you got a card you were also on her prayer list. Violet spent every morning in the reading of God's Word and praying for her family, friends, missionaries and country. She was a mighty prayer warrior for the Lord.
Since 2002, Alzheimer's robbed Violet's family and friends of the women, sister, wife, mother, and friend that we all knew and loved. Praise God she is no longer confused and can now remember everything. Now she is part of the Heavenly choir singing and praising her Lord whom she loves and has served so faithfully all her life.