In Memory of Viola "Vi" Samuelson

Viola "Vi" Samuelson
Viola "Vi" Samuelson
Born: April 20, 1939
Died: February 14, 2015
Age: 75
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Viola "Vi" Samuelson
April 20, 1939 - February 14, 2015
From: Nevada, IA

Viola Samuelson, age 75, of Nevada, died Saturday, February 14, 2015, at Iowa Methodist Medical Center in Des Moines.

Funeral services will be held 10:30 a.m. Friday, February 20, 2015, at Memorial Lutheran Church in Nevada, with Pastor Myron Herzberg officiating.  Burial will be in Nevada Municipal Cemetery.  Visitation will be held at the church on Thursday from 4-7 p.m. 

Born April 20, 1939, in Northwood, Iowa, Viola Mae (Gentz) Samuelson was the daughter of Roy and Olga Caroline (Thompson) Gentz, and was baptized at First Shell Rock Lutheran Church in Northwood on May 14, 1939.  She grew up and received her education in Northwood, graduating from high school in 1956.

Vi worked at Ben Franklin stores, first in Northwood and later in Belmond, Iowa, where she met and worked with her future husband, Fred Samuelson.  The couple was united in marriage on April 9, 1967, in Northwood.  They continued their employment with Ben Franklin in Cherokee from 1968 until 1970, then purchased the Ben Franklin store in Nevada.  Vi and Fred continued working together for the next 44 years, truly a labor of love.  

Vi possessed a strong work ethic.  She loved working and was beloved by employees and customers alike.  An avid collector, Vi enjoyed her various collections, including Precious Moments and Swarovski Crystal.  She had a passion for playing the piano and also enjoyed traveling.  Vi was a member of Memorial Lutheran Church where in earlier years she taught Sunday school, and also served as den mother for the Cub Scouts.

Survivors include her husband, Fred; two sons, James Samuelson of Newport Beach, CA, and Michael Samuelson of St. Louis, MO; special family friend Angelia Sutton of St. Louis, MO; a brother, Roger Gentz of Northwood; two sisters, Junette (Richard) Burrier of Mason City, and her twin, Violet (Roger) Baldwin of Albert Lea, MN.  She is also survived by many nieces, nephews, cousins, and other extended family members; as well as her “granddog,” Barkley.

She was preceded in death by her parents and a sister-in-law, Eloise Gentz.

Memorials in Vi’s name may be directed to Memorial Lutheran Church.

Ryan Funeral Home of Nevada has been entrusted with the care of Vi and her family. 


Monday, March 2, 2015 at 10:44 AM
“Fred, I was so sorry to read about Vi's passing. I know you did everything together, just like Jerry and I did, so I know you will miss her so much. She and you too, were always such a friendly smile to see in the store when I went in. She was a lovely and kind person and lots of people will miss her. My sympathy to you and your family and wishes for God's strength to get through this tough time. Just remember the happy memories and time you had together. God bless all of you.
- Linda Cheek
Thursday, February 19, 2015 at 8:14 PM
“Hugs & prayers to Fred, Jim, Mick and to all the Ben Franklin family. I was one of your early employees, who worked at the NE corner of 6th & then again at Christmas time in the 70's, at the present place. You & Vi always made me feel so happy to come to work, for you & she always generally cared about all of us BF workers. She was always glad to see all of her friends & interested in our lives. She will be greatly missed by ALL.

Jan Krausman ”
- Jan Krausman
Thursday, February 19, 2015 at 10:13 AM
“My sympathy to you, Fred, and all of your family. I know you miss Vi so much.”
- Linda Glantz Ward
Thursday, February 19, 2015 at 10:13 AM
“Vi was such a special person. Had so many wonderful conversations with her while I was shopping at Ben Franklin. She will be missed by so many. Just won't be the same not seeing her at the store. Our sympathy to the family. God be with you at this time of sorrow.”
- Charlene Carsrud
Thursday, February 19, 2015 at 10:13 AM
“Fred and Family...So sorry to hear of Vi's death...will miss her smiling face.”
- Barb Cockshoot
Wednesday, February 18, 2015 at 9:41 AM
“Vi was a very special lady, she was so helpful, friendly, and made shopping at Ben Franklin a delight. Fred and family I am so very sorry for your loss, I hope the many wonderful memories you have of her help you find peace. My prayers and thought are with all of you.”
- Diane Wilhelm-Johnson
Wednesday, February 18, 2015 at 9:41 AM
“Fred and family,

So sorry to hear of the passing of Viola. She was so sweet to know and very friendly. Ben Franklin will not be the same without her. We moved from Nevada over 20 yrs ago but I always made it over to your store.
- Carolyn Gibson
Wednesday, February 18, 2015 at 9:41 AM
“Mickey and family, we are sending prayers to you all. So sorry to hear of your mom's passing. Hoping that you are holding all your memories with her close to your heart and finding comfort in those memories. - Nick & Brigitte Milhous”
- Brigitte Milhous
Wednesday, February 18, 2015 at 9:41 AM
“To Fred and employees of Ben Franklin , Vi was a lovely lady to work with. I only knew her for about a year, but she was a very sweet person. So sorry for all of your loss.

Darcy Rice /Evergreen Enterprises”
- Darcy Rice
Wednesday, February 18, 2015 at 9:41 AM
“My sincerest sympathies with your family. I was truly saddened when I heard of Vi passing, as just a few shorts weeks ago I enjoyed my visits with her while she was in the hospital at Story Co. I will miss Vi's friendly greeting and smiling at me upon entering Ben Franklin and value the conversations we had.”
- Erika
Tuesday, February 17, 2015 at 10:27 AM
“My sincere sympathy to you and your family. I lost my mother last February and it is tough thing to go through
Wishing you well”
- Carol Kennedy
Monday, February 16, 2015 at 2:57 PM
“My thoughts and prayers are with all of you.
She was such a loving lady. Always helpful and smiling.
Many times thru the years we discussed the ups and downs of owning your own business.
She loved her job and her customers.
We will miss her very much.

Donna Swanson”
- Donna Swanson
Monday, February 16, 2015 at 12:48 PM
“Thinking of you at this difficult time. Vi was a lovely person .Always smiling and always had time for a visit . She truly will be missed . Dixie Philips ”
- Dixie Philips
Monday, February 16, 2015 at 12:48 PM
“Fred, Jim and Michael my thoughts and prayers are with you. I enjoyed working for you back in the 70's and had high respect for you and Vi. She always had a smile and was ready to help customers and employees at all times. Christ's love and peace be with you all! Jan Olson and Brian Olson”
- Jan Olson Stivers
Monday, February 16, 2015 at 12:47 PM
“Dear Fred and family,
So sorry to hear of Vi ' s passing. I just talked to her before we.left for Mexico! Such a
shock. Always had a helpful attitude and always with a smile. Many will miss her, beautiful lady!
Prayers and hugs for all the family in this difficult time. God BLess.”
- Dianna Haley
Monday, February 16, 2015 at 12:47 PM
“I fondly remember Vi, she and Fred hired me for my first job. They always had a place for me at Ben Franklin when I would come home from college. Vi would work right along side us , on the floor many times reseting merchandise.

I also remember how she loved those boys... All three of them! Her family was her life!

She was a special person who touched many people. She will truly be missed!”
- Eva (Nading) Weller
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10:30 a.m.
Friday, February 20, 2015
Memorial Lutheran Church
Nevada, Iowa


Pastor Myron Herzberg


4-7 p.m.
Thursday, February 19, 2015
Memorial Lutheran Church
Nevada, Iowa


Lois Theesfield, Musician


Nevada Municipal Cemetery
Nevada, Iowa