homepage logo

Viola Marietta Mach Dietz, 94

Mar 31, 2008

West Salem, Ore. — Viola Marietta Mach Dietz, 94, of Orchard Heights Senior Community Care Center in West Salem, died on March 18, 2008. A Memorial Service was held March 29, 2008 at St. Philip Catholic Church, 825 SW Mill, Dallas, Ore. The Dallas Mortuary Tribute Center handled the arrangements.

She was born on March 23, 1913, to Adolph and Martha (Ronish) Mach, in a wild prairie blizzard, in a sod house built by her father on her parents homestead near Rapid City, S. D.

In 1930, when Viola was 17 years old, she won the South Dakota state 4-H Dress Review competition. Despite the difficult financial times during the depression, she was able to find the resources to design and construct her entire outfit. Later that same year she won the national 4-H competition. This awarded her an eight week steamer ship trip to Europe, touring many of the European countries prior to World War I. She wrote a book about her experiences.

Viola graduated with honors in Home Economics from South Dakota State University in Brookings, S.D. She taught Home Economics in schools at Freeman, S.D. and Bemidji and later became a Home Extension Agent in Blue Earth County (Mankato) where she met her husband Ben Dietz. They were married in St. Louis, Mo. on Sept. 5, 1942 where Ben was serving in the Army Air Force. They lived on Fort Pendleton Air Force Base in Oregon, before moving to Milwaukee, Wis. and then Minneapolis where Ben worked as an Army Placement Officer, finding jobs for soldiers when they left the service. In 1946 they settled in Winnebago where they owned and ran the Marshall Wells hardware store. Viola was active in the Presbyterian Church in Winnebago, teaching Sunday School for many years, singing in the adult choir and leading study groups in the Ladies Aid Society. She was one of the founding members of the Home Economics Club and participated in community plays and arts activities.

She is survived by daughters: Sherry Leveille of Red Wing, Kathy (Steve) McGavock of Dallas, Or.; son: Gregory (Ann) of Auburn, Wash.; five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren; a sister, Eileen Berg of Palo Alto, Calif.; and a brother, Dr. Alvin Mach of Minneapolis, and many nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Ben; her parents, Adolph and Martha Mach; two brothers, Reynold and Roland Mach.

Memorials are suggested to the Viola Mach Dietz Scholarship at South Dakota State University (823 Medary Ave, Brookings, SD 57007). T o leave an on-line condolence for the family, go to www.dallastribute.com.