Viola “Vi” Fordyce Shoffet, 92, of Lewistown, passed away peacefully on July 10, 2016 in Valle Vista Manor of natural causes. She was born August 28, 1923 on the family ranch in Suffolk, MT the daughter of Jesse and Clara (Molloy) Fordyce. Vi graduated from Winifred High School. In 1944, she joined the Army and worked in the Army hospital maternity ward. During her service, she earned medals for American Theater Service, Good Conduct and World War II Victory. She left the service as a Corporal and spent six years in New Orleans and San Francisco furthering her education at Soule Business College in New Orleans, Loyola University also in New Orleans, and the University of San Francisco. In 1956, she began her lengthy career in federal civil service in San Francisco, including the Department of Army, the Public Health Service and the Department of Education. Also during this time, her daughter Michelle was born. Vi retired in 1980 and moved to Lewistown to be close to her family.
Vi was a member of the National Association of Retired Federal Employees and the DAV Auxiliary. She especially enjoyed her time as a “Pink Lady” at the Central Montana Hospital. She loved traveling, and cherished those trips with her brother and sister-in-law, Ray and Phyllis Fordyce. She adored animals and provided a loving, often spoiled home for many during her long years. She was generous and humble, preferring to speak about the accomplishments and activities of her family and friends rather than her own. But she could be mischievous, and took great joy in grinning, and laughing it off with “I’m just teasing”. Vi was a fiercely independent and brave woman, raising a daughter on her own while forging a full-time career at a time when that was not so commonplace. She touched so many lives with her kind words, quick smile and generosity.
Vi is survived by her daughter Michelle (Nicholson) Gee of Lewistown; granddaughter Jean Gee of Missoula; grandson Chris Gee of Omaha, NE; numerous cherished nieces, nephews, and cousins; countless friends and neighbors; and her beloved sidekick Koda.
Vi is preceded in death by her parents, brothers Ray and Barney, sister-in-law Phyllis, niece Rita and special friends Don and Betty Gee.
Graveside Services for Viola “Vi” Shoffet will be held on August 18th at 11:00 am in the Veterans’ Section of the Lewistown City Cemetery, with Military Honors. A reception will immediately follow in the Commons at St. Leo’s Catholic Church. The Cloyd Funeral Home is assisting the family.
The family wishes to thank everyone who touched Vi’s life in some way, but especially all of the staff at Caslen Living Center; Drs. Bill and Kathy Holmes; Fannie Parker; and Tony and Sherri Sebek. Much appreciation to Cloyd’s Funeral Home for providing the arrangements.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Pet Assistance League in Lewistown, the Women in Military Service Memorial Dept. 560, Washington, DC 20042 or a charity of your choice and they may be left at the Cloyd Funeral Home. Condolences for the family may be posted online at www.cloydfuneralhome.com
“Come to the edge,” he said.
They said, “We are afraid.”
“Come to the edge,” he said.
He pushed them.
And they flew.