Viola Elizabeth Rathgeber
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Passed away on Friday, May 17, 2013 at the age of 88, in Charlotte, NC.
She was born in Evansville, IN on May 15, 1925, one of eight children of Adolph and Elizabeth Buente. Viola was married for 59 years to the love of her life, the late Robert W. Rathgeber. She was a devoted wife, mother, grandmother, great grandmother, aunt, sister and friend. Viola was a talented and resourceful homemaker and an avid gardener whose love of nature was shared with her family and friends. She was gifted in quilting and knitting, and loved to share the work of her hands. She was an active member of Calvary Baptist Church in Newark, DE for 50 years before moving to Charlotte, NC in 2007.
Viola is survived by her daughters and their husbands, Jane and Michael Balbirnie, Patricia and Dennis Smith; her grandchildren, Jason Smith and his wife Kelly, Ryan Smith, Johanna Boozer and her husband Blair, David Balbirnie, Sean Balbirnie; and her great grandchildren, Stacy Smith, Jessica Smith, Conor Smith, and Aubree Smith. She is also survived by two brothers, Ervin Buente and Adolph Buente, Jr. , a sister, Evelyn Buente, brother in law and wife, Curtis and Geraldine Rathgeber, as well as numerous nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews.
In addition to her husband and parents, Viola is predeceased by her sisters, Dorothy Esche, Maida Winternheimer, Lucille Buente, her brother, Elmer Buente, and her granddaughter, Erika Smith.
A memorial service will be held in the day chapel at St. Matthew Catholic Church, 8015 Ballantyne Commons Pkwy., Charlotte, NC on Friday, May 24th at 12:30 PM with Rev. Msgr. John J. McSweeney presiding. Her funeral service will be held at Calvary Baptist Church, 215 E. Delaware Ave., Newark, DE 19711 on Saturday May 25, 2013 at 3 PM with Rev. Bruce Martin officiating. Visitation will be from 2 to 3 PM at the same location. In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to Calvary Baptist Church.
Arrangements are in the care of Heritage Funeral Home, Weddington Chapel
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Published in The News Journal on May 22, 2013