Viola M. (Ruther) Knowlton (1923 - 2014)

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GREENFIELD - Viola M. (Ruther) Knowlton, 91, of Greenfield, died on Saturday (8-16-14) at the Buckley HealthCare Center. She was born in Greenfield, March 14, 1923, the daughter of Theodore C. and Jennie V. (Hunt) Ruther. She graduated with highest honors from Greenfield High School in 1940 and attended Massachusetts State College.
She was married in 1942 to Ernest A. Knowlton, Jr. Together, they planned and built the first subdivision in the Greenfield Meadows.
She worked for the New England Box Company in the 1940's in the cost department. She was employed later by the Franklin Savings Institution in the mortgage department and became manager of the Heritage/NIS Safe Deposit Dept., retiring after 17 years in 1986.
She remained active in safe deposit associations for many years after retirement. She had been president of the Western Safe Deposit Group, the New England Safe Deposit Association and had served on the education, membership and development committees for the American Safe Deposit Association. She received the Norel T. McLaughlin award in 1988 and 1991 for her work on membership. She was presented an Honorary Life Membership in the American Safe Deposit Association in 1995. She was an advisor to several chapters and instrumental in starting four new safe deposit chapters. She presented programs and seminars and organized educational conferences for the New England area. Many of her articles were published in New England and national periodicals.
Mrs. Knowlton was a Past Worthy Advisor of Greenfield Assembly No. 27 of the International Order of Rainbow for Girls and served as Grand Choir Director in 1941. She became active in the Order of Eastern Star and received a 50-year member pin in January 1998. She was Past Matron of Arcana Chapter No. 50 of Greenfield, serving in 1957 and 1977. She was Deputy Grand Marshal in 1964 and 1971 and was Grand Adah for the Grand Chapter of Massachusetts in 1972. She had been secretary of Arcana Chapter in the 1950's and later served as treasurer for 20 years. She was also the instructor for many years. She served as president of the Past Matrons and Patrons Association of Arcana Chapter and president of the Grand Lamplighters.
She served several years on the Board of the Church Street Home. She was a Trustee of the Federal Street Cemetery Association. She became a member of Second Congregational Church in June of 1938. She served on many committees and as President of the Women's Association.
She enjoyed collecting stamps, making craft items, reading, camping, travelling, genealogy, antiques and paperweights. She and Ernie crossed the United States three times in their RV and visited all 48 contiguous states. Their travels took them to Canada, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, Bermuda and England. She went on cruises to the western Caribbean and Hawaii. She enjoyed being a member of the Catamount Sportman's Club and the Yankee Doodle Good Sams and served as Secretary from 09/1988 for eight years.
She leaves one son, Robert E. Knowlton and his wife Virginia of Conway; one granddaughter, six grandsons, three great-grandsons and one great-great-grandchild; her daughter-in-law, Sylvia, in Fitchburg, one niece and one nephew.
She was predeceased by her husband in 1992; three sons: William in May 2001, Phillip in September 2001 and Richard in May 2008; her sister, Jane R. Farley, and her daughter-in-law, Valorie (Grant) Knowlton.
Services will be on Thursday (8-21-14) at 1 p.m. at the Second Congregational Church, with burial immediately following at Green River Cemetery in Greenfield.
Calling hours will be Wednesday (8-20-14) from 6 to 8 p.m. at Walker Funeral Home, 14 High Street, Greenfield. The memorial service of the Order of Eastern Star will be conducted by Arcana Chapter No. 50 of Greenfield at 7:30 at the funeral home.
Memorial donations, in lieu of flowers, are suggested to the Shriners Hospital for Crippled Children, 516 Carew St., Springfield, MA 01104 or to the Educational Fund of the Grand Chapter of Massachusetts, P.O. Box 600583, Newtonville, MA 02460-0006 or to the Second Congregational Church of Greenfield.
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Walker Funeral Home
14 High St
Greenfield, MA 01301
(413) 772-6393
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Published in The Recorder on Aug. 18, 2014