Viola Porter passed away May 23, 2013 at the Homestead Assisted Living Center in Rexburg.
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Viola was born on May 12, 1920, at Parker, Idaho, to Leona Workman and Emmit Hunter. She spent the early years of her life in the Egin and Parker areas west of St. Anthony, where her father farmed. She graduated from South Fremont High School in St. Anthony in 1937, and then worked a year a local drug store to save money to attend Ricks College. She attended Ricks for a year before going to work for the Department of Health and Welfare in Fremont County as a secretary.
Before the start of World War II, the Army announced plans to build a ski training center near West Yellowstone. Viola was employed as a payroll clerk with the building company. With the Army's cancellation of the project, she was transferred to Ogden, Utah, and later to the head office at Wichita, Kansas. When war broke out, she moved to San Francisco to take a job as a secretary with the wartime agency Office of Price Administration (OPA).
While at Ricks College, she met and dated her future husband, Warren Porter. On December 11, 1943, they were married in San Francisco, while he was on a 10 day leave from Military Intelligence School at Camp Richie, Maryland. As her husband was stationed near Washington D.C., Viola asked for and received a transfer to Washington with her position with the O.P.A. She later worked for the Red Cross as she moved with her husband to different military assignments.
Following the war, they returned to Rexburg where Warren bought his father's small book store and began to expand it into other areas. Viola was active in Civic Affairs serving a term as president of the Rexburg Civic Club. She also was elected and served two terms on the board of the Madison County Library District. She was involved in promoting and encouraging reading all of her life. She was a staunch supporter of the local library in Rexburg, and for many years she was a volunteer with the local grade schools to help students improve reading skills.
After her children were older, she joined her husband in the retail business, taking over a book department that had dwindled to a small fraction of the overall family business. She built the book department into a full line book store that covered all major categories. It was an effort born out of her lifetime passion for reading.
Viola was active in the LDS Church, serving in many positions, including den mother, Relief Society president, Relief Society advisor at Ricks College, and mostly a teacher in all of the organizations of her local ward. She and her husband also served as ordinance workers in the Idaho Falls Temple.
Viola was preceded in death by her parents, one sister, one brother, one infant daughter, and one infant grandson.
She is survived by her children; Chuck (Linda) Porter, of Rexburg; Alan (Sheila) Porter, of Stansbury Park, Utah; Rebecca (Marc) Berke, of Danville, Calif.; and Flint (Susan) Porter, of Salt Lake City; fifteen grandchildren, and 20 great-grandchildren.
Funeral services will be held Tuesday, May 28, at 11 a.m. at the Rexburg East Stake Center with Bishop Dave Reeser officiating. Family will receive friends from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. Monday evening at Flamm Funeral Home in Rexburg, as well as from 10 to 10:45 a.m. Tuesday at the stake center prior to services. Interment will be in the Rexburg Cemetery under the direction of Flamm Funeral Home. Condolences may sent to the family at www.flammfh.com.
Published in Rexburg Standard Journal on May 25, 2013