Viola May (Tomason) Gilbert was born at Bonesteel, SD on October 7th, 1922 to George and Anna (Nelson) Tomason. She was delivered by her grandmother who was a local midwife.
Her childhood was spent in Bonesteel area during the Depression years. The eldest of three children, she helped with chores and housework. Viola and younger sister Dorothy were joined by brother Jim when she was eleven. She doted on her little brother.
Viola attended school in Bonesteel graduating in 1940. She received a teaching certificate from Southern State teachers college in Springfield, SD. She taught country school for 4 years. It was then she became acquainted with a young sailor home on leave, Lloyd Gilbert.
Lloyd and Viola married in 1947 and made their home north of Burke in the house Lloyd built for them. Together they raised Glenn and Linda on the farm. Viola was a devoted wife and mother. She gardened, raised chickens, canned, sewed, and was a 4-H leader for 10 years.
In 1968, Lloyd began working on road construction. Viola traveled with him. She enjoyed making new friends and seeing various parts of South Dakota.
Upon retirement Lloyd and Viola remained on the farm enjoying the simple things in life; family, friends and home. They frequented auctions often finding some special treasures.
In 2000, Viola moved to Burke after Lloyd’s passing. She began volunteering at the Hospital Auxiliary Thrift Store. She loved her yard and flowers, planting something new each year. Her grandchildren visited often. These special times brought happiness to all.
In 2014 she moved to Silver Threads in Gregory. Again she made new friends, and always enjoyed each day that was given.
Viola passed away on June 14, 2016 at age 93.