Viola (Sanderson) Welsand age 82 of Russell passed away Monday, August 4, 2014 at her home. Funeral services will be at 11:00 a.m. Tuesday, August 12 at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Tyler. Visitation is 5:00-7:00 p.m. Monday at the Tyler Area Funeral Home and will continue one hour prior to services at the church on Tuesday. Burial is in Russell Cemetery. Stephens Funeral Service – Tyler Area Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements.
Viola J. Welsand was born on August 6, 1931, on her family’s farm in Sherburne Township near Florence, Minnesota to Louis and Alma (Severson) Sanderson. She was baptized at her home in 1931 and confirmed on April 14, 1946 at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Tyler, MN. She attended District #57 Country School and Tyler High School. Viola attended Mankato Commercial College for clerical studies and her first job was in Huron, SD. On June 17, 1951 Viola was united in marriage to Lester Welsand at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Tyler. She became a legal secretary in Pipestone, MN. Lester’s work brought them to Marshall for a year, before moving to Madison for 1 ½ years, and ultimately settling in Russell, MN, where she has lived ever since. Viola stayed home to raise her family, playing organ at church, teaching Sunday school, and assisting with charitable fund-raising for Coon Creek Township. She began working at Southwest Minnesota State College in 1967 as a secretary and continued her service there until her retirement in 1993. Upon her retirement, Viola was working as an assistant to the Dean of Students. She thoroughly enjoyed her interactions with the students throughout her years there. During her retirement, Viola continued to play organ for Immanuel Lutheran Church in Tyler, enjoyed spending time with her grandchildren, attended Senior College classes at Southwest Minnesota State University, and took water aerobics classes and yoga. Viola especially enjoyed music, and she played piano often. Her love of travel led her to Hawaii several times and also on a much anticipated vacation to Norway. She loved flowers, plants, and the beauty of nature. Above all, her daily Bible readings and devotions were the center of her life and actions.
She will be lovingly remembered by her children: Ramona (Allen) Larson of Redwood Falls, MN, Sonya Welsand of North Liberty, IA, and Lisa Molitor of Plymouth, MN; four grandsons, Reed and Kurt Larson, Blake and Shea Molitor; brothers, Lester Sanderson, of Tyler, MN, Wilfred Sanderson, of Russell, MN, and her twin brother Victor Sanderson of Flandreau, SD; along with many special friends. Viola was preceded in death by her husband, son, parents, three sisters, and an infant brother.