Viola Rowe of Fort Jones passed away on January 5, 2018 in Medford, Oregon. She was 81 years old, and a 46 year resident of Scott Valley.
Vi was born to Charles Clemens and Gerda Hatvany on May 16, 1936. World War II forced her family to move out of the city of Budapest to be safe. They lived on a farm for a few years, and in 1943, her father moved the family back to Budapest. He was one of the heads of an “Underground Railroad” which hid Jewish children from the Gestapo.
In 1948, the Hungarian Government gave permission for all foreign citizens holding Visas (Vi’s mother was a German Citizen) to leave to other countries. Vi and her mother travelled by train from Budapest to Prague, Czechoslovakia to Danzig, Poland, where they boarded the S.S. Batory. They sailed to Copenhagen, Denmark, then to South Hampton, England, and eventually on to New York.
They were met by relatives in New York. Her mother took a job as a nanny/cook for 5 months in Beverly Hills, California and then for a year in New York. They went back to Hollywood, where Vi’s mother became a bookkeeper. Vi went to Hollywood High School, then UCLA, and became an accountant. She met Bill Rowe, the love of her life, and married him in 1960.
Bill was an L.A. City fireman, and a widower with 2 children: Christine (7) and Steven (12), and their home was in Hollywood Hills. Bill became Battalion Chief in 1972, and Vi worked as a controller for an advertising agency in Hollywood. In July 1973, Vi and Bill said farewell to Hollywood and moved to Fort Jones to build their dream home.
For many years, Vi planted vegetable gardens, and canned all of the goods it produced. She enjoyed her rose and iris beds; she loved to read, and she always looked forward to crossword puzzles. Vi won ribbons from the Siskiyou Golden Fair for food, quilts, and needlepoint entries. She loved meeting with the girls of the Piecemakers Quilt Club; she loved her P.E.O sisters and the time they spent together in their meetings and social activities. Vi loved the Christmas season; her hand-blown glass ornaments, which decorated their tree, were breathtaking, and her Christmas village scenes were a joy to see. She enjoyed crafting, especially creating her egg Christmas ornaments, which she gave to friends. Vi loved spending time with family and friends. She loved animals, having many pets over the years: horses, dogs, cats, and Rufus the donkey. She contributed to a variety of animal organizations. She loved her dog, Gyspy, who was her constant companion these last few years.
Vi had a solid heart of gold. She was so generous, easy to laugh, a great storyteller, and always ready to go out and have a good time. Vi and Bill were married for 55 years. They truly had a fairy tale life together. Vi adored Bill, as he did her.
Vi is survived by her loving daughter, Christine Allen and her husband, Ray Marsh of Yreka; her brother, Charles Hatvany, his wife, Mary and son, Thomas, all of Boston, Mass., and a cousin, Ruth Rittmeister of Honolulu, Hawaii.
At Vi’s request, no services will be held. Girdner Funeral Chapel assisted the family, and online condolences may be made at www.girdnerfuneralchapel.com.