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photo by Cindy Cornwell Viola’s Special Day was celebrated with (l to r) Victor and Barbara, Lynwood and Doris, all from Fort Wayne, and  daughter and her husband; Rosalie and Monty DeWitt from Tucson, Arizona.Viola's family and friends traveled from all over to spend a "special" day with her on Easter Sunday, March 31st, 2002. Viola Mahnensmith Fitch turned 100 years old.

Viola was born in Ossian, Indiana. She graduated in 1920 from Ossian High School. During the summer of 1920, Viola took classes at Ball State University. She was then hired by the Ossian Township Trustee and began teaching all eight grades in a one-room schoolhouse. Viola said she had to walk a mile every morning to open the schoolhouse and "fire-up" the wood stove.

In 1929, Viola married Forrest Fitch. The marriage blessed them with 3 children, 6 grandchildren, and 6 great grandchildren. As reported by Viola's children, she retired during the middle 1960's. Sadly, Viola's husband Forrest passed away in 1975, but she remained living alone until 1999.

Currently, Viola is a resident at Englewood Health & Rehabilitation Center on Engle Road in Waynedale. Tracey Smith (admissions director) asked Viola, "What do you attribute your longevity? Was it good clean livin'?" Viola replied, "Well...sort of."

Viola's special day was spent with her 2 sons and their wives; Victor and Barbara, Lynwood and Doris, all from Fort Wayne, and daughter and her husband; Rosalie and Monty DeWitt from Tucson, Arizona. Other family members and friends to celebrate this special occasion were: grandsons, Keith from New York, Brian from Rhode Island, Donald from North Carolina, Douglas from California and granddaughters Erin from Beach Grove, Janey from Washington along with several sorority sisters and life long friends and neighbors.

Bless you, Viola and Happy Birthday from the staff at The Waynedale News.


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