Viola G. Pence

July 8, 1926 ~ December 28, 2018 (age 92)

Click here to view Viola's Liturgical Wake Service.

Click here to view Viola's Mass of Christian Burial.

Viola G. Pence, 92, of Aberdeen, and formerly of Westport, SD, passed away Friday, December 28, 2018, at Avera Mother Joseph Manor in Aberdeen.

Mass of Christian burial will be 10:30 a.m., Friday, January 4, 2019, at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Westport with Father Mark Axtmann as celebrant.

Burial follows at Sacred Heart Cemetery, Westport.

Schriver’s Memorial Mortuary and Crematory, 414 5th  Avenue NW, Aberdeen, is in charge of arrangements.

Visitation will be 5-7 p.m., Thursday, January 3, 2019, at the mortuary with a liturgical wake service beginning at 7:00 p.m.  Visitation continues one hour before Mass at the church on Friday.

Family and friends may sign Viola’s online guestbook and also view her service via the live stream service link at

Viola G. Huettl was born to Albert and Gay (Siemann) Huettl on July 8, 1926 in Aberdeen, SD. She grew up on a farm west of Westport along with her sister Pauline. She attended school in Westport and graduated from high school in 1944. 

Viola married Bennett A. Pence on Oct. 25, 1949 at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Westport. They established their home west of Westport where they raised their family of seven children and farmed for over 40 years. 

Viola enjoyed life on the farm and working outdoors. She faithfully put in a large vegetable garden every summer and spent long hours canning and freezing the fruits of this harvest. She transformed the farmyard by planting many trees, shrubs and flowers, and pulling those pesky weeds. The real victory of this labor was realized when the plants survived the many visits from rabbit and deer. 

Amid the busy life on the farm, Viola carved out time to create many special memories. One of her greatest joys was having her family gather for a birthday or holiday celebration. She loved to cook and bake and try many new recipes that she continued to collect. Time spent with kids and grandkids included helping with homework, playing games, attending school functions, and of course - making something special to eat. Viola is remembered for having a soft spot for the many stray cats and new kittens that showed up on the front steps and she made sure that they, too, were well fed. 

Viola was a member of Sacred Heart Altar Society in Westport. She also helped with elections held at the Westport town hall. 

Viola entered Nano Nagle Village in 2011 due to ill health. She later moved to Mother Joseph Manor in 2012. While at the Manor, she enjoyed reading the newspaper and clipping articles to add to her many scrapbooks. She also looked forward to playing bingo with family and friends. Her faith was strong and she enjoyed partaking in mass several times a week. Sunday visits were always special and sometimes included a piano recital along with a few good songs from friend Katie Schaff and her young children. A visit to Viola was never complete without a cookie or piece of candy from her famous “treat drawer.” 

Grateful in sharing her life are her children: Bernard (Janet Lee), Rita (Sheldon) Lenling, Monica (Mike) Karpinske, Bryan (Brenda) Pence all of Aberdeen; Mike (Mary) Pence of Westport, her sister Pauline Schaunaman of Aberdeen, 20 grandchildren, 35 great grandchildren, and one great-great grandchild. 

She was preceded in death by her parents, daughter, Barbara in 1958, son, Roland in 2010, and brother-in-law Harold Schaunaman in 2017.

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