Viola Toppen, a resident of Eventide at Sheyenne Crossings in West Fargo, died on February 20, 2021 at the age of 106.
Viola was born to Casper and Tilla (Perhus) Tuskind on June 21, 1914 in Davenport, ND, where she lived for 19 years.
After graduating from Davenport High School in 1932, Viola went to New York City to work for six years. This was during the “Dirty Thirties” or the Great Depression. She served as a nanny for her cousins, Melvin and Alpha Brodshaug. While in New York City, she attended Miller’s Secretarial School. She worked for Burn’s Detective Agency for two years and the American Bankers Association for two years.
Viola married Alfred Olson of Kindred, ND on October 17, 1942. He died October 9, 1951. Viola married Marlowe Toppen of Kindred on January 21, 1955. They farmed near Hickson, ND until his death on May 28, 1982.
Viola was employed as Executive Secretary at Cass County Electric Cooperative of Kindred. She was the first woman to retire after 30 years of employment. She also worked for Kelly Services as a “Kelly Girl” for several years. She enjoyed 25 years wintering in Mesa, AZ.
Viola was a member of the Sons of Norway for 25 years and a member of Kindred Lutheran Church since 1942.
Viola was declared legally blind in 1999. Since then, she has devoted her time to audio books, visits from family and friends, following Minnesota Twins baseball, along with long walks and daily exercise classes at Sheyenne Crossings.
Viola is survived by daughter: Teresa (Robert) Simon, Maple Grove, MN; sons: David (MaryAnne) Olson, Richfield, MN and Todd (LeAnn) Toppen, Hickson, ND; daughter-in-law: Sandra Olson, Burnsville, MN; grandchildren: Diana (David) Rose, Watsonville, CA; Julie (Shane) Colin, Savage, MN; Zachary (Katherine) Olson, Lafayette, CA; Michael Olson, Burnsville, MN; Lynsey Olson, St Louis Park, MN; Erin (Brandon) Kub, Kindred, ND; Leslie (Chad) Wolf, Fargo, ND; and Kyle (Mary) Toppen, Hickson, ND; and great-grandchildren: Haley Taylor, Joseph Rose, Benjamin Rose, Dora Colin, Joshua Colin, Sloan Olson, Quinn Olson, Jackson Kub, Madelyn Kub, Peyton Kub, Lennon Wolf, Decker Wolf and Baby Toppen (due May 2021).
Additional survivors include sister-in-law Jean (Erwin) Beilke, Fargo, ND; brother-in-law Dwaine Toppen, Fargo; and many nieces and nephews including Maxine Mattson, Fargo, ND and Kenneth Tuskind, Wentworth, SD.
Viola was preceded in death by her parents; husbands Alfred Olson and Marlowe Toppen; and son, Darryl Olson, who passed away on November 4, 2005. In addition, siblings Alice (Carl) Lahren, Orville Tuskind, Irene Tuskind, Gaylord (Ramona) Tuskind, and Wendell (Marion) Tuskind; and great-granddaughter Kailyn Kub.
Viola will be laid to rest at Perhus Cemetery, Kindred, ND next to her husband, Marlowe Toppen. To honor Viola’s wishes, a private family Celebration of Life will be held this summer.
Viola’s family would like to thank Sheyenne Crossings and Hospice of the Red River Valley for their exceptional and comforting care.
Arrangements made with Boulger Funeral Home, Fargo, ND.