Violet Colwell

violet colwell

Violet June Knutson Colwell died November 11, 2010 under the faithful care of Hospice and Edgewood Vista.

Violet was born July 12, 1911 in Fargo, ND.  She was a resident of Gardner, ND for 92 years, graduated from Gardner High School, attended North Dakota Agriculture College and taught in a one room schoolhouse for two years preceding her marriage to Maurice Colwell June 1, 1932.

They farmed and raised dairy cattle until his death in 1955. She later moved to town and held many jobs to support her family including being the post mistress in Gardner, operating a café, working as school janitor and school cook.  During this time she was a long time member of a homemaker club and very active in the Congregational Church of Gardner and was the organist for many years.  She enjoyed following the sports of her children and grandchildren participated in and rarely missed a game.  She also was a member of a bowling team in her 90's.

Violet was preceded in death by her parents, Harry and Edith (Rahier) Knutson; her husband Maurice; and her sons in law, Dale Brock and Thomas Bryant.

Survivors include her two sons, Cuyler (Ruth), Gardner, Kim (Beverley Ann), Fargo;  three daughters, June Brock, Colorado Springs, CO, Joyce Bryant, Gardnerville, NV, Karen (Roger) Carlson, Kearney, NE; fifteen grandchildren, thirty-four great-grandchildren, four great, great grandchildren and her cousin, who was raised as her sister, Geraldine Conrad McMahon.  

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Memories Timeline


  1. Clarkston WashingtonCuy, June, Joyce, Karen and Kim,
    My parents called last evening and told me that your dear mother, Violet, had died at age 99. So many thoughts and memories came back to me in those years that i lived in ND
    and shared within your family. Cuy and Ruth’s fun lovin with gentle sincerity, June and all her children which were Soo much ‘my younger siblings’ as i helped care for them in my HS years, Joyce (i’m sorry i never met you) Karen, the fun Christmas i spent at your home in Nebraska with your brand new baby and Kim our high school years together. Behind all of you was ONE wonderful woman you called ‘Mom’!
    All the rest of us knew her as ‘Violet’, but also knew she was the humble strength, the courage, encourager, supporter, counselor and healer behind your lives–as she had to let go of your father at such a young age. You were truly blessed to be her ‘children’
    Keep her memory alive—

    In sympathy and Christ’s healing grace and peace.

    Don and LuAnn (Ahlschwede) Wee

  2. Dubuque IAI just read Violet’s obituary and want to take this opportunity to extend my sympathy to you all who will gather to celebrate her life – family, friends, neighbors… I had the pleasure of spending time with Violet when I served as her pastor from 1997-2001 in Gardner – she played the organ for most of those years and she was among a group of strong and bright women who I deeply admired for their friendship, faith, good humor and zest for life. Peace to you as you celebrate Violet and the promise of the resurrection in Jesus Christ.

    Peace, Pastor Amy Current

  3. Huntington Beach CAJoyce, Karen, June and family, My heart goes out to you at this time of your loss and you all will be in my prayers. Violet had a wonderful full life and all of you were the biggest part of it. You knew you could always count on seeing her at your sports events. I thought she was such a wonderful lady and she will be missed.

    Judy and Bill Short

  4. Alamo TexasJune, sorry to hear about your Mom, glad we were able to have a visit with her while you were there. I remember the years of her playing the organ when we were going to the Gardner Church. Her family and friends had many years to enjoy her. She will be missed by many. Our sympathy to you and all of Violet’s family. Ethel and Don Wischer

  5. Renton WATo all of Violet’s family

    Mother and I were sad to hear of the passing of Violet,such a dear friend. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.
    Even though we can not be there in
    person Tuesday we will be there in spirit.

    Evelyn and Margaret

  6. Kim and Family,
    so sorry to hear of your loss. Please accept my condolences and my thoughts and prayers are with all of you.

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