Violet “Vi” A. Rothe
Violet Ardell Rothe was born in Forest Township, WI, on January 23, 1931, the youngest of 9 children to Ferdinand and Evalena (Kohn) Matter. She grew up in the Clear Lake, WI area on the family farm, attended Woodland Elementary School, and graduated from Clear Lake Union Free High School in 1948. After graduation, Vi worked at the Federal Reserve Bank in Minneapolis for three and a half years.
Vi married Lawrence Kempenich on November 30, 1951. The couple was married for 10 years and had three children: Connie, Steven and Colleen. Lawrence died at the age of 32 from a heart attack while hunting. Their son Steven died at the age of 34 of a heart attack, and their daughter Colleen died at age of 52 from liver disease.
On October 25, 1963, Vi remarried Ralph C. Rothe, an old neighbor and friend. Shortly after, they moved to Bayport, MN, where they lived until the spring of 2017. Vi and Ralph were married for 54 years and had one daughter, Kimberly. Ralph also had two children from a previous marriage: Deb and Brian. Combined Ralph and Vi had 6 children, 9 grandchildren, 17 great-grand children and 1 great-great grandchild.
Vi was a stay at home mom until Kim started junior high when she went to work for the Minnesota Education Association and did clerical work in the Stillwater School District for 10 years. Violet enjoyed spending time with family, friends and her Boston Terrier dogs; summers at the cabin on Big Marine Lake; and looking out the picture window. She also loved sewing, gardening, and canning and was known for making the BEST dill pickles.
In 2017 Ralph died from ALS and Vi moved to Oak Park Senior Living Memory Care where she resided until she died September 21, 2021, in Stillwater at Lakeview Hospital after a courageous battle with Alzheimer’s.
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