Viola Scannell, 97

Scannell obit pic

Viola Lucille Ann Ricker Smith Scannell passed away on Monday, March 6, 2023.

She is survived by her beloved husband, John.


Viola was born on September 17, 1925. She and John grew up together in Elgin, Nebraska and both attended Elgin Public High School (Class of 1943). They were high school sweethearts and continued dating for several years thereafter, following Viola’s move to California and while John served in the U.S. Navy during WWII. 

As happens, they went their separate ways. Viola met, loved, and married Clifford Smith who predeceased her after 30 years of marriage. After WWII, John attended college in Chicago, then met, loved, and married Phyllis Berezny who predeceased him after 31 years of marriage.

After both being widowed for several years, Viola and John reconnected with the help of mutual friends, courted, married, and remained devoted to one another for 32 years. 

Viola leaves her three sons, Richard (Nancy), Jeffrey (Vicky), Roger (Summerkaye), and three daughters of her heart, Mary (Burt), Kathryn (Dale), and Karen (Michael).

In addition to her children, Viola doted on her 13 grandchildren: Kellen, Mike, Kristian, Keith, Kalvin, SeanSkylar, Summer, Meggie, Tyler, Ellie, Karyn, Eric, Charlotte, several great-grandchildren and three great-great-granddaughter. 

She was always interested in what they were doing, loved them fiercely, and was so very proud of each and every one.

Just out of high school, Viola taught grades one through eight at a one-room school near Elgin, Nebraska. After moving to California, she worked for a government agency during WWII. 

During her sons’ school years, she was the president of the PTA, was always active and supportive in their academic pursuits, their years participating in sports, and created many fond memories of family camping trips exploring the National Parks with her boys. She also worked at an area elementary school, at the Audio Digest company, and then as the executive secretary at the Southern California Credit Union until her retirement. Her greatest “job” though, was as a wife, mother, and grandmother. 

Immediate family will hold a small gathering at a later date to honor Viola.