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Viola Espe

Remembrances of family and friends

Rodney E. Espe

Friday, May 18, 2007

Hi Special Lady - Happy Birthday! There for about a month we were the same age (April 26 until May 18) but now you are that "older women" again. Remember how I always teased you about chasing young boys. You are without a doubt the best thing that ever happened to me. A true "gift from God". I love you and I miss you but I think I am doing okay "making do" with all the wonderful memories.

Rodney E Espe

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Hi Special Lady - Our laddie is now 50! I called him today to wish him a happy birthday. As you undoubtedly know, he has a great family and is doing very well. Today I also sent the following e-mail to all of our "e-mail buddies":

"Hi everybody - Today is a special remembrance day for me. Just 50 years ago Viola gave birth to our son, Carl. She was in a military hospital ward in North Carolina where no husbands were allowed; she was thousands of miles from family support groups that most new mothers rely on; and she was married to a man who had no clue of the stress that a newborn infant would create under such circumstances. I know that our Lord Jesus said that Peter was the rock upon which He would build His church. I say in all sincerity that Vi was the rock who actually built our "church" for us. I didn't have a hell of a lot to do with it.

Please say a prayer for her. She loved you all very much!

Carl Espe

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Happy Birthday, Mom. I wish I could call you up and say it, but this will have to do. 50 years ago today you got a handful, didn't you? My birthday always makes me think of you and dad down there in North Carolina, far from home and family, and hardly more than babies yourselves. But you had each other, and you made it work. All part of a good life, which is what we all hope for.

Jody and Rich Hanson

Monday, February 20, 2006

It seems like yesterday that our friendship began when you moved into the little house in Bothell....What great memories....our cups of tea after the kids went off to school holding our dogs and visiting....I always felt so welcome when ever I stopped to visit....Carl and Mark playing Army in Rod's old uniform the girls dancing on the fireplace hearth to Candy Man...just knowing you were there....Then the move to D.C. I was so lonesome and cryed everytime I I am crying now... this is so hard...All the experiences of building the cabin,,,the house in Clearview ..the weddings and of course those dear sweet you loved them....Grandma was blessed to have had you take care of her for so many years before you went off and spent some fun years in the motorhome...The many hours on the golf course and your many new friends in Arizona...You fought a great battle with your cancer and it finally won but your love, friendship..companionship to Rod and the love of your children will never be forgotten....I know that your shuffering is over and you are in a better place but we will still miss your loving just your friendship over the past 40 years. You will never be forgotten dear friend...I loved you and truly miss you....My prayers are with your family as they are all so special too..Love Jody and Rich

Betty LaCroix

Friday, February 17, 2006

I remember that Viola was a special person with so many talents. It seems like she could do anything, there was nothing she didn't venture out to do! And, yes, she did remember the poor days of growing up. She made many things and saved whatever she could whenever possible. She even made her underwear from Rod's old T-shirts (white, of course).

Vi was so much fun! She made jugs of wine and homemade beer for their own use when they wanted some fire water. Viola was always game to do all manner of things with her family.

Viola and Rod were like two peas in a pod. I couldn't have asked for a neater sister-in-law. What I got to know about Vi was how very special she was to all who came to know her. Love runs deep when you truly care.

Carmen Richard

Thursday, February 16, 2006

I thought of Viola last Friday when were in Minot and having lunch at Charlies Cafe. We were best friends in college in 1952-53, and one lonely weekend when we were both stranded there, we decided to do something wild and crazy. So we went uptown to Charlies Cafe and bought a pack of cigarettes and proceeded to smoke then. I think we got through about two and decided it was not something we wanted to do. Of course we were laughing and giggling and being goofy. Viola was always such a fun loving person, and I will always have fond memories of her. When I married Floyd, we also became cousins which made her even more special.

Arnie & Nel Doll

Monday, February 13, 2006

We met Rod and Vi on the golf course in 90 or 91 and knew right away that we wwould to be friends with them. Rod and Vi were both easy going and fun to be around. Over the years Rod and I threatened a lot of homes on golf courses while Vi just went staight down the course and always long. She would just give us that cute smile when we would comment on her drive. She was a jewel and we will always keep her in our hearts.

Tim, Fran and the LaCroix boys

Thursday, February 9, 2006

My early memories of Viola are always about fun and adventure.
Rod and Vi's place was often a destination on big family trips.
Visiting the Space Needle, Pikes Place Market, the ocean, the
mountains and the cabin by the river was a big deal for a farm
kid from ND. Fran and I won't forget the adventure of helping
Rod and Vi flood-proof their cabin. We remember Viola laughing
and saying "puk-a-puk-a-puk" whenever baby Kory ran bare-foot
around her house. Kory got his first ever piano lesson on the
big piano from the old LaCroix farm when he wasn't even two years
old. Viola let him bang away and she wouldn't let us stop him.
Thanks for helping out when David was born in Salem, OR. It was
great to have you there when he was hours old. Thanks too for
all the yummy food and the bread you made with some top-secret
ingredient (potato water?). Viola always signed her cards with
"luv ya me" so... "Viola, luv ya back"

Donna and Jerome Allard

Sunday, February 5, 2006

Thank You so much for this web. site. We watched the slide show . What wonderful memories!!
I remember going to PePa and MeMa's and watching you two LOVE BIRDS ,Vi geting ready for the LOVE of her life to come and pick her up.You were made for each other. What a Couple!!Few people are so lucky to have what you two had.
We will always remember those visits when you would come with your moter home and camp in the drive way. It was so fun to have you there . We remember you sitting down in the loom room tieing loops for the rug's you put in the moter home. The fun and laughter we had. The good food that came out of the moter home!!! Those wonderful creamed potatoes, bread ,ham and you name it. You showed us a wonderful time at your cabin and the boat trip. We could go on and on!!!!!
Vi we will always remember you for the love you had for your family, your kindness, your happy laughter and what a worker your were .
Vi the sadness you showed as you watched your parents and brothers and sister go ahed of you. May you all have a wonderful reunion as you wait for the rest of us to join you.
What a battle you fought 3 times with that cancer. You had the love for live.
We will always remember and love you. Jerome and(Donna La Croix)Allard

Shannon (Giguere)Jarvis

Sunday, February 5, 2006

I remember how much I loved Thanksgiving at Aunt Viola's house when I was little-she never made me eat everything on my plate, she had great sweet rolls & those little oranges, & she'd let me do anything I wanted.

Charlotte LaCroix

Sunday, February 5, 2006

Dear Rod,Carl,Julie boys, Cathy & Dave
First of all thanks so much for this website done with such a labor of love. Its rich for the memories and will be visited often. I know Viola would be so proud. Bless you all richly too for all the love, joy care and support you have given her all these years youve have made her life so rich in many ways
The pictures say thousands of words.

Viola in earlier years or as sometimes was called Aunti "WA WA" a Name given by my sister Janice when she was first learning to talk and couldnt say Viola. It was certainly one of endearment. I would like now to say it could have been Aunti WOW WOW for how she seemed to many especially of her nieces and nephews.
She was such a loving,kind,caring
courageous,playful adventurous soul. Quite a role model for us. One couldnt help but feel loved and special in her presence. It was always a treat when they would come to vist Especially remember when they were a young couple they were left in charge of us kids while the folks were gone. It was a time of fun and play. Remember Rod looked so sharp in his uniform and her so pleased with her paratrooper guy they just seemed the perfect couple. In fact, they seem to be the perpetual honeymoon couple throughout their marriage . It was so evident the love respect and honor they had for each other. Its no wonder they were great to be around

I loved her sense of play and adventure. Being such a sport trying new skills. Down hill skiing Kyyaking golfing carpentry ya name it she was game. Cant help but wonder if they added to her courage in battling with cancer .. What a warrior. I often used her as example when caring for others with cancer. Just so admired her courage .. She touched unaware many lives. She leaves footprints on many hearts and minds that will be so lovingly remembered. We have been so blessed to have her in our lives.

Continued loving thoughts,blessings and prayers to Rod,Carl,Julie, Peter, Patrick, Cathy and Dave.. Love ya all

Paulette Chisholm "Putt Putt"

Saturday, February 4, 2006

Viola has been a special role model for me since I was a child My earliest rememberences of her was with Rod. Two skinny people in love, one in uniform, chasing the other around our house. Their relationship was one for which I would aim. Viola was the "sweetheart" of the family. A woman playful, talented and oh so warm. She disarmed and charmed absolutely everyone and made them feel instantly at home. Family members brightened and quickly rearranged schedules with news of her coming visits. Her effervesent and accepting laughter brought us "tickly joy." It was impossible to feel unloved around Viola. In my mind's eye, I can still see her smile, hear her laughter and taste her pie. She will not be forgotten with our cherished memories.

Pat (Hartl) Ravnaas

Saturday, February 4, 2006

Dear Rod, Carl and Julie and boys, Cathy and Dave,
Thank you so much for putting this website together. I'm sure it was a lot of work, but a labor of love no less. It was fun to see Vi and Rod's life unfold together. What I remember most about their relationship was that they were always such good friends and cared so deeply for one another. And that they were fun! It was fun to see pics of aunts, uncles, cousins, and remembrances past, remembered again. One of those times past I recall was a trip to the cabin. Sis Joan (Hartl) and I were on our way back to Alaska after Vonnie (Hartl) Pegg had had transplant surgery. Vi and Rod took us up to the cabin for the weekend before going on to Mom's in Fairbanks. What a hoot! They kept us well entertained. Thanks again for putting together this website. If you are ever in Bismarck/Mandan area, please give us a call (701-663-2162). We would love to see you! Know that you are all close in heart and in our prayers. Love to all.

Janice (Punkie) LaCroix Kester

Friday, February 3, 2006

I love you Viola, with all my heart. I always will. Your wonderful laugh and giggle will be one of my fondest memories of you! You just sort of bubbled over with happiness telling one of your stories! You were so lovable and fun to be around. Kind, gentle, caring, yet strong and gutsy, tackling all those adventures Rod would dream up! Then there were your courageous three battles with cancer! I will cherish the times we spent together, the telephone calls, e-mails and the special support you gave me in the good and the bad times. Spending some of your last days on earth with you and to hear you call me "Punkie" one last time, is something I will hold close to my heart and never forget. I am so blessed to have had you as my "big" sister, Auntie!

I'm smiling over your life with Rod...It was a very full and a very good one! Your extraordinary love for one another touched all of us in a very special way.

I love you dear Espe family. May your sweet memories give you comfort and peace.

Mick & Janice Kester

Friday, February 3, 2006

" Death is Nothing at All"
Death is nothing at all...I have only slipped away into the next room...I am I, and you are you..Whatever we were to each other, that we are still. Call me by my old familiar name, speak to me in the easy way you always used to...Put no difference into your tone; no forced air of solemnity or sorrow. Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes we enjoyed together. Play, smile, think of me, pray for me. Let my name be ever the household word that it always was. Let it be spoken without effect, without the ghost of a shadow on it. Life means all that it ever meant. It is the same as it ever was; there is absolutely unbroken continuity.
Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight? I am waiting for you for an interval. Somewhere very near, just around the corner...All is well.
Henry Scott Holland
Oxford Professor of Divinity

Peggy and Jerry Jukkala

January 29, 2006

Jerry and I have had the privilege of getting to know Vi and Rod in last few years when Vi got our class together for informal reunions in Az. She was so full of life and energetic it was a privilege to watch her go! She will be missed by us all.