HOUSTON, Minn. -- Violet G. Runningen, 86, of Houston passed away peacefully on March 1 at her farm home surrounded by her five children.
Violet had countless friends and was known for her compassion for others, a welcoming smile, and putting others ahead of herself. A big joy, she said, was, "family coming home to visit and visiting with friends.''
She loved gardening, country music, summer sausage, grapefruit, Coney Island hot dogs and absolutely anything involving her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Violet Genevieve Christopherson was born Aug. 6, 1931, in Barre Mills, Wis., to Tilma (Pederson) and Christ Christopherson. She attended La Crosse County schools and earned her GED degree in the 1985. She married Dale F. Runningen on Aug. 25, 1949, at Trinity Lutheran Church in La Crosse. They spent 60 years in a happy marriage on the farm on Fort Ridgely. Dale preceded her in death in 2009.
Violet was an active member of Cross of Christ Lutheran Church in Houston and participated in many of the church's organizations. She was hospitality chairwoman of the church for many years. During her life, she was a 4-H Club leader, Homemaker Club leader and held offices in Women of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, a study and fellowship group.
She was a member of the Iris Garden Club, Houston-Money Creek Sno Riders snowmobile club, Road Wranglers Cycle Club, and the Houston Valley Twirlers square dancing club. She enjoyed embroidery, playing cards and spending many winters in Arizona.
Survivors include her five children, Roger (Marsha) Runningen of Springfield, Va., Arlan (Sandy) Runningen of Goodview, Wayne (Patti) Runningen of Houston, Marlene (Eric Forslund) Kramer of San Diego, Calif., and Sharon (Bill) Mahoney of Union Grove, Wis.
She is also survived by seven grandchildren, whom she dearly loved: Brent and Lee (Stephanie) Runningen of Winona, Jeff Runningen of New York City, Kyle (Brittany) Runningen of Greensburg, Pa., Laura (Drew) Long of Rochester, Monica (Scott) Kallstrom of Menomonie, Wis., Brittany (Steve) Galewski of Milwaukee, and four step-grandchildren: Josh (Ashley) Swenson of Houston, Aaron (Katie) Swenson of Cross Plains, Wis., and Emily (Drew) Albin of Granite Falls., Minn., and Sheridan Day of San Diego, Calif. There are 11 great grandchildren and six step- great grandchildren.
A brother, Robert, preceded her in death, as did a granddaughter, Angela, and a grandson, Mark.
Visitation will be at Hoff Funeral Home in Houston on Monday, March 5 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. and at the church one prior to the service on Tuesday.
Funeral services will be held on Tuesday, March 6 at Cross of Christ Lutheran Church in Houston at 11 a.m. followed by burial in the Stone Church Cemetery. After burial, family and friends are invited to gather at Cross of Christ for a light lunch and refreshments to celebrate her life. People who wish to offer a memorial to Violet may do so with a contribution to the Cross of Christ Lutheran Church Building Fund.
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