Viola Ann Watkins

Viola Ann Watkins


Viola Ann Watkins of Comfrey, died on Easter morning, April 9, 2023, at the age of 103 at St. John Lutheran Home in Springfield, MN. 

Visitation was on Friday, April 14, 2023, from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the Sturm Funeral Home, Comfrey Chapel and continued on Saturday from 10:00 a.m. until 11:00 a.m. at the St. Paul's Catholic Church in Comfrey. The Rosary began at 4:00 p.m. at the visitation. 

Mass of Christian burial was held at the St. Paul's Catholic Church on Saturday at 11:00 a.m. 

The clergy was Father Mark Steffl. Interment was at the St. Paul Catholic Cemetery in Comfrey.

Arrangements were with the Sturm Funeral Home in Comfrey, MN. Online condolences may be left for the family at

She was born in Buckman, Minnesota on December 4, 1919, and was the daughter of John and Theckla Kotten. Viola’s family moved to Sleepy Eye, MN when she was two years old. Her family farmed grain and livestock near Sleepy Eye and Viola’s three living sisters and two brothers were always very important to her. In her younger years, Viola attended St. Mary’s school in Sleepy Eye, MN. She loved the sisters who taught her, her classmates, and she especially loved singing in the choir. After high school, she took business courses and worked in Sleepy Eye and St. James Hospital in St. James, MN.

Viola married Art Watkins in April of 1941, and together they had twelve children. Their children are Rita, Carol, William (deceased), Jessica, Catherine (deceased), Peter, Patrick, Eugene (deceased), Daniel, Samuel, Alice, and Randal. With so many children, Viola grew large vegetable gardens each year making sure she also left room to grow flowers which she loved. She also grew an orchard of apples, pears, plums and cherries. Together Viola and Art raised beef cattle, pork and poultry. Viola was actively involved in the St. Paul Catholic Church Women’s Society as well as the Garden Club. Some of her favorite hobbies were beating her family members at cards, dancing and singing.

Viola had a big heart and everyone was welcome to her home where she loved serving them coffee and homemade treats. Viola was gifted with a large family; 27 grandchildren, 44 great grandchildren, and five great, great grandchildren.

Viola is survived by her children - Rita, Carol, Jessica, Peter, Patrick, Daniel, Samuel, Alice, and Randal as well as her brother, Ivan; many grandchildren, great-grandchildren, great, great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her husband - Art; daughter - Catherine; sons - Eugene and William; daughter-in-law, Anna; grandson - Larramy; her parents; her siblings, Sylvester, Bernice, Iona, and Marie. 

Blessed be her memory.

Springfield Advance-Press

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