Viola Margaret Sontum

December 22, 1917 — January 4, 2013

Viola Margaret Sontum

I was born December 22, 1917 in Hazen North Dakota, a small community of German immigrants. I enjoyed going to school, was the valedictorian of my high school and received a scholarship to attend Concordia Lutheran College in Moorhead Minnesota. I graduated from Concordia with a major in home economics, which required taking a lot of science courses. After graduating from college I spent 2 years in Pine Island Minnesota teaching. About that time World War II had started and I enlisted in the Navy. I was sent to Hunter College in New York for basic training and then to Atlanta Georgia for instruction in instrument flying. I was stationed at Coronado Island California to train Navy pilots in instrument flying. I spent 3 years in the Navy. In retrospect it was like a paid vacation - Coronado Island had beautiful white beaches and spacious water front homes. After the war I went to the University of California in Santa Barbara to take advanced courses in science and home economics. I then worked as a home economics demonstration agent in California's Imperial Valley. I only worked for a short time until I married my husband Chris. Chris was a Norwegian citizen and Stanford graduate who worked as a mechanical engineer for John Manville in Lompoc California. We moved to Lompoc to a rented duplex with a shared bathroom then to a little house of our own. I loved our new home and began working as a 6th grade teacher. Chris then took a job with the Braden copper company in Chile. We boarded a passenger freighter for a several month trip to South America. When we landed at a small fishing village in Chile, I cried, wondering why I ever wanted to come to such a poor country. From there we went to Valparaiso Chile, a big gambling place, now it was fun. We ended up in Caletones Chile where Chris worked as an engineer in the Copper smelter. I felt much more at home because there was a small community of people who spoke English. Steve and Mike were born here in Chile. The copper company paid for vacations, so we got to travel a lot in South America and quite a bit of Europe. When Chile began nationalizing the copper industry we moved back to the states, first to Lompoc California and then Salt Lake City Utah where Gary was born in 1955. I am the last one left of my Zeiszler family. I am survived by my three sons: Steve, Mike, and Gary; four grandchildren: Matthew, Megan, Daniel, and Nathan; and two great grandchildren: Alice and James. We have lived in Salt Lake City for 60 years. It has been a good place to raise a family. I love to dance and play bridge. I have played bridge since high school and attained a ranking of Bronze master. I have gone to a Lutheran Church most every Sunday of my life. As with every journey there are a few people I want to thank. Gary my son and long time caregiver; My other caregivers this last year: Mike and his wife Kathy, Steve and his wife Cathy, Linda and Lynette from Visiting Angels, Maria, Shannon, and Mayalla from Home Instead; and finally my spiritual guides Pastor Jeff, Pastor Jim, and Debbie from Our Saviors Lutheran Church. My funeral will be at noon January 26, 2013 at Our Saviour's Lutheran Church (25th east 39th south Holladay Utah). Come a half hour early to meet my sons and stay after for a home cooked lunch. If friends desire , memorial gifts in my memory may be made to Our Saviour's Lutheran Church. With Love, Viola M. Sontum
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