Violet “Vi” June Lewis Birdsong, 92, passed away peacefully on Thursday, October 14, 2021 surrounded by her daughters, as well as her friend and caretaker Mable Murphy. A Celebration of Life will be held on Thursday, October 21, 2021 at 12 o’clock to 3 p.m. at Reichmann Pavilion, 2300 E. Walnut St., Columbia, Missouri. Masks appreciated.

She was born to Emil and Eva Stock in Tebbetts, Missouri on December 12, 1928. She, along with her older brother Bennie, were raised on farms between Tebbetts and Fulton, Missouri. Reserved with a quick wit, Violet was petite but fierce, strong-willed, with sparkling blue eyes and loved by all who met her.

Violet married Richard “Dick” Lewis on February 12, 1950. Dick was sent to Korea with the U.S. Army in early 1951, and their first daughter, Kathy, was born a few months later. Once Dick returned home, they moved to Minnesota, where they welcomed their second daughter, Terry. During their 46-year marriage, they also lived in Arizona, before settling back in Columbia, Missouri in 1967. As a family, the four loved traveling, camping, competitive Yahtzee, and Mizzou football. While in Columbia she worked at 3M for many years and after retiring, Violet and Dick enjoyed traveling around the U.S. until he passed in 1996.

Violet was married again in 2003 to Raymond Birdsong who was also a passionate traveler. Together they visited almost every continent before he lost his battle with Parkinson’s in 2015. After Raymond’s passing, Violet moved to Tiger Place Assisted Living where she loved playing Bingo, socializing at dinner and happy hour and spending quality time on her porch with her daughters.

Violet’s lifelong passions included gardening magnificent rose bushes and vegetables, traditional German baking with her family at Christmas, fitness, and buying out the makeup counter at Dillard’s. She was a wonderful mother and grandmother, passing on the values of family, determination, a green thumb, and the secrets of morel mushroom hunting.

Violet is survived by daughters Kathy (Paul) Rothove, and Terry (Richard)Tinaglia; three grandchildren Ann (Jake) Vacek, Charles “Sonny” Andrews, and Matthew Rothove. She was preceded in death by her husbands, parents, brother Bennie Stock, half-brothers Elmer Gemeinhardt and Wilbert Gemeinhardt, and half sisters Esther Schroeder and Hulda Dickson.

Her family would like to acknowledge their appreciation of Tiger Place Assisted Living, Compassus Hospice, Right at Home Caregivers, and above all Mable Murphy, the caregiver for both Violet and Raymond who became a beloved family friend.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the American Heart Association or Compassus Hospice.

Online condolences may be shared at memorialfuneralhomeandcemetery.com

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