Viola was born on April 4, 1931, the daughter of Carl C. and Hallie (Huffman) Smith. She attended the Ionia Schools, and was a 1949 graduate of Nashua High School, Nashua, IA. On November 4, 1950 she was united in marriage to the love of her life, Jerry A. Finnegan, at the St. Boniface Catholic Church in Ionia, IA. They made their home in Ionia prior to moving to Charles City, IA in 1955. In 1973 the family moved to Independence, IA and started the Finnegan Auto Parts Corporation. Viola purchased a school house that was located behind the Buchanan County Court House and moved it to it’s current location. After renovating the schoolhouse and adding a hallway to Finnegan Auto Parts, she opened the Little Red Schoolhouse in Independence, IA in the 1980’s. She spent several years serving on the Parish Council at St. John’s Catholic Church in Independence, IA, and was an active member in the Sew & Sews.
She was a talented artist, spending countless hours quilting, and painting. She even taught classes in painting at the Little Red Schoolhouse. She enjoyed all the arts and crafts she did throughout the years, but her family was where her heart was. She took an active role in her grandchildren’s lives. Teaching them art, baking and sewing were among the activities they did together.
Viola is survived by her children; Michael (Sue) Finnegan, Clear Lake, IA, Mary (Scott Holmes) Finnegan, Hudson, WI, James (Joan) Finnegan, Independence, IA, and Theresa Finnegan, Shakopee, MN, her grandchildren; Christopher, Patrick, Nick, Tom, Katie, and Jackie Finnegan, Grady and Casey Finnegan-Holmes, a sister Edna Carroll, Pueblo, CO., and many nieces and nephews.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Friday May 18, 2018 at 10:30 AM at St. John’s Catholic Church in Independence, IA, with Fr. David Beckman presiding. Burial will be held at St. Boniface Catholic Cemetery in Ionia, IA. A visitation will be held on Thursday May 17, 2018 from 4 until 7 PM at the Reiff Funeral Home & Crematory in Independence, IA. A parish Vigil Service will be held at 7 PM on Thursday.
To leave an on-line condolence please go to www.reifffuneralhome.com under obituaries.