Viola Simonsen English 1923-2020

Wednesday, March 4, 2020
Viola Simonsen English 1923-2020

Viola English passed away peacefully on Feb. 25, 2020 in Sheridan, Montana, at the age of 96, just two months short of her 97th birthday.

Viola was born on May 10, 1923 in Laurin, Montana. Her parents, John and Petra Simonsen, were immigrants from Denmark. She had one brother, Jack Simonsen, as well as a cousin that her parents raised, Matt Petersen. She was raised on a ranch and attended school at Laurin, Robber’s Roost and Sheridan, graduating from Sheridan High School in 1941. She was the only girl in her graduating class, and was the last remaining member.

After high school, she worked for the Forest Service in Sheridan, then during World War II, she moved to Salt Lake City, Utah, and worked at a bank. After the war, she came back to the Ruby Valley and worked at the bank in Twin Bridges, then moved to Santa Barbara, California. After returning home to Sheridan, she was Madison County Treasurer for over 10 years. She was also raising her two sons, Ray Shaw and Mark Shaw.

Viola married Earl English on March 13, 1965. Viola and Earl purchased her parent’s ranch in the Ruby Valley, and they spent their remaining years there. During this time, Viola worked for the Montana Power Company until she retired due to Earl’s failing health. After Earl’s death, she remained at the ranch until eventually residing at Home Park, an assisted living facility in Sheridan.

Viola was a member of Eastern Star and garden club. She enjoyed community concerts and the many card games with friends. She was also a long-time parishioner of the Episcopal Church.

Viola is survived by her two sons, Ray Shaw and Mark Shaw; as well as by five grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.

Viola was a treasure who will be missed by all who knew her. She always had a positive outlook, every occasion was a “party” and she did in fact have rocks in her purse. She dearly loved her friends and family. We will all miss her beautiful smile and her funny sayings.

Funeral services were held Saturday, Feb. 29 at K & L Mortuary in Sheridan. In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to the Episcopal Church in Sheridan or to a charity of your choice.