Viola Bertha Welchko
June 19, 1915 – April 13, 2020
Viola was born in Colville, WA to Sylvester and Bertha (Ryker) Houck. She was the youngest of 8 children and grew up on a ranch near Bonners Ferry, ID. Viola met her husband, Charles Lewis Welchko in 1929 during high school. She attended Washington State University and joined Alpha Gamma Delta sorority. Charles and Viola were married for 67 years until his death in 2005. Viola had a fashion and modeling career in Spokane and Seattle. In the mid 50’s, she was a part of Telescope, Seattle’s morning TV show. She was the 1st exercise lady on TV and produced the program’s first fashion show.
Charles and Viola bought and developed a 30 acre farm in Kent, WA where she ran a charm school out of the basement. Viola was the Director of the Miss Kent Pageant from 1960-1973. Her community involvement included Soroptimist and President of Kent Orthopedic Guild. She was honored in 1965 as the community’s “Woman of the Year”. Viola got her private pilot license and enjoyed golfing, hiking, camping, and snowshoeing. After selling their farm, Viola and Chuck moved to Anacortes, WA in 1978 to pursue sailing in the San Juan Islands. She remained in Anacortes until 2011, when she moved to Danville, CA
Viola was preceded in death by her husband, Charles; brothers Marvin, Edward, Raymond, and sisters Margaret, Erma, Leta and her twin Bertha (2006). Viola is survived by her daughter, Marla Welchko of San Ramon, CA and grandchildren; Luke Hartung, San Francisco and Hannah Hartung, Austin, TX
Interment will be in Bonners Ferry, Idaho.