Funeral Services: Will be held on Tuesday, November 21, 2017, at 2:00 p.m. at the Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Fontanelle with burial in the Fontanelle Cemetery. A luncheon will be held at the church following the committal services at the cemetery. Pastor Steven Broers will officiate the service.
Open Visitation: Will be held on Monday, November 20th, at the Steen Funeral Home in Fontanelle from 3:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Family Visitation: The family will greet friends on Monday evening at the Steen Funeral Home in Fontanelle from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Memorials: Memorials may be made to the Violet Erbes memorial fund to be established by the family.
Violet Melanie Erbes was born in her parents’ home on January 11, 1928 in Summerset Township, Adair County, on a farm 2 miles east of Fontanelle on highway 92. Oscar and Emma (Baudler) Gross had three daughters: her older sisters Darlene and Berthie, and then Violet. Violet passed away at the Good Samaritan Home on November 16 at the age of 89.
Violet was baptized by Pastor Kurtz and confirmed at the Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Fontanelle where she remained a faithful member. When asked about religion, Violet replied, “You couldn’t be without it! We try to do our best, and our best isn’t the greatest, but we got to keep trying.”
When she was seven, her family moved to the house on the highway and established the Gross Cabin Park. On the farm she would assist with the farm work, gardening, and the potato patch. Tragically, when she was 9 years old, she lost her father Oscar to colon cancer.
She attended country school K-5 at Summerset #4, then grades 6-12 at the Fontanelle town schools. She graduated in 1946. She had always wanted to be a teacher, and taught country school for the next 3 years. She met her future husband, Eldon, wearing his Navy uniform, at Luther League. Pastor Seegers united her in marriage to Eldon “Louie” Erbes on September 25, 1949.
When asked what she is most proud of in life, she said, “My kids.” Susan was born in 1950, and then Gary in 1953, both at the Adair County Hospital.
Violet taught Sunday School at Fontanelle starting at age 16, and continued for the next 23 years. She said she even talked Eldon into teaching Sunday School for a year or two. She would tell Susan and Gary to “Pray on the way” every day before school. Violet’s faith was the foundation of her life.
After almost 57 years of marriage, Eldon died in 2006. Violet was always a faithful and loving wife, a very loving mother, and an encouraging grandmother and great grandmother.
In her later years, she learned how to enlarge old photographs on her printer to give to friends and family. Iris Westphal was her daily visitor and helped attend to Violet’s every need.
Violet is survived by her children: Susan Williams (Jeff) and Gary Erbes (Eliz); grandchildren: Craig Williams (Cindy), Kristin Frost (Mark), Benjamin Erbes (Jennifer), Timothy Erbes (Kelly), and Emily Erbes; great grandchildren: William, Eliot, and Tallis Frost, Isaiah Erbes, and Martha Erbes; her nephews and nieces: Galen Herr, Lester, Paul, and Kirk Bigelow, Betty Currie, Rose Dory, Daisy Antisdel, and Iris Westphal, as well as many other family members and friends.
She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband Eldon, her sisters Darlene and Berthie, her brothers-in-law Gilbert Herr and Robert Bigelow, her nephews, Ronald Herr and Max Erbes, and her niece Marilyn Armour. The message she wanted to share with her family was “Be happy, be good, serve the Lord”. She showed her thankfulness by saying, “I know the Lord. He takes care of me every day and helps me make the most of my life.”
May the memory of Violet be a blessing to all those who knew and loved her.