Viola McDowell Pellegrini, 96, passed away peacefully Oct. 23. 2015, at Parkhurst Place in Hood River, Ore., with family by her side. Viola was born Jan. 20, 1919, to Robert and Effie McDowell in Mt. Ida, Ark. She was one of 14 children.
In 1935 she married Orville Lewis in New Mexico. They had a son, Jesse Lewis, born Oct. 22, 1936. The marriage dissolved and Viola moved to Asti, Calif., in the mid-1940s and worked at Italian Swiss Colony Winery. There she met Carlino “Cappy” Pellegrini and they married on Oct. 12, 1947. She, along with her husband, ran the Asti Grocery Store. They had a son, Steve, on June 27, 1951. Cappy passed away on Oct. 13, 1968, and Viola continued to run the store until it was sold in the early 1970s, a total of 31 years.
Viola met and married Richard Derrick in the mid-1970s. They moved to Artois, Calif., to live closer to her brother, Benjamin McDowell, and her sister Eunice. In the mid-1980s her marriage to Richard ended in divorce.
Viola moved to Lake County, Calif., to be near Jesse and her grandkids. She stayed in Lake County before moving to Eagle Point, Ore., in 2003. In 2006 she moved to The Dalles, Ore., and was there until moving into Parkhurst Place in 2013, so as to be nearer to her son Steve.
She is survived by her sons, Jesse and Steve; eight grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren. She loved to garden, cook for family and take long drives in the country. She will be dearly missed.
Viola was laid to rest during a private burial in Mollala’s Adams Cemetery on Oct. 26, near her sister Mamie’s gravesite. A celebration of life will be announced at a later date.
The caring staff at Parkhurst Place provided excellent care and for that we are grateful. Donations may be made to Hospice of the Gorge - Hood River.
Please visit andersonstributecenter.com to leave a note of condolence for the family.
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