Viola Palo

Viola Palo, 99, passed away on Wednesday, December 2, 2020, at Villa Marina Health and Rehab Center. She was born on August 19, 1921 to Charles and Mary (Koski) Wentela. Viola was very proud of her Finnish heritage and of being born and raised in the Waino community along with her brothers, Chuck and Bobby, and the numerous Koski, Tuura, and Wentela cousins.

She married Allan Palo in 1941 and they shared 47 years of marriage until his passing in 1988. Together, they raised their son, Lanny, in their home called “Skunk Hollow” which they built across from the Palo Homestead in the Town of Oulu.

Viola loved her home which always told you what she was focused on at the moment. In early years, it was the paperwork she was working on in her position as Treasurer for the Town of Oulu, a position she proudly held for 12 years. Or in her living room, it was one of the numerous quilts she was working on either at the sewing machine or on the quilting frame. Many people have been the proud recipient of one of her quilts or quilted wall hangings, either as a gift or winning one she donated to community events. Viola’s skill as a knitter brought great pleasure to her friends and family as they wrapped up in one of her afghans, warmed their hands in the snowflake mittens, or kept their feet warm wearing her wool socks.

Her newspaper career which started in 1967 at the Iron River Pioneer brought out her interest in anything and everything. She was very proud of working her way up through the ranks to hold the editor’s position. Whether “Musing” about life in northern Wisconsin in her regular column, or promoting local activities and reporting local news and issues, Viola would say that it was her “enquiring mind” that kept her enthusiastically looking for the next story. After retiring, she continued to write her column “Musing” until January, 2010 when health issues at the age of 88 no longer allowed her to continue.

Viola was a strong person that learned to work through the difficult times – the death of her son, Lanny, in 1965, the passing of her husband Allan, the decision to move to Senior Housing when macular degeneration no longer allowed her to drive, and adjusting to the permanent move to Villa Marina Health and Rehab after a fall. Her usual refrain was “When Life Gives You Lemons, You Make Lemonade.”

Viola is survived by her grandson Gene Allan Williams (Robin) of Gilbert, AZ, great-grandchildren Kaitlin Williams, Sarah (Mike) Post and Michael Minich, great-great-grandchildren Eleanor and Douglas Post, nephews, niece, cousins, and so many people that are family by the special part they played in Viola’s life and in her heart.

A Celebration of Viola’s Life and to commemorate what would have been her 100th birthday will be held this summer at the Palo Homestead which is now the Oulu Cultural and Heritage Center.

A special thank you to the caring staff at Villa Marina. Over the last seven years, Viola came to think of Villa Marina as her home and found more people to bring into her family.

Should friends desire, memorials are preferred to The Waino Ever-Rest Cemetery, c/o Treasurer Sheila Mackie, 14156 E Tuura Rd, Brule, WI 54820.

The Lenroot-Maetzold Funeral Home, 1209 E 5th Street, Superior is assisting with arrangements. To leave a condolence or sign the guestbook, please visit our website at

To plant a tree in memory of Viola Palo as a living tribute, please visit Tribute Store.

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