|Birth: ||Feb. 28, 1899|
|Death: ||Jul. 27, 1999|
Los Angeles County
Viola celebrated her 100th birthday in February 1999 in Torrance, California. She was born Hixie Viola Franklin, the sixth of Anderson and Blanche's twelve children. She was born on a farm in Menardville, Texas and spent her childhood in Texas and Oklahoma. Her oldest sister, Nellie, wrote that their father got a house on the bank of the San Saba River and they moved in and Hixie was born there. In the meantime they had gotten acquainted with a family by the name of Crump. They were very friendly and nice; one girl was named Hixie. Mama named Hixie after her. She later changed her first name to Viola but most of her family still called her Hixie and Vi. She was pleased to find out that she had been born on her grandfather Franklin's birthday. She never got to know him while he was living.
She told her grandniece of an experience she had while she was in her late teens. She found out that her father was going to punish her when she got home so she decided not to go home. She read that a domestic agency was looking for young women in a neighboring town so she proceeded to walk there. After many hours on the tracks she was close to her destination when the town sheriff saw her. He asked where she was going and why. She showed him the advertisement and he told her that it was a false ad to entice girls into a brothel! She told him about her father's severe punishments and the sheriff drove her home. He had her wait in the car while he went into the house to talk to Papa. He told him what almost happened to his daughter and threatened to arrest him if he punished her. She said he never hit her again after that incident.
While a young woman she had a very short marriage with Charles Slover. She had a son, Douglas, who preceded her in death. Her younger son, Ernest Thom, lived in Torrance and visited her daily. Viola married his father in Mexico, where she lived for a time and learned to speak Spanish. Years later, she owned a Mexican restaurant, where she made the best chili rellanos in the area. It was called El Charro and was located in downtown Montrose.
Her family said that Vi liked to say that she was the sickly one as a child, but that she lived the longest as an adult. Viola, herself was proud of reaching the century mark, although she would occasionally say that she was still 99! She had charm, style, and grace. She never got old in spirit, just in years. In her heart, she was still young: playing on the beach with her children, exploring the countryside of Oklahoma and Texas, having lunch with her friend, and laughing with her sisters. She passed away quietly, still able to tell stories of her childhood days. She had her sense of humor to the end, and she said that growing old was not easy, but she was doing fine, surrounded by the beautiful cards and flowers from her friends and family. A short time before she died, she compared herself to the old, wilted roses. Viola wrote in her diary, "I have a mirror that is from ceiling to floor. It shows me such an old woman lying on the bed. Everytime I look at the way she is staring at me, I stick my tongue out at her and she sticks hers right back"!
In February, she celebrated her 100th birthday with her friends and family. It was a festive occasion and she enjoyed visiting with everyone. She often remarked that it was a good thing that her friends were younger than she was! She said that, over the years, she had such good friends. She said that they came all the way to Torrance to visit her. She worried that it was such a long drive. She was so happy that they did not forget her. Vi looked forward to her Ernie's visits, and the beautiful roses he would bring her. She always tried to entice him into a game of blackjack, which, of course, she liked to win. She also looked forward to visits from Ernie and Phyllis and their two sons, Chris and Mike. She was proud of the way that they turned out, and remarked that they, "Never gave us any trouble." She loved seeing Chris's wife, Kelley, and their daughter, Angelika. She kept their pictures on her dresser, along with those of other good friends and family members. She also enjoyed visits from Douglas's two daughters, Nancy and Susie and their children. She visited with her sole remaining sibling, Joan, over the phone.
She loved Las Vegas and just a week prior to her passing, she talked about getting her hands on the handle of a slot machine again! She said that she never came back a winner but she never lost much. When she could no longer go to Las Vegas, she asked her family to put $10 in quarters in a machine for her.
She loved to swim and her family has a picture of her in a swimming pool in her nineties. She was very independent. A couple of weeks before her death, she said that she thought she could still drive a car. She remembered how to shift but her family was not sure that she remembered how to put on the brakes!
Over good times and bad times, Viola was sustained by her faith. It was her faith that gave her comfort in difficult times, and serenity in her old age. She moved to La Crescenta in 1926, and became a member of the Christian Life Church in 1930. She held many voluntary positions in the church. Among those positions were Sunday School Superintendent and adult bible school teacher. In her diary, she recalled a passage from the Bible, "Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you" (Luke 6:38)
In 1997, she moved to a convalescent center in Torrance to be closer to Ernie. In her diary, she wrote, "I am expecting Ernie to come any minute. He comes most every day. I did a good thing when I gave birth to him. My life would be very lonely without him. He has been a wonderful son. God bless him for always doing things for me."
Vi also wrote that it would be nice to see Jesus, who has guided her all through her life. She said she wished that she had never displeased Him, but, through his great mercy, He forgave her. "One of these days I shall see him face to face."
She passed away in July 1999 and is buried at Forest Lawn in Glendale between her sister, Inez, and last husband, Carl, who died in 1975.
Anderson Lane Franklin (1866 - 1962)
Blanche Henrietta Stone Franklin (1870 - 1934)
Carl Paulsen (1901 - 1975)
Ernest Elmer Thom (1874 - 1944)*
Douglas Harry Slover (1917 - 1951)*
Ernest Elmer Thom (1924 - 2005)*
Nellie Demoretta Sophronia Franklin Brewer (1888 - 1987)*
Oscar Elon Franklin (1891 - 1963)*
Willie Belle Franklin Simons (1894 - 1985)*
Thelma Blanche Andre Franklin Schambers (1895 - 1979)*
Leonard Anderson Franklin (1897 - 1973)*
Viola Hixie Franklin Paulsen (1899 - 1999)
Donna Deane Franklin Armstrong (1901 - 1989)*
Nona Jean Franklin Tompkins (1903 - 1991)*
Inez Jan Franklin Martin (1906 - 1979)*
John Abe Franklin (1908 - 1994)*
Margaret Ella Franklin Vance (1910 - 1996)*
Joan Carol Franklin Shuler (1912 - 2000)*
Forest Lawn Memorial Park (Glendale)
Los Angeles County
Plot: Wee Kirk Churchyard, Map A08, Lot 1908, Space 2
Created by: Margie & Bob
Record added: Jan 16, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 32973782