Viola Mae Deems

February 17, 1934 ‒ January 31, 2019

Mansfield, Ohio

Viola Mae Deems, age 84, passed on Thursday, January 31, 2019 at Haymount Rehab & Nursing Center in Fayetteville, NC following a brief illness. Exactly four years to the day after her dear husband Ken Deems passed on in 2015 they have been reunited in glory.

Vi was born February 17, 1934 to parents Dale & Lois (Hannan) Shambaugh in Perrysville. After Vi was graduated from Perrysville High School as the valedictorian of the class of 1952, she earned her associates degree from Columbus Business University.

One night after a square dance in Mansfield a handsome young man named Ken offered to escort Vi home. They dated for several years, writing each other while he served in Korea, and he proposed one Christmas Eve. Ken & Vi were married July 26, 1953, sharing 62 wonderful years of marriage and together reared three children.

Somehow Vi found time to do everything just right! She was very industrious and worked at many different jobs while also keeping a beautiful home for her family. Among others, she was a key punch and terminal operator, a Kelly Girl temporary worker, and a vocational assessor for Madison schools. Vi’s diminutive stature belied her huge presence in her sphere of influence, in church and community. She was married in First English Lutheran Church and remained a lifelong member where she served as a choir mother, greeter, and usher. Vi was also a member and a recorder of the Sarah women’s circle, a small group, cooked and served at many church dinners, and prepared the weekly bulletin and monthly newsletter. She was a member and former board member of the Mansfield Federation of Women and looked forward to the Perrysville High School reunion each month. Vi was also a member of the Baku Grotto Auxiliary, Treasurer of Lutheran Church Women, a poll worker at the Board of Elections, and Secretary-Treasurer of the Pandora Dance Club.

Vi had many hobbies over the years including: golfing, bowling, sewing (recently she made children’s dresses for overseas missionaries to distribute), baking, playing cards, watching Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune, solving puzzles, and babysitting her grandchildren. Having grown up on a farm, she was an excellent gardener and was especially fond of red roses. Above all, she loved to ballroom dance with her husband and together they won several competitions.

She is survived by son Brian & Jill Deems of Hope Mills, NC; daughter Lisa Turner of Perrysville; son-in-law Steve Frey of Mansfield; four grandchildren: Jody Osbun, Brent Deems, Nellie Turner, and Tammi Turner; four great-grandchildren; and two great-great-grandchildren.

In addition to her parents and loving husband Ken Deems, she was preceded in death by her daughter Teresa “Terri” Frey.

Her family will receive friends 5-7 p.m. Friday, February 8, 2019 in the Marion Avenue Snyder Funeral Home (formerly Finefrock’s 350 Marion Avenue in Mansfield). A funeral service celebrating her life will be held 12 noon Saturday at her church, First English Lutheran Church, 53 Park Avenue West in Mansfield, with calling an hour prior. Pastor Andrew Jones will officiate and burial will be at a later date in Mansfield Memorial Park. Contributions in her memory to First English Lutheran Church may be made at her services.

Snyder Funeral Homes is honored to serve Vi’s family and encourage you to share a memory with them and watch her tribute video at

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  • Vi was a classmate of ours in Perrysville for 12 years. We enjoyed many wonderful memories of those years. She was a kind and loving person. She will be missed by many. My sympathy to all of her family. God bless.
    Love to all.

    Norma Mowers-Zody and Gaylord Zody

  • Jill and Brent, David and I send our thoughts and prayers to your family.Vi and Ken were a wonderful couple with a wonderful family. We certainly enjoyed the years they played golf here.Wishing you all well. Dave Bowser & Barb

  • Vi and Ken were two of our favorite students at Ballroom Dance Classes at Holy Trinity. So friendly and kind. Everyone loved and were inspired by them. They are dancing again together now.

    Carolyn England

  • Dear Brian and Lisa,
    I deeply regret I will not be attending the calling hours or funeral for your Mother. Your Mom and I were classmates at Perrysville School from first grade until we graduated with the Class of 1952. She was a very pretty, intelligent and friendly girl. She accomplished many things in her life. You should be very proud of her!
    You have my deepest sympathy. May she rest in peace.
    Marlene (Daubert) Ellis