Violet went to be with the Lord on Thursday, March 12, 2020 after a battle with renal cell carcinoma.
Violet was born in Kamiah on March 26, 1947 to Richard and Helen Moffett. She was the 8th child of the 10 Moffett children and the youngest sister. Violet acquired her nickname “Oodie” at birth. She was known by both names all her life.
Violet was a well-known and respected member of the community. She was a proudly enrolled Nez Perce Tribal member and an active member of the First Indian Presbyterian Church in Kamiah.
The Moffett family spent most of their childhood growing up in the Kamiah Valley and have always considered it home, regardless of where life took them. Anyone familiar with the mountain valley knows not much is more moving than an old church hymn beautifully sung by the Moffetts. Their countless choral performances are well-known and Violet was very much a part of this sibling group. Violet enjoyed playing music, dancing, singing, family picnics or any other sort of family gathering.
Violet attended Kamiah School and finished schooling in southern Idaho. She attended B.O.C. in Bellevue, Wash., which started her many positions in management.
After school, Violet and her three children moved to Middleton, R.I. where she worked for EPA Glass Room in nearby Narragansett, R.I. and Transcom Telephone Components in New Port, R.I.
After several years in Rhode Island, Violet and her children moved back west to call Yakima, Wash. home. In Yakima, Oodie worked for ShopKo, both in the Office and Service Department, as well as Morgan Jewelers in the Credit Department.
During her time in Yakima, Oodie joined a Fitness Salon for “Fluffy Ladies.” Soon after joining, she was asked to be one of their instructors. While the group had already put together one instructional video, prior to Oodie joining them, she was greatly involved in the making of their second instructional video. She toured with the group to Hollywood to make the video. Once complete, the video was featured in several magazines, including the Avon catalog. The video aired on several home and family networks and was even highlighted on the Oprah Winfrey Show. This was a very big part of Oodie’s life, which she enjoyed very much.
While Oodie had a very busy and rewarding life in Yakima, her most precious part would be re-uniting with her first love, Ronald Johnson. The couple was married in November of 1997. Ron passed away in January 2012 and awaits her arrival in Heaven.
Violet accepted the Lord in 1979 and led Ron to the Lord during their years together. With their Heavenly Home guaranteed, the sweethearts will once again be reunited.
Ron and Oodie lived most of their years together in Kooskia. In September 1995, they opened the Purple Feather Smoke Shop on Main Street. They operated the successful tobacco and gift shop for over 24 years. In the beginning years, the couple operated the shop with just the two of them and in later years began hiring employees to ease the load on themselves.
Not only was Oodie part of a large family, family was a huge part of her life. While she enjoyed the Moffett picnics and reunions, her sisters’ outings and any of the family’s choral performances; Oodie’s most cherished family role was that of a mother. Her three children were the most precious jewels in her entire life. Oodie had to be both father and mother to her children and at times worked three jobs just to see to it that they never went without. Never once did she ever see this as a burden, they were her gifts and she cherished everything that brought. She never wavered from all that they needed and remained determined to always give them the best possible life she ever could. Anyone who heard them reminisce of their family stories as children, the laughter, the joy, the memories, knew in a moment that she had done all she could and more for them and of the greatest gift, was her love.
Violet was preceded in death by both of her parents, Richard and Helen Moffett; her brother Richard Moffett; her sister Eloise Mahle; her husband Ron Johnson; six nephews and one niece.
Violet is survived by her three children, daughter Alita (Shane) Reed of Kooskia, daughter Laci (Tolly) Taliaferro of Kemp, Texas and son Conway Potter of Pasco, Wash.; her five sisters, Deborah Simler of Kamiah, Wanda Dunn of Lewiston, Dixie Morris of Lewiston, Vivian (Donald) Suebert of Lewiston, and Sharon Moffett of Lewiston; her two brothers, Charles (Peggy) Moffett of Tacoma and Chester (Karen) Moffett of Kamiah; grandchildren Kenny, Jawn, Riki and Miki Reed, Oodie Nykol and T.J. Taliaferro, as well as seven great-grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.
Services were held March 17 at the First Indian Presbyterian Church, burial followed at the Riverside Cemetery in Orofino where Oodie was laid to rest alongside her sweetheart. Dinner at Nakisa Hall in Kamiah was held after the graveside services.
In honor of Violet/Oodie, she asked for all to “Please wear purple, I am done (wearing the color).”