Viola Van Leer passed away living 106 years -- I had written an editorial several months ago

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Pictured above: Viola Van Leer with her son Marvin Van Leer

Editorial by Kyle Quick

In July of this year I had written a story about a wonderful and inspiring 106-year-old women, Viola Van Leer, who came to the 5K race (Event part of the Youth Fair) to watch her 74-year-old son run the 3.1 miles.

Van Leer was born in 1905, living 15 years of her life before ever having electricity.  It never crossed my mind when I had asked her about what was the biggest change in her lifetime.  When she said, “electricity” I was completely caught off guard, not at all the answer I would have expected.

Today, I received an email from one of her great nephews informing me that Viola Van Leer had passed away on Wed., Sept. 7, 2011.  Her great nephew included in the email about how much he loved and admired her.

Van Leer’s great nephew said how wonderful of a lady she was and that he felt she had lived as long as she did because, "she always had a great attitude towards everything."  He remembered during family reunions at the city park in Union that he always asked her “would we see you next year and she always responded “yes”.  He said she gave the same response even after she was past the age of 100.

It was completely by chance I even had the privilege of meeting and speaking with Van Leer that day.  The conversation we had is one I will remember and cherish the rest of my life.

If you would like to read the editorial I had written click here.