Virginia Wolff, 95Virginia Bierly Wolff, 95, of River Falls, died Thursday, Oct. 11, at United Hospital in St. Paul, Minn.
Virginia Bierly Wolff, 95, of River Falls, died Thursday, Oct. 11, at United Hospital in St. Paul, Minn.
Born Eaton, Ohio, Sept. 23, 1917. A farm-girl childhood included her dog, her pony, fresh air and vegetables, and the chores and isolation that make a kid want to jump the fence. Came of age in the Depression, all those home-cooking skills born of necessity. Worked her way through college, taped scrounged theater ticket stubs back together for entertainment, graduated 1940 from Miami University at Oxford, Ohio (yes, Mom studied at Oxford.) Her part in The War was the Red Cross, working with wounded vets in Hawaii and Okinawa, then later Vienna, where she met her future husband, and mothers whose sons did not return from the East, and found time for some opera. Married John Maney Wolff June 24, 1950, and raised a family of four in Duluth, Minn.
The archetypal soccer mom, she somehow managed the endless diapers, illnesses, cooking, cleaning, birthday parties, recitals, sports, spats, library, school, church, and holidays. She often took her kids back to the farm, where we learned stuff we'd never learn in school. She kept the family together through difficult times, returning to college at University of Minnesota, Duluth, and teaching at Congdon Elementary - all while being Mom. The nest empty, she left Duluth for Eagan, Minn. Sadly, she had to nurse her husband through a difficult 5-year terminal illness. She knew "'til death do us part."
Retirement brought some time for herself: travel, quilting, reading, dancing. Her wall map is covered with dots showing places she's been. She wanted to enjoy herself, and she did. She moved to Presbyterian Homes in Eagan in 1987 and lived her final years in Comforts of Home in River Falls, Wis.
Her life spanned the 20th century, Victrolas to MP3s, WWI to Afghanistan. The family's first radio was a great marvel. Her children used slide rules. Her grandchildren have never seen a typewriter. They fondly remember a woman who could always find a smile to put on her face and have some fun until the day she died gracefully at 95.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Homer and Myrta Bierly; sister, Vivian; and husband, John.
She is survived by children: Virginia Wolff and Ray Minnerly of Bow, Wash.; John Wolff and Lori Takahashi of Seattle, Wash.; Scott Wolff of Duluth; Greg and Patrice Wolff of River Falls; and grandchildren, Carina Wolff, Peter Wolff, and Michael Wolff.
A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 1, at Bakken-Young Funeral Home in River Falls. Visitation will also be Saturday from 10-11 a.m. before the service. Private interment at Fort Snelling National Cemetery in Minneapolis, Minn. Memorial donations may be made to Fisher House Foundation, which provides housing for visiting of families of wounded veterans at V.A. Hospitals: www.fisherhouse.org, 888-294-8560, or 111 Rockville Pike, Suite 420, Rockville, MD 20850.
Arrangements are with Bakken-Young Funeral & Cremation Services of River Falls.