Viola Josephine passed away on April 9, 2014 at 5:45 pm. Viola was brought into this world by one of the first Woman physicians in Illinois, and Viola’s Aunt and namesake. She was born on March 24, 1934 and had just celebrated her 80th birthday. Viola was married to Mr. Thom Foulks for 49 years before Thom passed away in 2004. Besides being a loving mother, Viola was a medical transcriptionist most of her professional life. She operated two successful businesses and supported doctor’s offices and hospitals nationwide. She was highly respected in her field and trained a host of transcriptionist’s serving the medical field today. She was a Medical Records staff member with Memorial Hospital for many years and went on to start her own business called "VJF Enterprises" and then “Words Plus” which was ahead of its time offering in-house admin functions for a wide range of small businesses leasing office space from her. She also learned to use the CPT Word Processing long before most people used PCs. After many moves with the Air Force, most of Vi’s adult life was spent in Colorado Springs, Colorado. In 2003 Thom and Vi made a big move back to Thom’s home in Indiana. After Thom passed away in 2004, Viola moved to Gillette, Wyoming, to be close to her son, Joe, and daughter, Kathy, along with multiple grandchildren and many new great-grandchildren. Vi made a new life for herself in Gillette and made many new friends, enjoying her Wednesday card games and many other activities. Viola is survived by three sons, Thom (Wendy) of Stockton, CA, Joseph (Cyndi) of Gillette, Wy, and Dana of Englewood, Co, and one daughter, Kathy (Jeff) , of Gillette, Wy; two sisters, Lois of Chillicothe, IL, and Colleen of Halfway, MO; six grandchildren and eleven great-grandchildren.
This was her 81st year on earth. We will miss her dearly, but we are relieved she is no longer suffering the horrible effects of Alzheimer's.
There is a story that I doubt if Vi put in her memory book. You may or may not know that her nickname was "Biddy," given to her when she was born because she was so little. This stuck through most of high school, especially by her family. (David gave her this name)
Anyway, when we lived in the country, David, I, Doris, Vi and sometimes other cousins would go up in the hayloft of the barn and put on shows. Vi was only six or seven but she always sang. She was always introduced as "The one and only Biddy" because she never changed notes or keys.
Living on the farm was probably the best years of our lives even though we had neither electricity nor inside plumbing.
I really miss her already and know that you do, too.
I think of all of you. Just remember all the good things and happy times that she and your Dad gave you. Love to all of you and God Bless You.
One of the best memories I have of my Mom being both a Mom and a friend was in high school. I had written a paper on Robespierre and the French Revolution. Of course, I waited until the last minute to ask my Mom for help.
I went into the office, WordsPlus, the day before it was due. If I remember right, it was also the day of President Reagan's Inauguration. She did type it up for me with the stipulation she would not fix grammar or spelling. She would not make the paper get a better grade except for maybe appearance.
In the background, on TV, was the inauguration. I remember during Reagan's speech Mom teared up a couple times. I was surprised to see her do that because of a speech.
I did get an A on the paper. And, I do think she must have fixed a few things here and there. She could not help herself.
Viola: The short analysis is, she brought me in out of the cold. The weekend we met – me, hitchhiking as so often, her in a handful of coeds off for a fun weekend – I apparently recognized in her the kind of stability I was desperately seeking. She was a small-town, deeply-rooted girl that represented everything I felt I’d missed as a child.
We only bantered during seventy miles or so of road travel, and I left. I was planning to go to Greentown, guiltily feeling a visit to my dad was overdue. I continued hitchhiking, another guy with me (one of the hundreds of casual friends I’ve had who left no lasting impression with me).
By the time I got to Kokomo, still on US 24, I knew Greentown was not where I wanted to go. I wanted to go back to Monticello Beach and get to know better the gal I had been chatting with on the road. I was not carrying any cash, knew I needed some, so I went to a Kokomo bank to cash a ($100) check against money I had in a Greentown bank. That turned into a third-degree thing, because the Kokomo bank simply didn’t trust a guy in uniform. (I still hate writing checks for cash at an out-of-town bank.)
Then, I hitch-hiked back to Monticello, and had no problem (fate?) whatsoever finding Vi and her coed group. Vi and I have tried to figure out just WHAT day that was, and neither of us have come up with a date we agree on. Mid-May to mid-June 1955, best we can do. Whatever. By next afternoon, we were lying on the sand at Monticello Beach, discussing how many kids we were going to have. Yeah, we were both kidding. Uh-huh. Someone shot a picture, long gone now, that showed my sunburned back with her handprint across it. I carried that picture in my billfold for years.
In about 2000, I began work at Penrose in transcription, and Vi was the one assigned to help me. Being just 5 years younger, we shared many things in addition to our job. We became good friends as well. Working with Vi was a treat, and we shared some laughs along the way.
When she moved to Wyoming, we kept in touch. We were able to stop and visit her a couple times on our way to Montana to visit family, and she was a lovely hostess. When she was moving, she gave me a beautiful shamrock plant, which is still thriving. I think of her each day as I enjoy our plant!
Reading others' memories of working and being friends with my mom makes me want to also share my memories, not so much about being her daughter but as her employee and colleague. I started working for her in the afternoons when I was in high school. She would have me copy type the “normal” reports, like the multiple T&As. She hated copy typing. I then progressed to the “easier” doctors. I worked at home, in our basement. After one particularly frustrating evening of feeling like I was getting nowhere, I had resolved to tell my mom in the morning that I no longer wanted to be trained to transcribe. I went upstairs and found my dad still awake, probably watching Johnny Carson. He proceeded to tell me how mom had told him how proud she was of me for trying and working so hard. My heart sank and I didn't tell him what I had decided and I didn't tell mom until after maybe 30 years of transcribing.
My mom was wonderful as a mother and maybe more wonderful as a wife, but in our home she took backstage to my father, and probably to us, too. She seemed to want it that way...In her professional life, though, she shined so brightly. She worked harder than anyone I have ever met. She was a wonderful teacher and if you were willing to try, she was always willing to help and explain. She was the one with all the answers, but she usually just told me where to find them myself – invaluable lessons for our line of work. When I married and moved to Wyoming, she sold me an IBM Selectric and a Dictaphone so that I could possibly start my own business. Within a year I had a few clients of my own. She was always there to answer any questions and help me along in the process. Over the years we helped each other out, filling in for each other or sharing clients. She began a legacy of transcription in our family in that besides myself, three of my children have worked as transcriptionists, one using it to help with expenses while in medical school, another while being a stay-at-home mom (like me) and the third still working for me while in college. The thing is, she would have done this for anyone who wanted to try.
I feel very lucky in that I did not know my mom just as her daughter, but that I had time to also know her as a colleague and friend, and to see her in action in HER element, and I am so glad that she had that. I am also coming to believe that I was also lucky to have gotten to know a different part of her, with the Alzheimer's. That is a hard one because so many times when she was here I just missed the person that she was. I am coming (slowly) to the realization that she was always the same person, though, and that I was just getting to know a different part.
I simply cannot express enough gratitude to those of you who have shared memories of our mom. I think especially with what my mom, and we as her family, went through with Alzheimer's, to us those memories are priceless and we are eager to read every one over and over. Again, we encourage anyone to share, or to share again. Thank you.
I first got to know Vi when she or one of her employees provided transcription fill-in for me at St. Francis Hospital and over the years we became friends. What a truly amazing person she was. Vi was never too busy to help when I would call her with a question or just needed someone to talk to. She was an amazing lady in all aspects of her life. Even when she was growing her business, she would refer potential clients to me when I went out on my own. Vi was an "encourager" to most of the old-timer transcriptionists in Colorado Springs as well as the state of Colorado.
My thoughts and prayers to not only Vi's family, but all who knew and will miss her.
It is with a lump in my throat but a smile on my face that I remember Vi, first my co-worker, then my neighbor, my boss, my teacher, my encourager, and through it all a true friend. I am reminded of all the conversations over a cup or three of coffee, all the desserts we enjoyed (anything with cream cheese!), all the lunches out, all the laughs, all of the sharings about family, all the business talks, all the transcription critiques, and all the times she gave me a boost when I needed it. Without her leadership and encouragement I never would have succeeded as a medical transcriptionist for 40 years or had a successful home business. I used to tell Vi she should hang her shingle, Viola Foulks, M.D. She could store so much knowledge and had an incredible memory. I am thankful for all the tough challenges she presented to me, for making me work hard and for believing in me. The last time I saw Vi was when my husband and I spent the night with her at her 'house on the hill' in Wyoming when we were en route to Alaska. After years apart and many miles separating us, we could always pick up just where we left off. I still have the plaque she gave me for my birthday 30 years ago which reads, "Finding a friend like you is like discovering a rare shell on the beach...a precious gift." RIP my friend Vi and thank you for being that rare shell for me.
Kathy, I am so sorry for the loss of your Mom. I know the last few years were very hard for all of you. I lost my Dad January 19, 2013, and it has been rough year. My memory of your Mom is of a strong, very smart woman who not only was my best friend's Mom, but also my first boss. I remember her teaching me transcription and giving me such a chance when I really knew nothing. I remember a wicked sense of humor and a wonderful laugh. She made work a good place to be. Not to say did not make us earn our pay. She also holds a special place in my heart for sharing her wedding dress with me. I think of both of you every time I see my wedding pictures. I know her illness stole a lot of her from all of you, but you can be proud to have been her children and grandchildren and even to be her great grandchildren. Thom and Vi Foulks left a strong legacy to their children of love and respect
This amazing woman, profoundly changed my life. She was my mentor, cheerleader, grammar coach, and most of all, my friend. I can hear her voice, her laugh, and most of all her wise counsel and it always brings a smile to my face. Vi was one in a million and my life is much richer for having had the extreme honor and privilege of knowing her. My love and condolences to her family. Rest assured, your mom left her mark in this world and it is indelible...and might I add...grammatically correct!
Thom, Kathy, Joe, Dana and Wendy Our thoughts and prayers are with all of you with the passing of your beloved Mom. She was a wonderful Mom to all of you, a super wife to your Dad, and a grandmother to all her grandkids! The last few years of her life were not happy ones as she, and all of you, went through the pains and trials that Alzheimer’s disease brings. She is now free of that disease, and is now enjoying a well-earned and deserved peace.