Violet Rose Pontillo passed away on Wednesday June 8, 2022, at Hospice Alliance Hospice House.
Violet was born February 5, 1926, in Iron Mountain, MI the daughter of the late Garvin and Helen (Isley) Black. At an early age her family moved on a farm in Harshaw, WI. She attended a one room school house, grades 1-8, with a single teacher that Violet remembered as one of the kindest and most dedicated women she has ever known. People often joke about walking uphill both ways to school, but she actually did. She attended school every day despite harsh Wisconsin winters. She loved to learn and even used a crude pair of skis to get to school at times when roads were impassible.
Violet and her family survived the Great Depression with the absolute bare essentials. She grew up being chased by wild geese on her way to the outhouse. Her mother rendered lard, churned butter, and canned meat and vegetables. She grew up without store-bought ketchup.
To continue her schooling and grow beyond the farm, Violet left home and lived with a host family to attend high school in Rhinelander, Wisconsin. After graduation in 1943, she took a train to Racine with nothing but a suitcase; she was self-made.
It was at the Eagles Ballroom that she met Ralph Pontillo. Violet and Ralph were married in 1947, That truly helped her find her purpose and calling as a loving wife and mother. She lived with her in-laws the first couple years of their marriage and while there discovered a love of cooking and the Italian culture they shared with her. Violet and Ralph Pontillo shared a dedicated and loving relationship which brought them four children. Losing her husband in 1979 was one of the great tragedies of her life, but her strength carried her forward as she focused on her family. Violet created a legacy that could never be replaced and will never be forgotten.
Violet lived independently all of her 96 years, sharp witted until her last day, compassionate, and stubborn in the best way possible. When something needed fixing, she was the first to arrive with hammer in hand. She had a strong opinion, but she never stopped learning and gaining new perspectives. She fought countless tragedies in her life. Despite those challenges, she found innumerable blessings in the world around her. She truly taught those she knew what it means to be loved. She retired from KUSD as a cook and kitchen helper.
Violet is survived by her brother, Norman (Dolly) Black; children Ralph (Pamela), John (Grace), Colleen (Michael) Cyzak; Daughter-in-law, Patrice Pontillo; grandchildren, Tor Pontillo, Autumn (Tim) Stamos, Michael (Katie) Cyzak, David Cyzak, Christina (Russel) Scoullar, Megan (Christopher) Martin, Michael (Trish) Godlewski, Tina (Sean) Frank; and 14 great grandchildren.
In addition to her parents, husband Ralph and son Robert, Violet was preceded in death by siblings Kenneth and Myrtle Black.
Per her wishes, private services were held. Entombment took place at All Saints Cemetery.